RAF war hero remembers raids over Germany

With Victory in Europe day being marked last week, a Second World War hero spoke to the herald about the 39 Germany missions he took part in as part of the elite Pathfinders squadron.

John Douglas McFarlane, known to friends as Dougie, will be 92 next month and was a fresh faced 18-year-old, when he signed up for the RAF in 1941.

Dougie from Milngavie was part of the elite No 8. Pathfinder Squadron. The Pathfinders were tasked with the extremely dangerous job of spearheading bombing raids over occupied Europe by marking targets with coloured flares for the main Lancaster bomber squadrons to hit.

Dougie said: “I was very lucky. The average life expectancy of a pathfinder was five missions and my crew managed to complete 39. You could say I was lucky seven times over.”

A full interview with Dougie will be published in the Milngavie and Bearsden Herald next week.