McNamara, Thomas Christopher

Date of birth:
January 4th, 1918 (Cloughjordan/Co Tipperary, Ireland)
Service number:
79049
Nationality:
British (1801-present, Kingdom)

Biography

Thomas McNamara joined the Royal Air Force in 1940 and was commissoned as Pilot Officer in the Administrative and Special Duties Branche on 4th May 1940 and promoted to Flying Officer in May 1941. In July 1942 he voluntarily reverted to the rank of Pilot Officer to transfer to the General Duties Branch and to fly operationally.
Served with 70 Squadron, (Wellingtons) initially as 2nd Pilot but mostly as Captain of Aircraft during a first tour totalling 37 ops.
In September 1944 McNamara joined 178 Squadron at Amendola in the Foggia Basin which was equipped with Liberators. Operations consisted mostly of disrupting railway and road communications in Northern Italy and Yugoslavia, and dropping supplies to partisans in Yugoslavia All but two of McNamara’s 29 operations were in these categories, the exceptions being in Northern Hungary when he attacked Szombathely aerodrome on 20 Oct 44 and delivered ammunition to Harsani on 20 December.
In July 1948 McNamara was granted a permanent commission.
He served in the Far East in the mid-1950s during the 12-year Malaya emergency and retired in the rank of Wing Commander on 18 November 1957

He was also awarded the GSM E.II.R., 1 clasp, Malaya and the Coronation 1953 medal

Promotions:
May 4th, 1940: Pilot Officer (probation)
May 4th, 1941: Flying Officer (war sub)
November 21st, 1941: relinquished the rank of Flying Officer at his own request and transferred to the General Duties Branche in the rank of Pilot Officer
October 1st, 1942: Flying Officer (war sub)
November 21st, 1943: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)
June 27th, 1946 appointent to commission As Flight Lieutenants, extended service (four years on the active list)
July 15th, 1948: Appointment to commission as Flight Lieutnenant (permanent)
January 1st, 1949: Squadron Leader
? Wing Commander
November 18th, 1957: retirement

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Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Flying Officer
Unit:
No. 70 Squadron, Royal Air Force (No. 70 Squadron, Royal Air Force)
Awarded on:
November 30th, 1943
Action:
Recommendation;
"This Officer has carried out a most successful tour of operations, comprising 37 night sorties amounting to 228 hours and 35 minutes flying, during which time he has shown the most praiseworthy dash and determination, pressing home his attacks no matter what opposition was encountered from enemy defences. He has been detailed to attack a variety of targets, ranging from M.T. and troop concentrations to heavily defended strategic targets on the mainland of Italy and Sicily. The excellent photographs he has taken are ample proof of the care he has taken to locate and accurately bomb the target.

On one occasion, when attacking the docks and marshalling yards at Messina, regardless of the fact that he was continually being picked out by a cone of many searchlights and subjected to concentrated anti-aircraft fire, he continued and held his bombing run so that his Bomb Aimer was able to release a stick of bombs which fell across the marshalling yards and caused a very violent explosion, which in itself must have caused considerable damage in the target area.

On 14-15 July 1943, during an attack on Capodichino aerodrome in the face of concentrated anti-aircraft fire and searchlights, his bombing caused a number of fires and explosions, which from their descriptions must certainly have been dispersed enemy aircraft.

During an attack on enemy troops landing on the beaches at Sapri, he came down to 300 feet to investigate the coast and his Rear-Gunner fired over 3000 rounds at buildings which may have been harbouring enemy troops recently evacuated from Sicily.

From the very beginning of his tour he has set a very high operational standard, attacking every target in a most determined and courageous spirit. This outstanding spirit of aggression, coupled with his undoubted ability as a Captain, has been a source of inspiration to every member of his Flight and I have no hesitation in recommending that Flying Officer McNamara’s determination, courage and devotion to duty be recognised by the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross."
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Rank:
Acting Squadron Leader
Unit:
No. 178 Squadron, Royal Air Force (No. 178 Squadron, Royal Air Force)
Awarded on:
May 29th, 1945
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
Action:
Recommendation:
"Since being awarded the D.F.C., Squadron Leader McNamara, who has now completed his second operational tour as Captain of a heavy bomber aircraft, has taken part in numerous bombing attacks on defended targets and supply dropping missions in adverse weather conditions. He has shown great keenness throughout his tour and has invariably done his utmost to succeed in every task for which he has been briefed. In the face of opposition, his courage and determination were a source of inspiration, not only to his own crew, but to all members of his Flight. As a Flight Commander his example of cheerfulness and devotion to duty has made itself felt among all serving under his command.

On 18 November 1944, Squadron Leader McNamara took part in a daylight attack on the marshalling yards at Sarajevo. On the run in his aircraft was met by predicted heavy A.A. fire. Ignoring this opposition, Squadron Leader McNamara held a steady bombing run and succeeded in dropping his bombs on the target.

On 21 February 1945, he took part in a daylight attack on the ammunition dump at Pola. While over the target, his aircraft was subjected to accurate and intense heavy A.A. fire and the machine was hit in the nose, rudder and tail turret. Showing great courage and determination, Squadron Leader McNamara held to a straight bombing run, which enabled his Bomb Aimer to drop his bombs on the target.

Other targets attacked successfully during his tour include Szombathely, Udine, Verona and Zagreb."
Details:
Second DFC awarded as a bar for on the ribbon of the first DFC.
Period:
Second World War (1939-1945)
Details:
With "NORTH AFRICA 1942-43" clasp.
Africa Star

Sources

  • - The London Gazette Issue 34859 published on the 28 May 1940
    - The London Gazette Issue 35235 published on the 1 August 1941
    - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 35630 published on the 10 July 1942
    - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36004 published on the 4 May 1943
    - Third Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36267 published on the 26 November 1943
    - Third Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36299 published on the 21 December 1943
    - Fourth Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 37099 published on the 25 May 1945
    - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 37947 published on the 2 May 1947
    - Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 38462 published on the 19 November 1948
    - Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 38490 published on the 28 December 1948
    - Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 41236 published on the 22 November 1957
    - British Medals
    - 70squadron.roselake.co.uk/