An appeal has been made for relatives of an East Renfrewshire war hero to come forward.

Flight Lieutenant Alexander MacPherson was just 24 when he died in a bombing raid on Berlin in 1943, along with five members of his crew.

His name appears on the Giffnock War Memorial.

Only one crew member survived the crash and the rest, including Alexander, are buried in a cemetery in the German capital.

Although Alexander was born in Edinburgh, his father was from Clarkston.

They are believed to have moved back there after the death of his mother in 1927.

RAF volunteer archivist Brenda Kelly, 68, is trying to find out more about Alexander and the rest of his crew.

She works for the former RAF Bomber Command, tracing relatives of airmen who served or were killed in action.

Brenda would like to invite some of Alexander’s relatives to one of the memorial events that are held regularly.

She told the Barrhead News: “We know that he was the son of Alexander Nevin MacPherson, who was from Clarkston, and Marion Dewar, who was from Edinburgh.

“His mother died in 1927 in Edinburgh, at the age of 36, following complications in childbirth. The baby boy died shortly afterwards.

“The parents do not appear to have had any other children during their 10-year marriage.”

Brenda said Alexander’s dad had a daughter to his first wife, who died in 1915, and then two sons to another woman after Marion’s death.

She added: “Alexander was killed in action on August 24, 1943, near Berlin, and is remembered on the Giffnock War Memorial and by the Commonwealth Graves Commission.”

Having worked as a clerk after leaving school, Alexander joined the RAF in 1939 and quickly rose through the ranks as an accomplished navigator and bomb aimer.

In 1941, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Medal (DFM) for bravery after rescuing colleagues when their Wellington bomber crashed after landing in England following their latest mission.

By then, Alexander had taken part in 27 successful operations. At the time of his death, he had completed 55.

Back then, most airmen did not survive 15.

Brenda, who served in the RAF for five years, knows Alexander was based in Cambridgeshire with 83 Squadron at the time of his death.

If you have information about Alexander, email