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Air Chief Marshal Sir Walter Dawson (16050)

Sir Walter Lloyd DawsonWalter Lloyd                b: 6 May 1902                    r: 6 May 1960                    d: 10 Jun 1994

KCB - 10 Jun 1954 (CB - 14 Jun 1945), CBE - 2 Jun 1943, DSO - 29 Oct 1948.   

Plt Off: 16 Aug 1922, Fg Off: 16 Feb 1924, Flt Lt: 1 Jul 1928, Sqn Ldr: 1 Feb 1936, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1939, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Jun 1941, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Dec 1943, Gp Capt: 1 Dec 1944, A/Cdre: 1 Oct 1946, AVM: 1 Jul 1948, AM: 1 Jul 1953, ACM: 1 Jun 1956.

Sir Walter Lloyd Dawson

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 12 January 1950
NPG x167042

© National Portrait Gallery, London


xx xxx 1919:            Boy Mechanic, RAF Cranwell.

26 Aug 1920:          Flight Cadet, 'B' Sqn, RAF College. (Flt Cdt Sgt)

16 Aug 1922:          Pilot, No 24 Sqn.

 1 Mar 1923:           Pilot, No 39 Sqn (Spittlegate)

 1 Mar 1924:           QFI, No 1 FTS.

27 Nov 1924:          Pilot, No 84 Sqn.

17 Oct 1926:           QFI, No 4 FTS

14 Mar 1930:           Adjutant/QFI, No 504 Sqn.

15 Jul 1930:             Officer Commanding, 'A' Flight, No 504 Sqn

22 Jan 1934:            Attended RAF Staff College

 5 Jan 1935:             Air Staff, HQ RAF in Palestine and Trans-Jordan

15 Nov 1937:           Flight Commander, No 216 Sqn (Heliopolis)

9 Jan 1939:              Air Staff, HQ RAF Middle East.

14 Jan 1940:            Plans 3, Directorate of Plans.

xx xxx 1942:            Officer Commanding, RAF St Eval.

19 Jun 1943:            Director of Operations (Naval Co-operation)

xx Jan 1944:            Director of Plans.

15 Sep 1946:           AOC, AHQ Levant.

xx xxx 1948:            Commandant, School of Land/Air Warfare.

 9 Jan 1950:            RAF Instructor, Imperial Defence College.

 9 Jan 1952:            Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Policy)

 1 Jul 1953:              Deputy Chief of Staff - Plans & Policy, HQ SHAPE

31 Jul 1956:            Inspector-General of the RAF.

 1 Jan 1958:            Air Member for Supply & Organisation

In the competitive selection tests for entry into Cranwell, held in 1919, he achieved a score of 6,669.

In 1928 he took part the record breaking flights from Cairo to Capetown.  He became the last RAF commander in Palestine when AHQ Levant ceased to operate in the country following it's hand over to the new Israeli government on 30 Jun 1948.  He had been commander of RAF forces in the area during one of the most turbulent periods of the region's history as the Jewish population prepared to take control of their new homeland.  Attacks on British personnel by both sides in the dispute had been so intense that at one point, Air Commodore Dawson had been forced to ban RAF families from living outside RAF bases, thereby making a tour in Palestine an unaccompanied one for many airmen.  Following this tour he took some time out before his next posting to write a full report on the British withdrawal from Palestine during which he was promoted to AVM.

After leaving the RAF he had a successful career as Vice Chairman (1964 - 66) and Chairman (1966 - 69) of Handley Page Ltd.  he was also a Director of the Southern Electricity Board from 1961 until 1972.  Dawson Field in Jordan was named after him (in recognition of his achievements whilst AOC Levant which at that time covered Jordan) and it was here in 1970 that a high-jacked VC10 was blown up by Palestinian terrorists.

Announcement and citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

DAWSON, Walter Lloyd, Air Vice-Marshal, CB, CBE - Air Officer Commanding Levant - awarded as per London Gazette dated 29 October 1948,

"for distinguished service in Palestine."

Recommendation drafted 20 September 1948 by Air Marshal W F Dickson, Air Commander-in-Chief, Royal Air Force Mediterranean and Middle East.

 "Air Vice-Marshal Dawson was Air Officer Commanding, Royal Air Force, Levant from 15th September 1946 until the evacuation.  Throughout this period his Command was operating under active service conditions of a nature which subjected all personnel to exceptional tests of forbearance and discipline.  That all ranks in this Command displayed such high morale, courage, enthusiasm and general efficiency is largely due to this officer’s personal leadership and qualities as a Commander.  Both in the air and on the ground he set an example of courage, behaviour and devotion to duty which was an inspiration to all ranks."

(Source - Air 2/10180)

This page was last updated on 19/02/24©

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