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Air Commodore P D Thorne (125469)


Peter Donald               b:   3 Jun 1923                        r:  3 Jun 1978              d: 5 Apr 2014

OBE – 1 Jan 1961, AFC – 1 Jan 1947, Bar – 7 Jun 1951, Bar – 2 Jan 1956, MRAeS.

Plt Off:  7 Jul 1942, Fg Off (WS):  3 Jan 1941, Flt Lt (WS):  3 Jul 1944, Flt Lt:  16 Aug 1947 [3 Jan 1946], Sqn Ldr:  1 Jan 1953, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1959, Act Gp Capt:  26 Mar 1965, Gp Capt:  1 Jan 1966, Act A/Cdre:  1 Jan 1966?, A/Cdre:  1 Jul 1974.

xx xxx 1940:              U/T Pilot

xx xxx 1942:              Pilot, No 193 Sqn (Typhoons – Harrowbeer)

xx Sep 1943:             Pilot, No ? Sqn (Mustangs)

xx xxx 1944:              Instructor, No ? OTU

xx xxx 1945:              Attended Pilot Attack Instructors' Course, Central Gunnery School

xx xxx 1945:              Pilot Attack Instructor, Central Gunnery School

xx Aug 1948:            Chief Instructor, APC RAF Nicosia

xx xxx 1951:             Attended Empire Test Pilots' School

xx xxx 1951:             Test Pilot, Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment.

10 Oct 1955:             Staff Officer, Directorate of Operational Requirements (A)

xx xxx 1957:             Wing Commander – Operations, RAF Oldenburg.

1 Jan 1961:               'B' Syndicate Leader, Air Warfare Course, RAF Flying College.

 8 Jul 1963:               Staff, Directorate of Intelligence (A).

26 Mar 1965:           Officer Commanding, RAF Unit (MoA), Farnborough

15 Mar 1968:           Staff, Dept of CAS.

 8 Jun 1970:             Air Attaché, Kabul and Tehran.

29 Nov 1974:          Air Attaché, Moscow.

In 1954 he was appointed the chief service test pilot for the Supermarine Swift, which was ultimately found unsuitable as a fighter but following further work by Thorne and his colleagues eventually proved successful as a low level fighter reconnaissance type.

After retiring from the RAF he became an air defence systems consultant with Hunting Engineering.

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