Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Marshal Sir John Donald (503287)

John George    b:   7 Nov 1927           r:   31 Jul 1986            d:  6 Nov 2014

KBE - 15 Jun 1985 (OBE - 1 Jan 1972), Cdr StJ-J - 19 Mar 1984, MB, ChB, FRCGP, FFOM, MFCM, DTM&H, FCMI.

Fg Off:  31 Aug 1953, Flt Lt: 31 Aug 1954 [31 Aug 1952], Sqn Ldr:  11 Jul 1959, Wg Cdr:  11 Jul 1964, Act Gp Capt:  xx xxx 1972, Gp Capt:  1 Jan 1973, A/Cdre: 31 Mar 1978, Act AVM: 4 Apr 1981, AVM: 1 Jul 1981, AM: 1 Jul 1984.

31 Aug 1953:              Appointed to a Short Service Commission (4 + 4) in the Medical Branch

xx xxx 1953:               Medical Officer, RAF Regiment

xx xxx 1955:               Medical Officer, RAF Colombo

30 Jul 1957:                SSC extended to five years from 31 Aug 1953

xx xxx xxxx:                Attended Edinburgh University

xx xxx xxxx:                Medical Officer, RAF Waddington

29 Aug 1958:              Appointed to a Permanent Commission

xx xxx xxxx:                Senior Medical Officer (RAF), NATO HQ

xx xxx 1972:               Officer Commanding, RAF Hospital Akrotiri

xx xxx 1974:               Officer Commanding, RAF Hospital Ely

xx xxx 1978:               Principal Medical Officer, RAF Germany

4 Apr 1981:                Principal Medical Officer, HQ Strike Command

26 Mar 1983 - xx xxx xxxx:               Honorary Surgeon to HM the Queen

20 Aug 1984:              Director-General of Medical Services (RAF)


He was born Oldmeldrum in Aberdeenshire, and educated at Inverurie Academy before studying Medicine at Aberdeen University.  He was called up for National Service after working at Aberdeen Royal Mental Hospital and at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Deal.  He joined the RAF on a Short Service Commission but soon applied for an extension and later a Permanent Commission.


Following his time in Ceylon where he was one of the few doctors prepared to visit leper colonies, he returned to the UK and went to Edinburgh University to study for a diploma in Tropical Medicine, where he won the Greig Medal for Excellence. 

After the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, he made the facilities at the RAF Hospital at Akrotiri available to the local population from both sides of the conflict, for which he was awarded the OBE.

After retiring from the RAF became the medical director of Security Force Hospital in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  Whe he left this post after three years, he worked as a consultant with American Medical International.

This page was last updated on 25/05/17 using FrontPage 2003

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