Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
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John Charles b: 25 Dec 1910 r: 25 Dec 1964 d: xx Sep 2000
CB - 1 Jan 1964, CBE – 13 Jun 1957, DFC – 9 Jul 1940, Bar – 15 Jun 1942, AFC – 11 Jun 1942, MiD - 28 Dec 1945, LoH, C - 15 Apr 1958.
For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations,
For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here
Plt Off: 20 Dec 1930, Fg Off: 20 Jun 1932, Flt Lt: 1 Apr 1936, Sqn Ldr: 1 Dec 1938, Act Wg Cdr: xx xxx 1940, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Mar 1941, Act Gp Capt: 8 Jun 1942?, Wg Cdr (WS): 8 Dec 1942, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1946 [ 1 Jul 1944], Wg Cdr: 1 Oct 1946, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1949, Act A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1961, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1964.
xx xxx 1929: Flight Cadet, 'A' Sqn, RAF College.
20 Dec 1930: Appointed to a Permanent Commission.
20 Dec 1930: Pilot, No 56 Sqn.
15 May 1933: Staff, Air Armament School.
24 Oct 1936: Flight Commandeer, No 8 Sqn.
17 Jan 1937: Administrative Staff, HQ British Forces in Aden.
17 Dec 1938: Supernumerary, No 1 RAF Depot
2 Apr 1939: Flight Commander, No 1 Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit.
xx xxx 1939: Flight Commander, No 102 Sqn. (Whitleys - Driffield)
xx xxx xxxx: Officer Commanding, No 77 or 102 Sqn? (Whitleys – Driffield)
14 Aug 1940: ?
7 Jan 1942: Officer Commanding, No XV Sqn
8 Jun 1942: Officer Commanding, Horsham St Faith.
2 Jul 1942: Prisoner of War. Stalag Luft I/Stalag Luft III (Escaped April 1945)
xx xxx 1945: ?
2 Mar 1946: SASO, HQ No 2 Group.
xx xxx 1947: Officer Commaning, RAF Coningsby
1956 Officer Commanding, RAF Akrotiri.
1959 - 60 UK National Military Representative, SHAPE.
28 Dec 1960: Commander, AHQ East Africa.
xx xxx 1964: Staff, MoD.
In 1940, he was part of a detachment of 4 Group Whitleys sent to Villeneuve. On 26 January 1940 he was part of a force tasked with attacking Munich (with leaflets?) Due to bad weather only four aircraft actually reached the target, Squadron Leader Macdonald was one of two from Villeneuve, the other two coming from British bases.
Flying Whitley N1380 on the night of 19/20 March 1940, he dropped the first bombs in a raid on the seaplane base at Hornum, allowing him to claim to be the first to drop bombs on German soil in WW2. On 2 July 1942, whilst flying a Mosquito, DK298, of No 105 Squadron on a raid against Flensburg, his aircraft was severely damaged by flak resulting in him having to crash land in Germany starting three years of captivity ending with his escape in 1945. He was removed as SBO at Stalag Luft I for refusing to give the Kommandant the name of an escaped prisoner. He became SBO at the Belaria compound at Stalag Luft III.
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