A Second War D.F.M. awarded to Wireless Operator/Air Gunner Flight Sergeant A. M. McKelvie, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, who was killed in action when his Lancaster was shot down over Waterloo on 3 June 1942 during the 1,000 Bomber Raid on Cologne
Distinguished Flying Medal, GV1, Sgt. A. M. Mc.Kelvie. R.A.F.
Small and neat repair to suspension claw
Recommendation states: ‘For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during raids into enemy territory. This N.C.O.’s work both in the air and on the ground has never left anything to be desired. The majority of his flights have been during the winter months and he has shown great skill in the working of the set under most adverse conditions. His determination and enthusiasm have had an excellent effect on the other Wireless Operator/Air Gunners in this Squadron.’
Alastair Macnab McKelvie was born in Cowdenbeath in 1907 and enlisted in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1939. Qualifying as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner, he served with 144 Squadron, and having completed his first operational tour was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal.
Embarking upon his second Operational Tour with 61 Squadron in 1942, McKelvie was killed in action on 3 June 1942 when his Lancaster R5613, piloted by Pilot Officer R. E. Clark, D.F.M., was shot down homeward-bound by a Bf110 4km east of Waterloo, having taken part in the 1,000 Bomber raid on Essen the previous evening. There was only one survivor, the Air Gunner Sergeant W. R. Griffiths, who managed to evade capture. McKelvie is buried alongside four of his crew in Brussels Town Cemetery; the final crew member has no known grave and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
The German pilot was Fritz Schellwat, a Deutches Cross in Gold winner, this being his first victory of 17.
Sold together with a copy newspaper cutting containing photograph of the recipient.