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  Air Marshal Sir Alan Lees

Alan                             b: 23 May 1895                    r: 26 Nov 1949                    d: 14 Aug 1973

KCB - 1 Jan 1946 (CB - 2 Jun 1943), CBE - 11 Jun 1942, DSO - 21 Dec 1937, AFC - 3 Jun 1930, MiD - 18 Feb 1938, MiD - 14 Jun 1938, MiD - 17 Mar 1941, MiD - 24 Sep 1941, MiD - 1 Jan 1943, ON (GO) - 27 Mar 1945.  

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Army): - 2 Lt: 11 Nov 1914, Lt: 26 Mar 1916, ( T) Capt: 1 Jul 1916,

(RAF): - Capt: 1 Apr 1918, Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Sqn Ldr: 1 Jul 1924, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1932, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1937, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1940, Act AVM: 1 Sep 1941, A/Cdre: 1 Mar 1942, (T) AVM: 1 Dec 1942, AVM: 1 Dec 1944, Act AM: 8 Apr 1944, AM: 1 Jul 1947.

xx xxx 1914:         Attended RMA Sandhurst

11 Nov 1914:         Officer, Royal West Kent Regiment

12 Nov 1914:         Embarked for France

15 Dec 1914:         Graded Qualified Observer

xx xxx 1915:           Observer, No ? Sqn.

10 Jun 1915:          Returned to UK for pilot training

xx xxx xxxx:           U/T Pilot, No ? Reserve Sqn

 6 Sep 1915:         Re-embarked for France

xx xxx 1915:           Pilot, No 12 Sqn

27 May 1916:        Returned to Home Establishment

 1 Jul 1916:            'B' Flight Commander, No 54 Sqn RFC. (Pup Western Front)  

4 Mar 1917:           Wounded and taken Prisoner

13 May 1919:        Staff, RAF Depot.

28 Oct 1919:   Granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant (effective from 1 Aug)

 9 Jan 1922:           Staff, Aeroplane Experimental Establishment/No 6 FTS?.

13 Mar 1922:        Attended Flying Instructors' Course, CFS

 1 Jul 1922:            Instructor, No 1 FTS.

14 Sep 1923:         Flight Commander, No 45 Sqn. (Vernon - Hinaidi)

18 Nov 1925:         (Flight) Commander, No 5 Armoured Car Company

 5 Jan 1927:           'A' Flight Commander, No 9 Sqn. (Virginia Manston)

 7 Feb 1928:          Officer Commanding, No 56 Sqn. (Siskin IIIA North Weald)

 1 Jan 1931:           Staff, RAF Training Base, Leuchars.

10 Dec 1932:         Officer Commanding, No 1 (Indian Wing) Station, Kohat.

31 Jan 1938:          Supernumerary, RAF Driffield.

 5 Feb 1938:          Officer Commanding, RAF Driffield.

30 Sep 1939:         Group Captain - ?, HQ Bomber Command.

 1 Jul 1940:            Air Commodore -?, HQ Bomber Command.

17 Dec 1941:         AOC, No 2 Group.

xx xxx 1942:           In transit to India

 1 Dec 1942:          AOC, No 222 (General Reconnaissance) Group.

 8 Apr 1944:          AOA, HQ Air Command South-East Asia.

xx Aug 1945:          Planning the post-war Reserve and Auxiliary Forces

20 May 1946:        AOC in C, Reserve Command.  

Educated at Wellington, he was awarded a place at Pembroke College, Cambridge, but the war intervened before he could take up the place and instead entered Sandhurst.

He was awarded RAeC Certificate 1314 on 9 June 1915.

Citation for the award of the Air Force Cross

"LEES, Alan, S/L - Air Force Cross..

 This officer has done exceptionally well in command of No.56 (Fighter) Squadron which he has brought to a high pitch of efficiency.  In particular he has set a fine example to his pilots by flying under all conditions of weather.

 He previously served for a long period as a Flight Commander in a night bomber squadron, where he was equally outstanding as a pilot and as a leader."

(Source - Aeroplane of 4 June 1930)

Recommendation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

LEES, Alan, W/C (now G/C), AFC - Distinguished Service Order

"During the period of these operations Wing Commander Lees commanded the Royal Air Force Station, Kohat and was entrusted with the execution of the greater part of the proscriptive and punitive bombing undertaken in Waziristan.  He handled his units with outstanding success and displayed exceptional enthusiasm, outstanding ability and a high sense of devotion to duty.

Not only did he display outstanding ability in organizing the air blockade and punitive operations on his Station, but he showed a magnificent example in undertaking frequent tasks in the air and sharing the risks and dangers with his subordinates by night and by day.

The accuracy of bombing achieved by his units was remarkably high; the standard of aircraft and engine maintenance on his Station was exceptionably good, and the general morale of his officers and airmen was admirable.  This high standard of achievement on No.1 (Indian) Wing Station was largely due to the enthusiasm, devotion to duty and exemplary conduct of this officer during these operations.  His work and conduct is deserving of the highest praise."

On 8 November 1937 Air Marshal P.B. Joubert added his comments:

"I concur.  This officer has acted as Group Commander during the absence of Group Captain Bottomley on leave since July 12th and has carried out his duties to my entire satisfaction."

(Source Air 2/2516 has recommendation drafted 1 July 1937 by Officer Commanding, No.1 (Indian) Group)

 This page was last updated on 30/01/23

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