Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Commodore J C MacDonald (26183)

John Charles                 b: 25 Dec 1910                        r: 25 Dec 1964                        d: xx Sep 2000

CB - 1 Jan 1964, CBE 13 Jun 1957, DFC 9 Jul 1940, Bar 15 Jun 1942, AFC 11 Jun 1942, MiD - 28 Dec 1945, LoH, C - 15 Apr 1958.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

Plt Off: 20 Dec 1930, Fg Off: 20 Jun 1932, Flt Lt: 1 Apr 1936, Sqn Ldr: 1 Dec 1938, Act Wg Cdr: 3 Jun 1940 [1 Jun 1940], (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Mar 1941, Act Gp Capt: 8 Jun 1942?, Wg Cdr (WS): 8 Dec 1942, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1946 [ 1 Jul 1944], Wg Cdr: 1 Oct 1946, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1949, Act A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1961, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1964.

10 Jan 1929:            Flight Cadet, 'A' Sqn, RAF College.

20 Dec 1930:           Appointed to a Permanent Commission.

20 Dec 1930:           Pilot, No 56 Sqn.

27 Feb 1933:           Attended Armament Course, Air Armament School

15 May 1933:          Staff, Air Armament School.

24 Oct 1936:           Flight Commandeer, No 8 Sqn.

17 Jan 1937:            Administrative Staff, HQ British Forces in Aden.

17 Dec 1938:           Supernumerary, No 1 RAF Depot

 2 Apr 1939:            Flight Commander, No 1 Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit.

23 Aug 1939:           Officer Commanding, 'B' Flight, No 102 Sqn. (Whitleys - Driffield)

 1 Jun 1940:             Officer Commanding, No 77 Sqn (Whitleys Driffield)

14 Aug 1940:           Chief Instructor, No 20 OTU (Posting possibly cancelled due to severe losses suffered by No 82 Sqn the previous day)

14 Aug 1940:           Officer Commanding, No 82 Sqn

14 Dec 1940:           Staff Officer, HQ No 3 Group

7 Jan 1942:              Officer Commanding, No XV Sqn

8 Jun 1942:              Officer Commanding, Horsham St Faith.

 2 Jul 1942:              Prisoner of War. Stalag Luft I/Stalag Luft III (Escaped April 1945)

xx xxx 1945:            ?

 2 Mar 1946:           SASO, HQ No 2 Group.

23 May 1947:         Officer Commanding, No 139 Wing/RAF Wahn.

xx xxx 1947:           Officer Commaning, RAF Coningsby

 6 Mar 1951:           SASO, HQ, British Forces Aden

19 Dec 1951:          Deputy Director of Organisation (1)

1956                       Officer Commanding, RAF Akrotiri.

1959 - 60                UK National Military Representative, SHAPE.

28 Dec 1960:          Commander, AHQ East Africa.

xx xxx 1964:            Staff, MoD.

In 1940, he was part of a detachment of 4 Group Whitleys sent to Villeneuve.  On 26 January 1940 he was part of a force tasked with attacking Munich (with leaflets?)  Due to bad weather only four aircraft actually reached the target, Squadron Leader Macdonald was one of two from Villeneuve, the other two coming from British bases.

Flying Whitley N1380 on the night of 19/20 March 1940, he dropped the first bombs in a raid on the seaplane base at Hornum, allowing him to claim to be the first to drop bombs on German soil in WW2.   On 2 July 1942, whilst flying a Mosquito, DK298,  of No 105 Squadron on a raid against Flensburg, his aircraft was severely damaged by flak resulting in him having to crash land in Germany starting three years of captivity ending with his escape in 1945.  He was removed as SBO at Stalag Luft I for refusing to give the Kommandant the name of an escaped prisoner.  He became SBO at the Belaria compound at Stalag Luft III.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

MacDONALD, John Charles, A/W/C (26183, Royal Air Force) - No.102 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 9 July 1940.

"This officer has conducted many successful operational flights, and has carried out all tasks...with a determination and thoroughness which have others.  His own standard and enthusiasm have...inspiration to the rest of his flight, and his ...leadership in the air has been of the greatest value."

(Source  - Air 2/6080 (mutilated copy only available to transcriber)).

Citation for the award of a Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross

"MacDONALD, John Charles, A/G/C, DFC, AFC (26183, Royal Air Force) - No.15 Squadron

Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in July 1940, this officer has completed many sorties.  Throughout he has inspired his squadron by his skill, courage and zeal.  By his energentic and forceful leadership he has contributed materially to the successes achieved."

(Source - Air Ministry Bulletin 9566)

This page was last updated on 07/03/24

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