Biplane fighter aces


Pilot Officer Sidney Robert McNamara DFC, RAF no. 41599

McNamara took part in both Norwegian campaigns while serving in 263 Squadron.

At 12:00 on 25 April 1940 Pilot Officer McNamara (Gladiator N5579) led a section of Gladiators, which intercepted an early afternoon attack by twelve He 111s from II./LG 1 and six Ju 88s from III./LG l. McNamara led the section in a deflection pass on a 4./LG 1 Heinkel flown by Unteroffizier Helmut Nolte, which force-landed near Lesjaskog in full view of everyone on the ground. One member of the crew was killed and three of them taken POWs.

Believed to be the He 111 shot down by McNamara on 25 April 1940.

263 Squadron suffered heavily losses and was soon withdrawn back to Great Britain to be re-equipped.
On 21 May the squadron again landed in Norway. This time at Bardufoss in northern Norway after having flown off from the carrier HMS Furious.

McNamara took part in the successful evacuation of fighters from Narvik on 8 June 1940 when he and nine other pilots from 263 Squadron landed their Gladiators aboard HMS Glorious. However, this successful evacuation was avail when the carrier was sunk by the German battlecruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau later in the day with the loss of almost all aboard, Donaldson being one of them.

He was posthumously awarded a DFC.

At the time of his death McNamara was credited with 1 biplane victory.

Kill no. Date Time Number Type Result Plane type Serial no. Locality Unit
1 25/04/40 12:00- 1 He 111 (a) Destroyed Gladiator II N5579 Lake Lesjaskog 263 Squadron

Biplane victories: 1 destroyed.
TOTAL: 1 destroyed.
(a) He 111 of 4./LG 1 flown by Unteroffizier Helmut Nolte shot down. Crashed near Lake Lesjaskog around 12:00. One member of the crew killed and three POWs.

Fledgling Eagles - Christopher Shores with John Foreman, Christian-Jaques Ehrengardt, Heinrich Weiss and Bjørn Olsen, 1991 Grub Street, London, ISBN 0-948817-42-9
Gloster Gladiator Home Page - Alexander Crawford
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Last modified 26 August 2022