Forty units doesn't sound unreasonable to me; the California Base musters at least a dozen of them for the Jaburo attack (or as many as 18, if you consider EB 39 some kind of a reliable source
And let's not forget the Gaws used by Garma's forces early on, though their numbers vary by the source:
-In the TV series we have Garma's Gaw plus 3 more that participate on Icelina's failed attack, for a total of four. All destroyed.
-IIRC, when Garma is ambushed by White Base, he is actually accompained by 2 more Gaws, although I don't remember the later actually being destroyed. I will have to confirm later.
In the Zeonic Front videogame, we are told that reinforcements for Odessa (the Midnight Fenrir Corps in this case) were sent through submarines instead of Gaws. Also, in this game we can see that there are still at least 3 Gaws at California Base right before it's recaptured by the Federations' forces. They can be seen in the same mission map where you have to protect and HLV, though on the other side of the map.
I suppose we could also try counting some of the Gaws from videogames, but I don't think those would be very accurate. For starters, the Journey to Jaburo game gives Garma 5 Gaws during his final battle.
Finally, a couple of extras for your Gaw profile Deacon:The squadron emblem of the 4th Tactical Mobile Suit Wings' GawThe Gaw used to retrieve the Ze'Gok on MS Igloo has the D225 marking on its wing
It's possible that the Gaws on MS Igloo 2 also have markings, but I can't check right now.