Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
James Donald b: 27 May 1934 r: 27 May 1989 d: 28 Dec 2013
CB – 31 Dec 1987, CVO – 31 Dec 1976, AFC – 1 Jan 1971, MiD – 23 Jan 1968, MA, FIMgt - 1983.
(RAF): Act Plt Off: 11 Jun 1952 [18 Mar 1952], Plt Off: 27 Feb 1953, Fg Off: 18 Jun 1954, Flt Lt: 18 Dec 1957, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jan 1963, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1968, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1972, Act A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1980, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1981, AVM: 1 Jan 1984.
(RAFVR(T)): Fg Off: 28 May 1989.
xx xxx 1951: U/T Pilot, National Service (Canada)
11 Jun 1952: Appointed to a Short Service Commission (8 years + 2)
xx xxx xxxx: Pilot, No ? Sqn (Canberra)
1 Oct 1955: Granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flying Officer.
xx xxx 1959: Flight Commander, No 1 School of Technical Training, Halton
xx xxx 1962: Flight Commander, No 617 Sqn. (Vulcan)
xx Jan 1965: Attended RN Staff College.
10 Jan 1966: PSO to C in C, Defence Secretariat, HQ Middle East Command.
24 Mar 1968: Officer Commanding, No 53 Sqn. (Belfasts)
xx Jan 1970: Attended Joint Services Staff College.
xx xxx 1971: Member, Chiefs of Staff Secretariat
3 Mar 1972: Officer Commanding, RAF Thorney Island.
5 Jul 1974: Deputy Captain, The Queen's Flight.
30 Jan 1976: Deputy Captain, The Queen's Flight/Officer Commanding, RAF Benson.
30 Jan – 15 Nov 1976: ADC to the Queeen.
15 Nov 1976: Group Director, RAF Staff College.
xx Jan 1978: Attended Royal College of Defence Studies.
15 Jan 1979: Assistant Secretary, International Military Staff, HQ NATO Military Committee.
1 Jul 1980: Secretary, International Military Staff, HQ NATO Military Committee.
10 Oct 1983: Director-General of Training (RAF).
11 Nov 1985: AOC Training Units, HQ Support Command.
28 May 1989: Pilot, No ? AEF.
He was born in Whitley Bay, educated at West Hartlepool Grammar School and was a keen member of the Air Training Corps, where he gained his first gliding badge. Having studied at Boston University in America, he was called up for National Service in 1951, when he was selected for pilot training and undertook his training in Canada.
Retiring from the RAF, he joined the Aircraft Industry, firstly as Managing Director of Airwork Ltd in 1989 and in 1994 he joined Shorts as Vice-President of their Support Services Division. Both companies being involved in sub-contract work for the RAF. Also in 1989, he was commissioned into the RAFVR(T) as a Chipmunk pilot with the rank of Fg Off. Always interested in Gliding, he became Chairman of the British Gliding Association in 1989 until 1997.
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