Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
Air Marshal Sir Harold Maguire (34048)
b: 12 Apr 1912
r: 28 Sep 1968
d: 1 Feb 2001
– 1 Jan 1966 (CB – 1 Jan 1958), DSO – 1 Oct 1946, OBE
– 2 Jan 1950, MiD - 20 Feb 1940, MiD - 1 Jan 1942, MiD - 1 Oct 1946.
Plt Off (P): 24
Mar 1933, Plt Off: 24 Mar 1934, Fg
Off: 24 Sep 1935, Flt Lt: 24
Sep 1937, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jun 1939, (T)
Wg Cdr: 1 Jun 1941, Sqn Ldr:
25 Feb 1947 [1 Jan 1941], Wg Cdr: 1
Jul 1947 [1 Oct 1946], Gp Capt: 1
Jan 1952, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1958, Act
AVM: 9 Nov 1959, AVM: 1 Jan
1960, Act AM: 23 Apr 1965, AM:
1 Jan 1966,
24 Mar 1933: Appointed to a Short Service Commission.
24 Mar 1933: Initial Officer Training, RAF Depot.
8 Apr 1933: U/T Pilot, No 3 FTS
xx xxx 1934: Attended Flying Boat Pilots' Course.
1 Dec 1934: Pilot, No 230 Sqn.
Oct 1939: Officer Commanding, No 229 Sqn.
xx Sep 1940: Squadron Leader - Flying, No 6 OTU
xxx 1941: Officer Commanding, No 226 (Fighter) Wing - Sumatra.
xxx 1942: Prisoner of War, Java.
24 Mar 1944: Transferred to RAFO and called up for service
28 Jan 1947: Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader (wef 1 Sep 1945)
xxx 1946: Officer Commanding, RAF Linton-on-Ouse.
xxx 1947: Attended RAF Staff College.
xxx 1948: Group Captain - Operations, HQ Fighter Command.
xxx 1950: Officer Commanding, RAF Odiham.
SASO, AHQ Malta.
xxx 1955: Staff, Department of CAS.
Director of Tactical and Air Transport Operations. (later renamed:-
Fighter and Tactical Operations)
SASO, HQ No 11 Group.
AOC, No 13 Group.
AOC, No 11 Group.
SASO, HQ Far East Air Force.
Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Intelligence).
Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Intelligence).
- 1972 Director-General of Defence Intelligence Staff.(Retired Post)
native of Ireland, he was educated at
Wesley College, Dublin and Dublin University before joining the RAF in 1933.
Following completion of his flying training he was posted to No 230 Sqn
on it's re-formation at Pembroke Dock, flying Short Singapore III's.
The squadron was detached to Egypt between September 1935 and July 1936
when it returned to Pembroke Dock prior to moving out to Seletar, Singapore in
October 1936. In 1939 he was given command
of No 229 Squadron equipped with Blenheim night-fighters, but in early 1940, it
re-equipped with Hurricanes and he continued to lead it until near the end of
the Battle of Britain.
In 1941, he given command of No 226 Wing, and was sent to the Middle East, but the Japanese invasion of Malaya forced a change of plans and No 226 Wing was redirected to the Far East. Arriving in Sumatra, he led a gallant attempt to defend his airfield (P1 - Palembang) against a Japanese parachute attack with only 20 men. They managed to hold off the attackers long enough for the evacuation of the wounded to take place before withdrawing themselves but not before destroying stocks of petrol and the remaining aircraft. However they eventually had no option but to surrender and he spent the remainder of the war as a POW in Java. He was eventually awarded to DSO for this in 1946 and was mentioned in despatches for his service whilst a Prisoner of War.
the war he was given command of the fighter station at Linton-on-Ouse, before
attending the RAF Staff College. Three years as Group Captain - Operations
at HQ Fighter Command followed prior to him taking command of another
fighter station, this time Odiham in Hampshire. A move to Malta as SASO,
was followed by a couple of staff appointments at Air Ministry and then a return
to Fighter Command as SASO, No 11 (Fighter) Group. During this posting he
was piloted a Spitfire during a Battle of Britain flypast over London when the
aircraft developed engine trouble. He spotted a suitable area and carried
out a successful wheels up landing, only to discover that he had landed on the
Oxo company sports field during a cricket match, fortunately the two teams were
After being AOC of two Fighter Groups, he returned to the Far East as SASO during the period of 'Confrontation' with Indonesia over Borneo. His final two appointments were in the field of Intelligence, first as ACAS (Intelligence) and then Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Intelligence), before retiring in 1968. Having retired as a full-time member of the RAF, he was re-employed as a civil servant in the capacity of Director-General of Intelligence at the Ministry of Defence from 1968 until 1972. He them joined Commercial Union Assurance Co. as Political and Economic Adviser in 1972 remaining as such until 1979, although he was made a Director on 1975 remaining in that post until 1982.
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