Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
James Maitland Nicholson b: 8 Feb 1916 r: 8 May 1969 d: 23 Mar 1999
CB – 8 Jun 1963, DSO - 1942, DFC – 1941, MiD - 11 Jun 1942, MiD - 1 Jan 1943, MiD – 1 Jan 1946, MiD – 11 Aug 1950
Plt Off: 31 Jul 1937, Fg Off: 31 Jan 1939, Flt Lt (WS): 3 Sep 1940, Act Sqn Ldr: 1 Oct 1941, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Dec 1941, Act Wg Cdr: 6 Feb 1942?, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jun 1943 [1 Dec 1941], Act Wg Cdr: xx xxx xxxx, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1945, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1948, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1955, Act A/Cdre: 29 Jul 1960, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1961.
5 Sep 1935: Flight Cadet, 'A' Sqn, RAF College.
31 Jul 1937:
17 Feb 1938: Pilot, No 48 Sqn.
23 Oct 1938: Pilot, No 203 Sqn. (arrived 17 Nov 1938)
6 Jun 1939: Adjutant, No 203 Sqn
3 Jul 1939: Attached to Communications Flight, RAF Habbaniya
xx xxx xxxx: Flight Commander, No 203 Sqn.
xx xxx 1941: Officer Commanding 'A' Flight, No 185 Sqn
xx Oct 1941: Officer Commanding, No 185 Sqn. (Hurricane I/II)
xx May 1942: Officer Commanding, No 248 Sqn. (Beaufighter Ic/VIc)
25 Jan 1943: Air Staff, HQ Coastal Command
5-13 Dec 1943: Attended Senior Officers' Conversion Course, No 1674 HCU
xx Jan 1944: Officer Commanding, No 220 Sqn. (Fortress I - III/Liberator V/VI)
xx xxx 1945: Directing Staff, RAF Staff College.
xx xxx 1945: Air Staff, HQ No 47 Group
xx Sep 1945: ?
xx xxx 1955: Officer Commanding, RAF St Mawgan.
xx xxx xxxx: Officer Commanding, RAF Kinloss.
17 Nov 1957: SASO, AHQ Malta/RAF Malta.
29 Jul 1960: AOC, RAF Gibraltar.
xx xxx 1963: Attended Imperial Defence College.
3 Feb 1964: Director of Intelligence (Operations)(B).
10 Nov 1964: Director of Security.
He represented the RAF College at Rugby and Boxing, attained the rank of Under Officer and was awarded the Sword of Honour and King's Medal on graduation.
Following retirement, he was employed by the Ministry of Defence until 1978.
Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
“Acting Squadron Leader James Maitland Nicholson PIKE (33200), No.203 Squadron.
During a period of four days in February, 1941, this officer carried out two low-flying attacks against enemy aerodromes. On the first occasion, as he arrived over the aerodrome, three enemy fighters were taking off to intercept him but Squadron Leader Pike immediately dived on to the leading aircraft which he put out of action. He then carried out low-flying attacks on other aircraft on the ground and, although engaged by another fighter which was finally disabled, succeeded in setting fire to four and damaging a further four of the enemy's aircraft. Although his own aircraft was severely damaged, Squadron Leader Pike flew it back to base and landed safely without injury to his crew. On the second occasion, he set fire to four enemy bombers, photographed the result and returned to base by night. During the past seven months, Squadron Leader Pike has also carried out 29 anti-submarine patrols and 24 convoy escort patrols. He has displayed great courage and devotion to duty throughout.”
(London Gazette – 18 February 1941)
Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order
“Acting Wing Commander James Maitland Nicholson PIKE, D.F.C. (33200), No.248 Squadron.
This officer is a gallant and skilful leader. By his untiring efforts and unceasing devotion to duty he has played a large part in , the splendid work accomplished by his squadron. In August,1942, he led a formation in an attack on aerodromes in Sardinia. In spite of heavy anti-aircraft fire, a large number of enemy aircraft were destroyed and damaged. Wing Commander Pike's careful planning before the flight and his brilliant leadership during the sortie, contributed materially to the success .achieved.”
(London Gazette – 4 September 1942)
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