Colin Lindsay Ottaway DFC

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Colin Lindsay Ottaway DFC
Ottaway Colin Lindsay.jpg
At brother Maxwell's wedding in 1941. In 16th (Cameroon Highlanders) Battalion kit.
Personal Information
Date of Birth 2 Nov 1923
Place of Birth Bedfordale, Western Australia
Death 29 Aug 1996, aged 72
Place of Death Safety Bay, Western Australia
Age at Enlistment 17 years, 1 month
Description 5'10" (1.78m) tall ; ; fresh complexion ; blue eyes ; brown hair
Religion Roman Catholic
Address Mount Lawley, Western Australia
Next of Kin Father , Mr Kenneth Ottaway
Military Information
Reg Number W8865 & 427543
Date of Enlistment 16 Dec 1940 (CMF) 19 Jul 1942 (RAAF)
Rank Private & Flying Officer
Unit/Formation No. 635 Squadron RAF
Post War Details
Fate Returned to Australia
Medals Distinguished Flying Cross
1939-45 Star
Air Crew Europe Star
War Medal 1939-45
Australian Service Medal 1939-45

Pre War

War Service

Colin's original enlistment was in the CMF, more specifically the 16th Australian Infantry Battalion (Cameron Highlander's Regiment) where he served from 16 Dec 1940 until his discharge on 17 Jan 1942. Six months later on 19 Jul 1942 he enlisted in the RAAF.

On 16 Jun 1943, 19 year old Colin was one of a large draft of 336 RAAF personnel who sailed for San Francisco in the United States aboard the SS Matsonia, enroute to England. They arrived on 3 Jul 1943 having sailed via Auckland where a number of New Zealand Air Force personnel joined them..

No. 635 Squadron RAF flew Avro Lancasters from RAF Downham Market, Norfolk.

Discharged on 20 Nov 1945.

Award Citation

"For skill and fortitude in operations against the enemy." [1]

Post War

Colin's Distinguished Flying Cross was presented to him by the Lieutenant Governor of Western Australia at Government House Perth on 3 Jan 1947. During 1952 Colin married Valma Lorraine Henderson (1929 - 1968). They had a daughter. Valma died on 29 Nov 1968 aged 39 in Floreat Park.

During 1958 Colin and Valma enjoyed a cruise, arriving in Fremantle from Singapore on 10 May 1958 aboard MV Gorgon.

Electoral Roll entries: 1949 at 142 Walcott street, Maylands, Insurance agent; 1954 at 90 Bagot road, Subiaco, newsagent; 1958 - 1980 at 14 Dunblane road, Floreat Park, newsagent then representative and finally a clerk.


Colin appears to have given a false date of birth to join the Army, but corrected it on joining the RAAF as he was 18 by then.

  1. Commonwealth of Australia Gazette 26 Jul 1945, page 1599, position 25 & London Gazette of 17 Jul 1945, page 3686, position 22.

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