Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
Air Marshal Sir Arthur McDonald (18219)
Arthur William Baynes b: 14 Jun 1903 r: 20 Apr 1962 d: 26 Jul 1996
KCB - 1 Jan 1958 (CB - 1 Jan 1949), AFC - 1 Jan 1938, MiD - 11 Jun 1942, MiD - 8 Jun 1944, MiD – 1 Jan 1945, MiD - 14 Jun 1945, MA (Peterhouse College, Cambridge)- 1931, CEng, FRAeS - 1959, DL (Hampshire) - 14 Jul 1965.
Plt Off (P): 15 Mar 1924, Plt Off: 15 Sep 1924, Fg Off: 15 Oct 1925, Flt Lt: 13 Nov 1929, Sqn Ldr: 1 Dec 1936, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1940, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Dec 1941, Wg Cdr: 14 Apr 1942 [1 Jan 1940], Act A/Cdre: 26 Feb 1943, Gp Capt (WS): 26 Aug 1943, Gp Capt: 1 Oct 1946, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1949, AVM: 1 Jul 1952, Act AM: 10 Jan 1958, AM: 1 Jul 1958.
15 Mar 1924: Granted a Short Service Commission (Five years on the active list)
15 Mar 1924: U/T Pilot, No 5 FTS
16 Feb 1925: Pilot, No 41 Sqn (Siskins - Northolt)
1 Jul 1925: Pilot, No 23 Sqn.
30 Jul 1927: Attended Engineering Officer’s Course, Inland Area Depot.
1 Sep 1928: Granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flying Officer.
8 Jul 1929: Attended Peterhouse College, Cambridge/Cambridge UAS.
5 Aug - 27 Sep 1931: Placed on half pay list, scale B
1 Nov 1931: Attended Imperial College of Science & Technology, London
25 Jul 1932: Supernumerary, No 24 Sqn for Refresher Flying Course
23 Sep 1932: Staff, RAF Base, Singapore
22 Nov 1935: Supernumerary, RAF Depot
19 Mar 1936: Flight Commander, No 32 Sqn
22 Mar 1937: Officer Commanding, No 79 Sqn.
12 Apr 1937: Officer Commanding, No 32 Sqn.
24 Jan 1938: Attended Course No 16, RAF Staff College.
31 Dec 1938: Staff, Directorate of Repair and Maintenance.
1 Jan 1940: Assistant Director of Repair and Servicing (1)
28 Aug 1940: Engineering Officer, No 6/56 OTU.
8 Dec 1940: Wg Cdr - Technical, RAF Church Fenton/No 54 OTU
xx xxx 1941: Staff, HQ Fighter Command.
16 Mar 1942: Air Defence Commander, HQ No 222 Group, Ceylon.
25 Jun 1942: SASO, HQ No 222 Group
16 Nov 1943, Air Officer Training, HQ Air Command, South-East Asia.
16 Apr 1945: AOC, No 106 Group.
xx xxx 1947: Commandant, RAF Staff College - Bulstrode (later Andover)
xx xxx 1949: Attended Imperial Defence College.
xx xxx 1950: Commandant, Aircraft & Armament Experimental Establishment.
8 Sep 1952: Director-General of Manning.
20 Jun 1955: C in C, Royal Pakistan Air Force.
10 Jan 1958: AOC in C, Technical Training Command.
1 Oct 1959: Air Member for Personnel.
Born in Port Elizabeth in South Africa he grew up in Antigua in the West Indies where his father was a doctor, he was initially educated at Antigua Grammar School before coming over to England to Epsom College in 1917 until 1920.
During 1936/37, he was involved in the ‘Biggin Hill’ experiment which was designed to test the new RDF (Radar) system and to set up operating procedures for this new device. The results of this experiment was the successful method of fighter control which would prove so successful and beneficial during the summer of 1940.In 1947 he was appointed Commandant of the Staff College at Bulstrode but whilst he was Commandant, he was tasked with relocating the College to Andover. Whilst in this post he took part in the 1948 Olympics, representing Great Britain in the single handed sailing competition in a 'Firefly'. He also formed the RAF Sailing Association. He was retired on account of being medically unfit for air force service. In 1965 he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant for Hampshire.
McDONALD, Arthur William Baynes, S/L - awarded 1 January 1938; reported in Aeroplane of 5 January 1938. Invested with award, 15 February 1938. This recommendation was made by Wg Cdr H G W Lock dated 1 October 1937. Lock was then Commanding Officer of No.32 Squadron.
"Squadron Leader A.W.B. McDonald has carried out work on special interception experiments at Biggin Hill since August 1936, and is still carrying out such work.
The fact that these experiments have reached fruition is largely due to the exceptional energy this officer has thrown into the experiments. This keenness and enthusiasm was not confined only to his personal activities but was inculcated in all connected with the flying activities of the experiments. This again was entirely due to his personal example.
During the experiments Squadron Leader McDonald has completed 200 hours experimental flying. This is separate from normal routine day and night flying. It is appreciated that the hours, when reviewed on numerical merit, may not appear exorbitant, but each flight required not only most careful recording during the flight but very careful and constructive analysis afterwards. This recording has had a most important bearing on the success of the scheme. The whole of this flying was therefore of a most exacting nature and reflects the highest tribute to Squadron Leader McDonald’s flying abilities.
This excellent example in flying discipline is reflected in the high state of flying training efficiency of his squadron and is proved by the good results obtained by his squadron during tactical exercises."
This was endorsed on 27 October 1937 by the Air Officer Commanding, No.11 Group (Air Vice-Marshal E L Gossage):
"The zealous and painstaking work performed by this officer, which is fully destribed by his Commanding Officer - and which report I fully endorse - has produced results of the highest service value to the Royal Air Force, and is worthy of special recognition. Strongly recommended for the Air Force Cross."
(Source - Air 2/2489)
This page was last updated on 19/12/22
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