Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
William Lawrence Mary
b: 11 Aug 1908
r: 11 Aug 1966
d: 9 Nov 1984
GCB - 12 Jun 1965 (KCB -
1959, CB - 2 Jan 1956), CBE -
1 Jan 1946,
20 Feb 1940, ADC,
MiD - 2 Jun 1943,
MiD – 1 Jan
1945, L de H, C - xx xxx 194?, CdeG (P) - xx xxx 194?, OEK
- xx xxx xxxx.
For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations,
For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here
Off (P): 13
Apr 1929, Plt Off: 5 Jul 1930,
Fg Off: 14 Oct 1930, Flt Lt: 14 Oct 1934,
Sqn Ldr: 1 Jun 1938, (T) Wg Cdr:
1 Dec 1940, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Sep 1942,
(WS): 1 Mar
A/Cdre: xx xxx 1944,
Cdr: 1 Dec
1944, Gp Capt: 1
Oct 1946, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1952,
AVM: 1 Jul 1954, Act AM: 26 Nov 1958, AM:
1 Jan 1960, ACM: 1 Sep 1963.
Photograph © Crown Copyright
Apr 1929: U/T Pilot, No 3 FTS.
Jul 1930: Pilot, No 19 Sqn.
xx xxx xxxx: Attended QFI Course, CFS.
xx Jan 1933: Granted a Medium Service Commission in the rank of Flying Officer.
14 Mar 1933: Attended Instructors' Course, CFS (graded B)
10 Jun 1933: ?
26 Sep 1933: QFI, No 4 FTS.
xx xxx 1935: Re-categoried as a Flying Instructor from B to A2
1 Mar 1936: High Commissioner's Pilot, RAF Ramlah.
1 Jun 1936: Granted Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant.
Officer Commanding, No 150 Sqn.
1 Jul 1940: Air Staff, HQ No 1 Group.
xx Nov 1943: Officer Commanding, No 137 Wing.
AOA, HQ No 84 (Composite) Group.
Commandant, Central Flying School.
Exchange posting with USAF.
Deputy Director of Plans (Joint Planning Staff).
AOC, No 230 Group.
AOC, AHQ Singapore.
Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Intelligence).
C in C, Middle East Air Force.
The Administrator, Sovereign
Base Areas - Cyprus.
C in C, Near East Air Force/Commander, British Forces Near East.
6 Apr 1965 - 12 Aug 1966: Air ADC to The Queen.
Irishman from County Cork, he was educated at Castlenock College and joined the
RAF in 1929 on a Short Service Commission.
the Battle of France on 30 September 1940, he was flying one of five Battles
150 Sqn which were set upon by Bf109's.
All five were either shot down or crashed.
In his case Macdonald was chased at tree top height eventually
cartwheeling into a French field, fortunately both he and his crew survived,
although both crew members were injured.
became the first Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas, Cyprus, following
the island's independence in 1960. On
1 March 1961, his command was renamed Near East Air Force at at the same time he
assumed command of the newly created British Forces Near East.
During his tenure as C in C, he made a recommendation for the Near Strike
Wing to be re-equipped with the proposed TSR2, but it's subsequent cancellation
and the decision to base it's successor, the American F111, in the UK,
eventually resulted in re-equipment with Vulcans.
of the Oratory School
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