Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
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Donald Arthur b: 5 Jul 1920 r: 5 Jun 1975 d: 30 Jul 2008
CBE – 14 Jun 1975 (OBE – 13 Jun 1957),
(RAFVR): - Cpl: xx xxx xxxx, Act Plt Off (P): 25 Jul 1941 [16 Jun 1941], Plt Off (P): 25 Sep 1941, Plt Off: 25 Jul 1942, Fg Off (WS): 25 Sep 1942, Flt Lt (WS): 17 Jul 1944, Act Wg Cdr: 1 Apr 1946?, Sqn Ldr (WS): 1 Oct 1946 – Jan 1948, Flt Lt: 25 Feb 1947 [1 Sep 1945],
(RAF): - Flt Lt: 1 Jan 1948, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jul 1949, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1956, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1962, Act A/Cdre: 29 May 1970, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1970 AVM: 1 Jan 1973.
xx xxx xxxx: Ground Gunner?, RAFVR (1305356)
25 Jul 1941: Appointed to Commission in Admin and Special Duties Branch, RAFVR
xx xxx 1941: Officer Commanding, Ground Gunners School, Amman
1 Feb 1942: Transferred to the RAF Regiment.
xx xxx xxxx: Wing Ground Defence Officer, No ? Wing
xx Apr 1943: Officer Commanding, No 2932 Sqn RAF Regiment
xx xxx 1945: Officer Commanding, No 1328 Wing, RAF Regiment
xx Mar 1946 Officer Commanding, No 3 Wing, Aden Protectorate Levis
22 May 1948: Senior RAF Regiment Officer, HQ Transport Command
xx xxx 1950: Officer Commanding, No ? Sqn, RAF Regiment
xx Jan 1953: Attended RAF Staff College
xx xxx 1954: Staff Officer, HQ 2nd Allied Tactical Air Force
xx xxx 1957: Officer Commanding, No ? Wing RAF Regiment
21 Jul 1958: Staff Officer, Directorate of Ground Defence
20 Nov 1959: Chief Civil and Passive Defence Plans Branch. HQ Allied Air Forces Central Europe.
23 Jul 1962: Senior Ground Defence Staff Officer, HQ Near East Air Force
27 Sep 1963: Deputy Director of Ground Defence
1 Mar 1966: Senior Ground Defence Staff Officer, HQ Far East Air Force
11 Apr 1967: ADC to the Queen
22 Jul 1968: Commandant, RAF Regiment Depot, Catterick
29 May 1970: Director of Ground Defence
6 Jan 1973: Commandant-General of the RAF Regiment and Inspector of Ground Defence.
3 May 1975: Relinquished appointment of Commandant-General of the RAF Regiment and Inspector of Ground Defence.
Prior to WW2 he served in the fore-runner of the Army Cadet Force and on the outbreak of war joined the RAF as a ground gunner, but was soon selected for officer training, being commissioned in 1941. Sent out to the Middle East he established a school to train ground gunners and on 1 February 1942 he was transferred to the newly formed RAF Regiment. From Amman he joined a Wing in the Western Desert to organise the ground defence of the Wing's airfields. In April 1943 he formed a new Squadron of the RAF Regiment, No 2932 and commanded this through Sicily, Italy and the Aegean. With the end of the war he took command of No 1328 Wing of the Regiment and when that disbanded he moved to Aden and formed a Wing of the Aden Protectorate Levies. Normally only used 'up country' he had to return to Aden in 1947 in order to restore control following rioting in the area.
In 1965 he led a working party to discuss with the USAF ways of improving the ground defence of US bases in Vietnam, which resulted in a successful policy of exchanging officers between the USAF and RAF Regiment. He was the first career officer of the RAF Regiment to become its Commandant-General and during this period he oversaw the expansion of the Regiment and introduction of the Rapier surface to air missile system.
Following retirement from the RAF he became General Manager of British Aerospace Dynamics Group in Iran from 1976 to 1979. With the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, he returned to Britain became director of the British Metallurgical Plant Constructor's Association. After retiring in 1986 he continued to work in the voluntary sector with the RAF Association and St John Ambulance as well as being the chairman of the League of RAF Regiment Associations.
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