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Air Vice-Marshal W V Crawford-Compton (65500) 

William Crawford-Compton during WW2William Vernon            

b: 2 Mar 1915        

r: 1 Nov 1968                   

d: 2 Jan 1988

CB – 1 Jan 1965, CBE – 13 Jun 1957, DSO – 24 Sep 1943, Bar -26 Jan 1945, DFC – 10 Mar 1942, Bar – 11 Dec 1942, SS – 20 Jul 1943.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(RAFVR): Sgt: xx xxx 1941, Plt Off (P): 23 Apr 1941, Plt Off23 Apr 1942, Fg Off (P): 23 Apr 1942, Flt Lt (WS): 28 Mar 1943, Sqn Ldr (WS): 20 Oct 1943, Act Wg Cdr: 20 Apr 1943?,  

(RAF): Sqn Ldr: 10 Dec 1946 [1 Sep 1945], Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1947, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1955, Act A/Cdre: 28 Jul 1959?, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1960, Act AVM: 1 Jun 1963, AVM: 1 Jul 1963.  

Photo Courtesy - David Yates (ex Flt Sgt RAF)

xx xxx 1939:            U/T Pilot,  

xx xxx 1941:           Sergeant Pilot, No 603 Sqn (905967)

23 Apr 1941:          Appointed to a Commission in the RAFVR.

xx May 1941:         Pilot, No 485 Sqn

xx Apr 1942:          Convalescing

xx Aug 1942:          Flight Commander, No 611 (West Lancashire) Sqn.

xx Dec 1942:          Officer Commanding, No 64 Sqn. (Spitfire IX)

xx Mar 1943:          Air Staff, HQ No 11 Group

30 Jul 1943:            Wing Commander - Flying (Wing Leader), Hornchurch Wing.

15 Nov 1943:         Wing Commander - Flying (Wing Leader), No 135 Airfield.  

13 Dec 1943:           Lecture tour of the USA

28 Apr 1944:          Wing Commander – Flying, No 145 Airfield.

12 May 1944:         Wing Commander – Flying, No 145 Wing.

 2 Jan 1945:            Wing Commander - Plans, HQ No 11 (Fighter) Group.

 9 Aug 1945:           Attended Course No 15, RAF Staff College (Overseas), Haifa.

 9 Feb 1946:           Air Staff, HQ RAF Mediterranean and Middle East

xx xxx 1946:           Staff, Directorate of Policy (Air Staff).

10 Dec 1946:          Appointed to Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader (retaining rank current at the time) [wef 1 Sep 1945]

15 Apr 1947:           Staff Officer, Deputy Directorate of Policy (Air Staff)

 2 Mar 1950:          Air Attaché, Oslo.

xx May 1953:         Officer Commanding, RAF Bruggen.

 6 Nov 1956           Officer Commanding, No 215 Wing/RAF Gamil

28 Jul 1959:            SASO, HQ No 11 Group.


xx Jan 1961:            Attended Imperial Defence College.

28 Apr 1962:          AOA, HQ Near East Air Force.

1 Jun 1963:             SASO, HQ Near East Air Force/Chief of Staff, HQ British Forces (Cyprus).

15 Jan 1966:           AOC, No 22 (Training) Group.

New Zealander.  His final total of victories was 20 confirmed destroyed, one shared, three probables and one shared probable and 13 damaged.  Took part in Suez operations.  Formation of No 215 Wing took place aboard HMS Ocean prior to moving ashore to Gamil of which he also assumed command.  As a result of his second marriage, he became stepfather to the Olympic swimmer, Duncan Goodhew.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

“Acting Flight Lieutenant William Vernon CRAWFORD-COMPTON (65500), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No.485 (N.Z.) Squadron.

This officer has participated in a large number of operational sorties.  He has at all times displayed great dash and determination.  He has destroyed 2 and probably destroyed another 2 enemy aircraft.”

 (London Gazette – 10 March 1942)

Citation for the award of the Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross.

“Acting Flight Lieutenant William Vernon CRAWFORD-COMPTON, D.F.C. (65500), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No.611 Squadron.

This officer has led his flight on many operational sorties with great skill and success.  Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross he has destroyed a further 5 enemy aircraft bringing his total victories to seven.”

(London Gazette – 11 December 1942)

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

“Acting Wing Commander William Vernon CRAWFORD-COMPTON, D.F.C. (65500) Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

Since being awarded a Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has participated in a large number of sorties over enemy territory.  By his masterly leadership, exceptional skill and gallant example, he has imbued the squadrons he commands with rare zest for battle, combined with a high standard of operational efficiency.  Wing Commander Crawford-Compton, who has destroyed at least 13 hostile aircraft and damaged several others, has rendered most valuable service.”

(London Gazette – 24 September 1943)

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