Flight Lieutenant Wallace McIntosh DFC and Bar, DFM, lived from 27 March 1920 to 4 June 2007. He became the most successful air gunner in the RAF's Bomber Command in World War Two. The wider picture in Scotland at the time is set out in our Historical Timeline.
Wallace McIntosh was born in a barn in Tarves in Aberdeenshire during a blizzard. His mother was an unmarried teenage servant. He was raised by his grandparents alongside their seven children, moving from farm to farm in Perthshire and Aberdeenshire in search of seasonal work. He attended fourteen schools, finally leaving at the age of 13 and taking a series of agricultural jobs while, literally, moolighting as a poacher. He was later employed as a gamekeeper.
When the Second World War broke out, McIntosh cycled 30 miles to Dundee to volunteer for the RAF. He was initially rejected because of his lack of education, but then accepted as an aircraftsman serving on the ground. He later became an air gunner, being posted to 207 Squadron at RAF Langar, near Nottingham, in March 1943. As a mid-upper turret gunner in a Lancaster bomber flown by Flying Officer Fred Richardson, he shot down two German aircraft during his first tour of 32 missions, and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal. In June 1943 he became an air gunnery instructor and was commissioned as an officer.
In February 1944 he returned to active duty with 207 Squadron at RAF Spilsby in Lincolnshire, serving as a rear gunner in the Lancaster flown by Wing Commander John Grey. He shot down one enemy aircraft over France on 3 May 1944, and then, on 7 June 1944, while on a raid in support of the D-Day landings, he and another gunner in the aircraft jointly shot down three more German aircraft. Both gunners received the Distinguished Flying Cross. In July 1944 he shot down two German aircraft during a raid over Stuttgart and was awarded a further Distinguished Flying Cross.
Wallace McIntosh left the RAF in 1948. He later worked as an agricultural foodstuffs salesman and then as a seed merchant. He married Christina Cooper in 1957 and they had four children together. He published his biography, Gunning for the Enemy, in 2003.