NUMBER: 220276

RANK: Sergeant

UNIT: 178 Squadron RAF



OCCUPATION: Factory Worker

STATUS: Killed in Action


WHERE BURIED: Choloy Military Cemetery, France

MEDALS: 1939-45 Star, Italy Star, Africa Star, War Medal, Defence Medal

Photo of Sgt. M. Charlish

Maclolm Charlish was born in 1925 at Bedale and was the son of Frederick and Margaret Charlish. After attending the local junior school in Bedale, Malcolm passed the scholarship to attend the Grammar School at Northallerton. In 1943 he volunteered for the RAF and was accepted for aircrew training. Malcolm qualified as a Flight Engineer and was posted No 178 Liberator Squadron of Bomber Command, based El Adem in Libya. Another Northallerton Old Boy, Peter Bissett, was already a pilot of this squadron.

As the flight engineer, Malcolm's duties were to monitor the engines, the fuel consumption and assist the pilot with the general flying of the aircraft by the use of trim controls and instrument settings. The squadron didn't stay long at El Adem before they were sent to Celone in southern Italy. This airfield was also known as Foggia No 1, San Nicola or Capelli. From there the squadron was destined to attack the oilfields of Rumania, dropping supplies to Tito's army and attacking the industrial heart of Germany.

On the night of 13th June 1944, No 178 Squadron was part of a force of bombers detailed to attack the main railway station of Munich. The city of Munich was a communications and control centre for the German army. Like many German cities, it was heavily defended by fighters and flak guns. The bomber that Malcolm was flying in, Liberator EW 277, was shot down and he was one of five crewmen to perish. The five were initially buried in Furstenfeldbruck in southern Germany. Later the they were, mistakenly, removed by the Americans and buried in France. When the error was discovered they were reinterred into a collective grave.

Malcolm Charlish now lies buried in the Choloy Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery in the Meurthe-et Moselle Region of France. This is the same cemetery that F/O Arthur Stafford of Romanby, who flew with No 101 Squadron, lies buried. Malcolm is also remembered in St. Clement Danes London, the Central Church of the Royal Air Force, the Bedale War Memorial and on the Northallerton Grammar School Memorial Plaque.

Malcolm was aged 19 years.