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Air Commodore G B Keily (27256)


Gerald Barnard            b: 24 Mar 1904            r: 18 Mar 1955            d: 1962+

DFC - 20 Oct 1940, AFC - 8 Jun 1939, MiD - 28 Dec 1945, MiD - 13 Jun 1946.

Plt Off (P): 15 Mar 1929, Plt Off: 15 Mar 1930, Fg Off: 15 Sep 1930, Flt Lt: 15 Sep 1934, Sqn Ldr: 1 Feb 1938, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Sep 1940, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1946 [1 Sep 1942], Wg Cdr (WS): 28 Feb 1946, Wg Cdr: 1 Oct 1946, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1947, Act A/Cdre: 13 Sep 1949, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1952.

 2 Apr 1929:            U/T Pilot, No 5 FTS.

 4 Mar 1930:           Pilot, No 13 Sqn. (Atlas I) (Netheravon)

23 Sep 1930:          Pilot, No 1 Sqn. (Siskin IIIA) (Tangmere)

xx Jan 1933:            Granted a Medium Service Commission in the rank of Flying Officer.

14 Mar 1933:          Attended Instructor's Course, CFS (Graded Category B)

10 Jun 1933:            Supernumerary?

26 Sep 1933:          QFI, No 4 FTS.

xx xxx 1935:           Re-categorised from Instructor B to Instructor A2

 1 Jun 1936:            Granted Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

10 Jul 1936:            Re-categorised from Instructor A2 to Instructor A1

2 Dec 1936 :          Flight Commander, No 45 Sqn. (Vincent) (Helwan)

 1 Apr 1938:           Flight Commander, No 216 Sqn. (Valentia) (Heliopolis)

27 Feb 1939:          Officer Commanding, No 113 Sqn. (Hind/Blenheim) (Heliopolis)

18 Sep 1940:          Prisoner of war (Stalag Luft III)

13 Sep 1949:          Seconded Royal Pakistan Air Force.

On 18 September 1940, he was flying Blenheim I, T2048 operating from Maaten Bagush against Tmini, when the formation was attacked by Italian Fiat CR 42s.  His starboard engine was set alight and in the ensuing crash, his two crew were killed and he was captured.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

 "Squadron Leader Gerald Barnard KEILY, A.F.C. (27256).

On 28th July, 1940, Squadron Leader Keily was the pilot, of an aircraft detailed to carry out a special reconnaissance over Libya.  The reconnaissance had to be carried out at a low altitude owing to clouds.  He was attacked by five enemy aircraft but, displaying great skill, he destroyed one of them.  During the engagement the air observer was hit by a bullet.  Notwithstanding the handicap of having the air observer's body leaning against him, Squadron Leader Keily continued with the reconnaissance, returning with information of great value.  He has invariably displayed exceptional leadership, courage, and devotion to duty."

(London Gazette 20 Aug 1940)

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