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Air Commodore W S Gardner (37457)


William Steven              b: 16 Dec 1909                     r: 21 Oct 1963                     d: 7 Sep 1983

CB 12 Jun 1958, OBE - 1 Jan 1945, DFC - 1 Oct 1940, Bar 23 Dec 1941, AFC 2 Jun 1943, MiD - 11 Jun 1942, MiD - 1 Jan 1943, MiD - 8 Jun 1944.

(Spec Res): Plt Off (P): 15 May 1933, Plt Off: 26 Jan 1934, Fg Off: 15 Nov 1934.

(RAF): Plt Off (P): 13 Nov 1935, Plt Off: 13 Nov 1936, Fg Off: 13 May 1937, Flt Lt: 13 May 1939, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Sep 1940, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Mar 1942, Sqn Ldr: 14 Apr 1942 [1 Sep 1940], Act Gp Capt: 3 Aug 1943?, Wg Cdr (WS): 3 Feb 1944, Wg Cdr: 1 Oct 1946, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1951, Act A/Cdre: xx xxx 1956?, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1960, Act AVM: 29 Apr 1963.

15 May 1933:            Pilot (Special Reserve), No 502 (Ulster) Sqn.

13 Nov 1935:            Relinquished his Special Reserve Commission

13 Nov 1935:            Granted a Short Service Commission in the rank of Pilot Officer on probation.

13 Nov 1935:            Pilot, No 7 Sqn.

xx xxx xxxx:               Air Staff, HQ No 5 Group.

xx xxx 1939:              Pilot/Flight Commander, No 106 Sqn.

xx xxx xxxx:               Pilot/Flight Commander, No 44 Sqn.

xx xxx xxxx:               Officer Commanding?, No 144 Sqn.

xx xxx 1945:              Officer Commanding, No 12 OTU/RAF Edgehill

9 Apr 1946:               Attended Course No 16, RAF Staff College (Overseas), Haifa.

xx Oct 1946:              Officer Commanding, RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey

29 Dec 1948:            SOA, HQ RAF in Northern Ireland.

31 Mar 1950:

xx xxx 1957:             Head of Plans and Operations, HQ CENTO

.

13 Jun 1960:            Director of Personal Services (Provost Marshal).

29 Apr 1963:           Director-General of Personal Services.

Joined No 502 Squadron at around same time as F F Rainsford.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

"Acting Squadron Leader William Steven GARDNER (37457).

One night in September, 1940, this officer successfully pressed home an attack, from 800 feet, on a concentration of barges in Ostend Harbour. During the preliminary reconnaissance of the target area and the bombing attack, the aircraft was subjected to intense and accurate anti-aircraft and tracer fire, but despite this opposition Squadron Leader Gardner obtained eight direct hits on the target. In pressing home; his attack this officer displayed splendid qualities of determination, courage and skill, and his example and leadership have had an excellent effect on the squadron as, a whole."

(London Gazette - 1 Oct 1940)

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

"Actg Wg. Cdr. W. S. Gardner D.F.C.,  144 Sq.

This officer has commanded the squadron for some time past and, by his splendid example both in the air and on the ground has proved a great inspiration to all.  His inspiring leadership has been reflected in the many successes achieved by his squadron."

(The Times - 23 December 1941)

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