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Air Commodore B R Macnamara (25123)

Brian Radley                 b:  2 Jun 1915                      r:  4 Jun 1965                      d:   1 Jul 1999

CBE 13 Jun 1957, DSO 4 Jun 1946, MiD - 8 Jun 1944, OPW2 - 11 Apr 1944.

(Army): 2 Lt: 31 Jan 1935, Lt: 31 Jan 1938, Capt: 31 Jan 1943.

(RAF): Fg Off: 8 Nov 1938, Flt Lt (WS): 8 Nov 1941 [8 Nov 1940], Act Sqn Ldr: xx Aug 1941?, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Dec 1941, Act Wg Cdr: 1 Dec 1942?, Sqn Ldr (WS): 1 Jun 1943, Sqn Ldr: 15 Apr 1947 [1 Sep 1945], Wg Cdr: 1 Nov 1947 [1 Jul 1947], Act Gp Capt: 15 Nov 1955?, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1956, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1961.

xx xxx xxxx:         Gentleman Cadet, RMC Sandhurst

31 Jan 1935:         Officer, Royal Tank Corps (64650)

 8 Nov 1938:          Granted a Temporary Commission in the rank of Flying Officer on being seconded.

xx xxx 1939:           Holding post, No 22 Group Pool, RAF Odiham

 8 Oct 1939:           Pilot, No 614 (County of Glamorgan) Sqn.

21 Aug 1940:          Attended No 7 OTU.

31 Aug 1940:          Pilot, No 603 (City of Edinburgh) Sqn.

xx Aug 1941:          Flight Commander, No 614 (County of Glamorgan) Sqn.

xx Jul 1942:            Flight Commander, No 296 Sqn.

xx Mar 1943:          Officer Commanding, No 295 Sqn. (Halifax/Albemarle/Stirling)

 1 Sep 1945:            Relinquished his commission in the Royal Tank Regiment on appointment to a Permanent Commission in the RAF 

 1 Sep 1945:           Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader (wef 1 Sep 1945 retaining his existing rank under wartime rules) (Gazetted 15 Apr 1947)

xx Sep 1945:           Officer Commanding, No 31 Sqn. (Dakota 4)

 xx xxx xxxx:            Officer Commanding, RAF Lyneham.

15 Nov 1955:          Group Captain - Operations, HQ Transport Command.

20 Dec 1961:           Director of Operations Air Transport and Overseas Theatres.

Originally seconded to the RAF from the Royal Tank Corps he eventually transferred permanently to the RAF.  Having arrived at No 614 squadron flying Lysanders in the Army  Co-operation role, he was soon on the move when volunteers were called for to train as fighter pilots to replace the casualties of the Battle of Britain. His fighter training was carried out at No 7 OTU, Harwarden.  following training he joined another ex-Auxiliary squadron, No 603 achieving victories in the Battle of Britain.

Promoted Squadron Leader, he returned to 614 as a flight commander, the squadron now being equipped  with Blenheim IV's.   With these aircraft the squadron carried ouot 'Intruder' operations over Europe.  After a year with 614, the squadron was advised that it was to move to the Middle East and re-equip with Blenheim V's, but Macnamara was not to accompany them as he was posted to one of the newly forming transport units, No 296 Squadron, a role which would take upto and beyond the end of WW2.

In 1945/46, his squadron was part of No 904 Wing in the Netherlands East Indies, tasked with the repatriation of internees from Java.  During these operations, the squadron flew 11,000 sorties totalling 24,000 hours evacuating 129,000 passengers (5000 casualties), 26,000 tons of freight for the loss of 15 officers and men.  For his leadership of the squadron in these operations, Wing Commander Macnamara was awarded the DSO.

During Operation 'Musketeer', he commanded the Transport Air Task Force consisting of 18 Valetta's and 14 Hastings.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

MacNAMARA, Brian Radley, W/C (25123, Royal Air Force) - No.31 Squadron - Distinguished Service Order - awarded as per London Gazette dated 4 June 1946. No citation in Gazette; following text from Flight, 27 June 1946 and from Spink catalogue..


                Wing Commander MacNamara commands the sole remaining Close Support Transport Squadron actively engaged in operations.  He served in a similar capacity with squadrons supporting the Fourteenth Army during the Burma campaign.  Flying on a large proportion of sorties himself, he has set a high standard of leadership in the air.  Throughout the difficult operations in the Netherlands East Indies, this officer has displayed outstanding administrative ability and devotion to duty.

This page was last updated on 19/12/22

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