McVea, Alexander Magowan (No. 590584)

McVea, Alexander Magowan

Flight Sergeant (Pilot)

No. 590584, 216 Squadron, Royal Air Force

Died in an aircraft accident on Monday 14 April 1941 (aged 25)


Ikoyi No. 2 Cemetery, Nigeria (Grave 363)


Commonwealth War Graves Commission

Family grave headstone in Cloughey Presbyterian Graveyard


Alexander Magowan McVea was born on 28 September 1915 in Portavogie and he was a son of David and Sarah McVea (nee Magowan, sometimes McGowan) who were married on 27 January 1914 in Great Victoria Street Presbyterian Church, Belfast.  David McVea, a postman from Portavogie, was a son of David McVea, a sailmaker.  Sarah Magowan from Belfast was a daughter of Alexander Magowan, deceased.

David McVea was a rural postman and he and Sarah had at least two children:

Alexander Magowan (born 28 September 1915 in Portavogie; named in memory of his maternal grandfather who was deceased)

David (born 28 September 1917 in Portavogie)

Alexander Magowan McVea was a grandson of David McVea (sometimes McVeagh) and Agnes Isabella McVea (nee Tennant) of Portavogie.  David McVea worked as a sailmaker and he and Agnes had at least eight children including Margaret (born 30 April 1871 in Portavogie) and David (born 30 September 1875 in Portavogie).

Pre-Second World War, Alexander Magowan McVea served with the Royal Air Force in Malaya and in November 1938 he returned to Britain where he was stationed at the RAF Depot in Uxbridge, Middlesex.

During the Second World War Flight Sergeant Alexander Magowan McVea (No. 590584) served with 216 Squadron and he died in an aircraft accident on 14 April 1941 in Nigeria; he was the pilot aboard a Bristol Bombay Mark I aircraft (L5830).  While taking off from Lagos, a tyre burst, an undercarriage collapsed, the aircraft veered off the runway, burst into flames and tipped up onto its nose.  Two other crew members were killed:

  • Leading Aircraftman James Croft (No. 532949) from Ancoats, Manchester
  • Sergeant Victor Sidney Wimhurst (No. 543180) from Langton Green, Kent

Sergeant S.S.S. Ward and Aircraftman F.L. Smith were injured.

Flight Sergeant Alexander Magowan McVea (No. 590584) was buried in Ikoyi No. 2 Cemetery and there is an inscription on his CWGC headstone:



The other casualties were buried in the same cemetery.

Flight Sergeant Alexander Magowan McVea (No. 590584) was 25 when he died, and he is commemorated on the family grave headstone in Cloughey Presbyterian Graveyard.

His father David died on 11 September 1963 (aged 87) and his mother Sarah died on 2 February 1979 (aged 93).