Warrant Officer Alastair McGinnis G.M.

Warrant Officer Alastair Walter McGinnis, G.M., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was lost on Operations with 13 Squadron R.A.F. on 20th August 1944 and is commemorated on the Malta Memorial. He was born in Edinburgh and was the son of Hannah and the late Charles of Claymyres Cottage Newstead. He had been educated at Melrose and Galashiels Academy and before enlisting he had worked in St. Boswells. ” Sandy” had played rugby for Melrose R.F.C. He was awarded the George Medal for his gallant actions in September 1943 when along with Sergeant Henry Webster they went to a crashed aircraft which was burning furiously and with exploding ammunition and unexploded bombs in the wreckage. They managed to drag the wireless operator from the wreck and put out the flames on his clothing. Another airman was extricated but he was unfortunately dead. Whilst they were tendind to the injured airman the bombs exploded and the men were showered with shrapnel. In circumstances of great danger both men displayed coolness and outstanding gallantry and undoutably saved the life of one crew member. In August 1944 the Squadron operated the Martin Baltimore medium bomber from Cecina in Italy and was used to attack enemy ground Units in the Italian and Mediterranean theatre of Operations.

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