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Fowler, Hedley Nevile (Bill) (1916–1944)

Hedley Fowler, c.1943

Hedley Fowler, c.1943

Imperial War Museums, CH 11864

One of the few Air Force officers to receive a military decoration, Squadron-Leader Hedley Neville Fowler, M.C. who was educated at St. Mark's College, Adelaide University, has been killed in England while acting as a test pilot in the RAF.

Squadron-Leader Fowler was awarded his Military Cross for operations veiled in secrecy until after the war. He was a fighter pilot in the battle for France when he was shot down in May, 1940.

He and the late Flying-Officer Leslie Redford Clisby, of Prospect, were inseparable companions at an air gunnery school in East Anglia, and became known as "The Diggers." Clisby, flying on a different part of the front, was shot down the same day as Fowler and was killed.

Fowler served in the Australian Militia in 1935 and the following year became an air cadet in the RAAF. In 1937 he was commissioned in the R.A.F., and reached his present rank last year.

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Citation details

'Fowler, Hedley Nevile (Bill) (1916–1944)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/fowler-hedley-nevile-bill-24552/text33245, accessed 21 July 2019.

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