Air Vice-Marshal D C Stapleton (37948)

Deryck Cameron                     b: 15 Jan 1918                        r: 16 Jul 1968              d: 16 Feb 2018

CB – 11 Jun 1960, CBE – 1 Jan 1948, DFC – 7 Jan 1941, AFC – 8 Jun 1939, MiD - 15 Sep 1939,  MiD - 2 Jun 1943, MiD – 1 Jan 1946.

Act Plt Off (P): 13 Jul 1936?, Plt Off: 18 May 1937, Fg Off: 18 Nov 1939, Act Flt Lt: 2 Mar 1939, Act Sqn Ldr: 2 Oct 1940 [28 Sep 1940], Flt Lt: 3 Sep 1940, (T) Sqn Ldr: xx xxx xxxx, Act Wg Cdr: 1 Dec 1943?, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1944, Sqn Ldr (WS): 1 Jun 1944, Act Gp Capt: 26 Sep 1944?, Wg Cdr (WS): 26 Mar 1945– 1 Nov 1947, Sqn Ldr: 26 Mar 1946 [1 Jun 1944], Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1950, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1957, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1961, AVM: 1 Jul 1963.

13 Jul 1936:             Granted a Short Service Commission.

13 Jul 1936:             Initial Officer Training.

xx xxx 1936:            U/T Pilot, No ? FTS.

10 Apr 1937:           Pilot, No 14 Sqn.

 2 Mar 1939:           Flight Commander, No 14 Sqn

 2 Oct 1940:           Officer Commanding, No 14 Sqn, wef 28 Sep 1940

xx Oct 1941:            Air Staff, AHQ Western Desert.

18 May 1942:          Transferred to RAFO and called up for service

xx xxx 1942:             Returned to Home Establishment

xx xxx 1942             Staff Officer - Plans, Air Ministry

xx xxx 1943             Staff Officer to the Vice Chief of the Air Staff.

xx Jul 1944:              Officer Commanding, No 254 (Bomber) Wing.

xx xxx 1945:             Assistant Secretary (Air), War Cabinet Offices.

26 Mar 1946:           Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader (retaining rank current at the time) [wef 1 Sep 1945 antedated to 1 Jun 1944 on 25 Feb 1947]

xx xxx 1947:             Secretary, Chiefs of Staff Committee.

xx xxx 1949:             Officer Commanding, RAF Odiham.

 1 Sep 1952:             Air Staff - Plans, HQ Fighter Command.

12 Nov 1953:           Staff, Operational Plans Division, HQ Allied Forces Central Europe.

xx Mar 1955:            Officer Commanding, RAF Oldenburg.

15 Apr 1957:            Group Captain - Plans, HQ Bomber Command.

 7 Dec 1959:             Staff Officer, Department of the AMSO.

6 Mar 1961:             Director of Joint Plans.

xx xxx 1963:             Director of Defence Plans.

xx xxx xxxx:             Attended Refresher Courses, No 231 OCU (Canberra) and No 230 OCU (Vulcan)

 1 May 1964:           AOC, No 1 Group.

 1 Jun 1966:             Commandant, RAF Staff College/Air Officer in Charge HQ Command and Staff Training.

A South African he was awarded AFC for services in Palestine 1937-39.  On 27 March 1940, he took off in Blenheim I, K7752 from  Aboukir on an anti-submarine training exercise, but his aircraft collided with the windsock and crashed.  He was injured during a bombing practice on 226 October 1940, when his aircraft (T2057) was attacked by RAF fighters, which apparently misidentified his aircraft as a SM-79.  On 26 November 1940, he was leading a raid against Nefasit.  When R3593 was attacked by CR-42s, losing an engine and crash landing on the coast, Stapleton landed his Blenheim beside it and rescued the crew of Fg Off M MacKenzie, Sgt M E F Hitchin and Sgt W J McConnell.

Retiring from the RAF, he joined BAC as their Area Manager for Libya until 1970 when the political situation in that country resulted in the West's embargo on arms sales to Libya.  He moved further east to became their representative for the CENTO area and later the BAe Chief Executive for Iran.  Being appointed Managing Director of Irano-British Dynamics Co. he remained in Iran until 1979, when the political situation once again prompted his movement and once more this was eastwards as BAe Representative to Peking until his retirement in 1983.  He was also the Chairman of the British Cosmic Association in Peking during that time and is an Associate Fellow of The British Interplanetary Society.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

“Acting Squadron Leader Deryck Cameron STAPLETON, A.F.C. (37948), No. 14 Squadron.

Squadron Leader Stapleton was the leader of two formations in a combined attack against a target in Eritrea. South of Massawa they were intercepted by enemy fighters and an engine of one of our aircraft was put out of action. The pilot endeavoured to escape but was followed by an enemy fighter and eventually forced to land in enemy territory.  Squadron Leader Stapleton having shaken off the fighters, ordered the remainder of the second formation to join up with him and successfully attacked his alternative target.  He then returned to the coast to search for the missing aircraft, which was sighted and observed to crash on landing. Squadron Leader Stapleton landed alongside, and waited while the crew set fire to their papers.  He then emplaned the crew in his own aircraft, and flew back to base with the rest of the formation which had been circling overhead.  Courageous leadership, skill and daring are characteristic of all this officer's operations against the enemy.”

(London Gazette – 7 Jan 1941)

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