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The Airmen's Stories - Sgt. A McDowall


Andrew McDowall was born on 26th June 1913 at Kirkinner, Wigtownshire, Scotland. McDowall was working as an engineer on Clydeside before the war.

He joined 602 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force before the war as an Aircrafthand. He later remustered as an Airman u/t Pilot and did some flying training before being called to full-time service on 24th August 1939.

McDowall completed his training and rejoined 602 Squadron around May 1940. During a night patrol on 24th/25th July he attacked a He111 caught in searchlights. It jettisoned two parachute mines and, although his attack had no apparent result, the enemy aircraft was later reported to have crashed in the sea.




On 18th August McDowall destroyed a Me109, on the 26th a He111, on 9th September a Me109, on the 11th a Me110, on the 15th a probable Do17, on the 30th a Ju88 destroyed and another shared, on 27th October a Ju88 destroyed and another probably destroyed, on the 29th two Me109s destroyed, on the 30th a Me109 destroyed and on 6th November a Me109 destroyed and another shared.

McDowall was awarded the DFM (gazetted 8th October 1940) and a Bar (gazetted 17th December 1940).

Commissioned in November 1940, McDowall was posted to 245 Squadron at Aldergrove on 15th April 1941 as a Flight Commander. In July he was OC 'B' Squadron at 52 OTU Debden.

On 10th April 1942 McDowall took command of 232 Squadron when it reformed at Atcham. He was posted away to a staff job at HQ 13 Group in September.

In July 1944 McDowall was given command of 616 Squadron at Manston. Flying a Meteor, he destroyed a Ju88 on the ground on 24th April 1945.

He left the squadron in May 1945 and was released from the RAF later in the year as a Wing Commander. He joined Rolls-Royce as a test pilot.

He later went to work for Glosters, testing Meteors being sold to foreign air forces.

McDowall died in October 1981 in Derby.

His portrait was made by Cuthbert Orde in October 1940 (below).





Above: Rolls Royce test pilots (L to R); R Jones, HC Rogers, HND Bailey, JH Heyworth, J Heyworth, A McDowall, AR Barnard.



Above two images courtesy of Debbie Welch (granddaughter of HND Bailey).



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