Eric James SHAW DFC

Serial Number: NZ411457 & 70090
RNZAF Trade: Pilot
Date of Enlistment: 2nd of March 1941
Date of Demob: 4th of April 1959
Rank Achieved: Squadron Leader
Flying Hours: Total unknown, 300 hrs operational
Operational Sorties: unknown

Date of Birth: 4th of May 1912, at Frankton
Personal Details:

Service Details: Eric flew Supermarine Spitfires with No. 485 (NZ) Squadron from March till May 1942. From May till July 1942 he flew with No. 185 Squadron RAF based on Malta. He returned to England and to No. 485 Sqn from August to October 1942, and from October '42 he went back to the Mediterranean. This time he was based at Gibraltar where he tested and delivered aircraft till April 1943.

Eric then moved on to join No. 72 Squadron in North Africa for his second tour, flying with them from April till October 1943. Rst from operations came that month when he was posted to the Middle East Central Gunnery School in Egypt. He remained an instructor at the school till February 1944. From February through to December 1944 he flew meteorological and communications work from RAF Khartoum in the Sudan.

On the 29th of September 1943 Eric was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The citation read:

"This officer is a skilful and determined fighter pilot whose courage and keeness have set an inspiring example. Flying Officer Shaw has displayed outstanding ability when attacking ground targets. On one occasion he destroyed or damaged every vehicle in a motor transport column. In recent North African and Sicilian operations he has destroyed three enemy aircraft."

Details of Death: Eric died in Christchurch on the 31st of July 1999

Connection with Cambridge: Eric Shaw had grown up and lived in Cambridge before the war


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