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Air Commodore C V D Willis (33354)

Charles Victor Douglas (Vic)   

b: 9/11 Nov 1916                    r: 3 Mar 1965              d: 30 Jul 2006

DSO – 31 Mar 1944, OBE – 9 Jun 1949, DFC – 20 Jan 1942, MiD –1 Jan 1941, MiD – 1 Jan 1945.

Plt Off: 30 Jul 1938, Fg Off (WS): 30 Jan 1940, Act Flt Lt (WS): xx xxx - 3 Jul 1940; 8 Jan 1941 Flt Lt (WS): 30 Jan 1941, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Mar 1942, Act Wg Cdr: xx xxx xxxx, Act Gp Capt: 1 Nov 1944?, Wg Cdr (WS): 12 May 1945, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1949, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1956, Act A/Cdre: 24 Sep 1962, A/Cdre: Retained.

xx Sep 1933:    Aircraft Apprentice, No 1 School of Technical Training, RAF Halton.

10 Sep 1936:     Flight Cadet, 'C' Sqn, RAF College.

30 Jul 1938:     Pilot, No 220 Sqn. (Anson – Bircham Newton)

xx xxx 1939:     Attended No 19 Flying Boat Conversion Course, RAF Calshot

19 Jul 1939:      Pilot, No 201 Sqn (London/Sunderland – Shetlands)

 4-23 Apr 1940:     Attached to RAF Pembroke Dock for Sunderland Conversion Course

26 May 1940:   Attached to SHQ, RAF Invergordon pending departure to RAF Sullom Voe

 4 Jul 1940:       Pilot/ Navigation Officer, Blind Approach Training and Development Unit (Boscombe Down)

10 Dec 1940:    Pilot, No 109 Sqn

20 Jan 1941:     Flight Commander 'A' Flight (Boscombe Down element), No 109 Sqn (Wellingtons - UK/Western Desert)

11 Oct 1941:    Detached to the Middle East, No 109 Sqn

xx xxx xxxx:      Flight Commander, No 162 Sqn (Wellington – Kabrit)

xx Jun 1942:     Flight Commander, No 109 Sqn (Mosquitos – UK)

xx Jan 1943:     Officer Commanding, No 192 Sqn. (Wellington/Mosquito/Halifax)

xx Mar 1944:   Officer Commanding, RAF Foulsham.

xx xxx 1946:    Commandant, Central Signals Establishment.

13 Dec 1948:    Air Staff, RAF Mission to Greece

17 Apr 1950:    SOA, RAF Mission to Greece

xx xxx 1950:     Directing Staff, RAF Staff College, Bracknell

xx xxx xxxx:      Air Staff, HQ Bomber Command.

xx xxx xxxx:      SASO, Central Reconnaissance Establishment.

18 Nov 1959:   Officer Commanding, RAF Luqa

24 Sep 1962:   Commandant, RAF Staff College, Andover.

The son of a regimental sergeant-major of the Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, he was awarded a cadetship to the RAF College at Cranwell on completion of his apprenticeship as a fitter, where he represented the College at Hockey and Soccer, as well as being awarded the King's Medal and 'John Anthony Chance' Memorial Prize on graduation. 

At Boscombe Down he was involved in the work to locate and identify the German radio beams that were being used by their pathfinder units.  Eventually the BATDU was re-designated No 109 Squadron and Willis was appointed a flight commander and he began development work on OBOE.  He was then posted to the Middle East, where he was involved in the jamming of  German ground communications during operations in the Western Desert, for which he was awarded the DFC.  Reurning to the UK in 1942, he continued his work on the OBOE blind bombing system until taking command of No 192 Squadron in 1943.  192’s role was ELINT (Electronic Intelligence) and in early 1944 began operating within the main bomber streams to collect its information, for which he received his DSO.

Retired at his own request. 

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

“Flight Lieutenant Charles Victor Douglas WILLIS (33354), No. 109 Squadron.

In November, 1941, this officer was the captain of a Wellington aircraft. During the flight his aircraft was attacked by 3 enemy fighters and, although the aircraft sustained damage, including the rear turret which was rendered unserviceable, i of the attackers was shot down and a second one damaged.  Some days later, in the course of another flight, Flight Lieutenant Willis's aircraft was engaged by a Messerschmitt no but, by skilful tactics, the attacker was driven off with its rear gun out of action. This officer has carried out a large number of operational missions, many of which have been of great importance. Throughout he has displayed keenness, courage and efficiency.”

 (London Gazette – 20 January 1942)

 Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

“Acting Wing Commander Charles Victor Douglas WILLIS, D.F.C. (33354), Royal Air Force, No. 192 Squadron.

Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has completed a large number of sorties, many of them demanding skill of a high degree. His  appreciation of the responsibilities entrusted to him, his ingenuity and his determination to complete his allotted task have contributed in a large measure to the success of the operations in which he has taken part. He is a fine leader, whose example of courage and devotion to duty has been worthy qf the greatest praise.”

(London Gazette – 31 March 1944)

This page was last updated on 27/01/24©

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