Interview with Charles Gallagher


Interview with Charles Gallagher


Charles Gallagher was born in a small village outside Nottingham where his father was rector of the local church. At the age of six the family moved to South Brent on Dartmoor where Charles enjoyed country sports and helped with the local hunt. At secondary school he enjoyed cricket and rugby before going up to Cambridge where he joined the university air squadron. On joining the Royal Air Force he was selected for navigator/bomb aimer training: after a five week journey by troop ship to Cape Town he commenced his training near East London in South Africa. Charles then attended an Operational Training Unit in the Cotswolds before transferring to RAF Stanton Harcourt where he joined his crew as bomb aimer. He described the process of crewing up and how in his case it led to a lifelong friendship with one of his crew. After flying Whitleys which he described as an ‘elephant’ of an aircraft he was posted to 76 Squadron and transferred to flying Halifax aircraft at No. 165 Heavy Conversion Unit at RAF Marston Moor. Charles recalled one operation on Osnabrück while stationed at RAF Holme-on-Spalding Moor where his aircraft returned with 196 holes in the fuselage. The pilot ordered the crew to bail out but they stayed with the aircraft which made it back to base. In June 1945 the squadron converted to C-47s and flew to India with Transport Command. On return Charles joined British South American Airways on ground passenger handling, including a short posting to Bermuda.




Temporal Coverage




00:57:13 audio recording


IBCC Digital Archive


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Cathy Brearley, “Interview with Charles Gallagher,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed August 12, 2022,

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