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Air Commodore J W Allan (89617)


John Watson              b: 6 May 1918                        r: 6 May 1973                        d: 9 Jul 1988

DSO – 17 Aug 1943, DFC – 31 Aug 1943, AFC – 10 Jun 1954, MBIM, MiD - 1 Jan 1945.

AC: xx xxx 1938, Sgt: xx Oct 1940, Plt Off (P): 20 Jan 1941 [14 Jan 1941], Plt Off: 20 Jan 1942, Fg Off (WS): 20 Jan 1942 [14 Jan 1942], Flt Lt (WS): 20 Jan 1943 [14 Jan 1943], Act Sqn Ldr: xx xxx 1943, Act Wg Cdr: 15 Sep 1944?, Sqn Ldr (WS): 15 Mar 1945, Sqn Ldr: 1 Sep 1945, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1952, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1963, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1967.

xx xxx xxxx:              U/T Pilot, RAFVR (741760)

xx Oct 1940:             Sergeant Pilot, No 266 Sqn.

20 Jan 1941:             Appointed to a Commission in the RAFVR (duration only, seniority 14 Jan 1941)

xx xxx 1942:             Pilot, No 256 Sqn

xx xxx 1943:             Flight Commander?, No 256 Sqn.

xx Sep 1943:            ?, UK

xx xxx 1944:             Flight Commander, No 151 Sqn

xx xxx 1944:             Flight Commander, No 29 Sqn

xx Dec 1944:            Officer Commanding, No 29 Sqn. (Mosquito XIII/NF30)

xx Dec 1945:            Various Staff appointments

xx xxx 1950:              Wing Commander - Flying, RAF Coltishall.

xx Mar 1954:             Admin Staff Officer, HQ Fighter Command.

xx xxx 1955:              Officer Commanding Administration Wing, No 3 FTS (Feltwell)

14 Sep 1959:             Officer Commanding, Administration Wing, RAF Northolt.

25 Aug 1960:            Director - Development Wing, Joint Warfare Establishment.

 1 Jul 1963:               Deputy Director of Manning.

16 Sep 1966:            Officer Commanding, RAF Leeming.

 4 Sep 1967:             Director of Operations - Aircraft Projects.

21 Oct 1968:            Director of Operational Requirements (3).  

 1 Jun 1971:              Commandant, Officers and Aircrew Selection Centre.

Known as Ian, he was born in Cathcart in Scotland, he joined the RAFVR in 1938 and qualified as a pilot in 1940, being promoted to Sergeant. Initially flying Spitfires with No 266 Squadron, he did a lot of night flying, which eventually led to him being posted to No 256 Squadron as a night fighter pilot.  He was unsuccessful whilst flying from the UK, but in July 1943 he led a detachment to Malta, where he soon began building a score, with the assistance of his observer, Flt Lt H I Davidson.  Between 12 July and 31 August 1943, he was credited with 14 enemy aircraft destroyed, with five being brought down on the night of 15/16 July and two each on 16/17 July and 25/26 July.

Following a rest from September 1943, he joined No 151 Squadron and now undertook night ranger operations over Northern Europe, before moving to 29 Squadron.  In December 1944 he took command of No 29 and remained with the squadron to the end of war and beyond.  Various staff postings followed until 1950, when he took command of the all-weather fighter wing at Coltishall and in 1953, he led a flight of Vampire NF Mk 10s during the Coronation Review flypast.  A period at the Joint Warfare Establishment was followed by three appointments at the Air Ministry before he became Commandant of The Officers and Aircrew Selection Centre at Biggin Hill, which was his final posting.

 Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

 “Acting Squadron Leader John Watson ALLAN, D.S.O. (89617), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 256 Squadron.

 As observer and pilot respectively, these officers have displayed rare skill in night operations. In two recent nights they have destroyed 3 enemy aircraft, bringing their victories to 13, all of which have been obtained in July, 1943.  Their record is outstanding and worthy of the highest praise.”

(London Gazette – 31 August 1943)

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