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Air Commodore J Rankin (37210)

James               b: 7 May 1913              r: 29 Nov 1958                    d: 31 Jan 1975

DSO - 2 Dec 1941, Bar - 30 Jun 1942, DFC - 11 Jul 1941, Bar - 2 Sep 1942, CdeG (B) - 3 Mar 1942,

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

Act Plt Off (P): 16 Apr 1935, Plt Off: 16 Apr 1936, Fg Off: 16 Oct 1937, Flt Lt: 16 Oct 1939, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Dec 1940, (T) Wg Cdr: 21 May 1942, Act Gp Capt: 1 Aug 1943, Wg Cdr (WS): 1 Feb 1944, Act A/Cdre: xx xxx 1945, Sqn Ldr: 25 Feb 1947 [1 Jan 1941], Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1947 [1 Oct 1946], Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1952,  

16 Apr 1935:          Appointed to a Short Service Commission.

16 Apr 1935:           Initial Officer Training, RAF Depot.

 7 May 1935:           U/T Pilot, No 2 FTS. 

4 Mar 1936:            Pilot, No 25 Sqn.

17 Dec 1936:          Pilot, No 822 Sqn FAA - HMS Furious

 1 Oct 1937:            Pilot, No 825 Sqn FAA - HMS Glorious

xx xxx 1939:            Attended Instructors Course, CFS.

xx xxx 1940:            Flight Commander/Instructor, No 5 OTU.

xx Jan 1941:            Supernumerary, No 64 Sqn

xx Feb 1941:           Officer Commanding, No 92 Sqn.

17 Sep 1941:           Wing Leader, Biggin Hill Wing.

17 Dec 1941:           Wing Commander - Training, HQ No 11 Group.

xx Apr 1942:            Wing Leader, Biggin Hill Wing.

xx Dec 1942:            Officer Commanding, Fighter Wing, Central Gunnery School.

15 Aug 1943:           Officer Commanding, No 15 (Fighter) Wing.

12 May 1944:          Officer Commanding, No 15 Sector.

13 Jul 1944:             Officer Commanding, No 125 Wing

xx xxx 1945:            Director of Organisation?

12 Jul 1946:            Air Staff, AHQ India

15 Aug 1947:          Air Staff, RAF Units in India and Pakistan

xx xxx xxxx:             Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader (wef 1 Jan 1941) 

xx xxx 1948:            Air Attaché, Dublin.

12 Jun 1953:            Officer Commanding, RAF Duxford.

Born in Edinburgh, his family later moved to Lancashire.  Following training, he joined No 25 Squadron and later flew with the Fleet Air Arm.  For nearly two years, he was occupied on instructional duties but in 1941 he became operational, initially gaining experience with No 64 Squadron before taking command of No 92 Squadron a month later.  He later led the Biggin Hill Wing on two separate occasions before going on to command fighter wings in 2nd Tactical Air Force.  His final tally was 17 confirmed and five shared destroyed, three probables and two shared, 16 damaged and three shared and one destroyed on the water.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

"Acting Wing Commander James RANKIN, D.F.C.- (37210), Reserve of Air Force Officers.

Since the end of August, 1941, this officer has participated in 21 operational sorties in which he has destroyed 5 hostile aircraft.  This brings his total victories to 18 destroyed and also he has probably destroyed, or damaged a number or others. He is an outstanding wing leader who. has displayed exceptional ability, determination and courage on all occasions"

(London Gazette - 2 December 1941)

Citation for the award of the Bar to the Distinguished Service Order

"Wing Commander James RANKIN, D.S.O., D.F.C. (37210), Reserve of Air Force Officers.

Since he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in November, 1941, Wing Commander Rankin has completed 54 operational sorties. On all these occasions he led the wing which destroyed 27 hostile aircraft and damaged many more. Of these Wing Commander Rankin personally destroyed 3 and damaged at least 8 enemy aircraft. This officer has now brought his total victories to 21 enemy aircraft destroyed. He has at all tunes displayed great tactical skill, courage and leadership combined with a great determination to seek and engage the enemy."

(London Gazette - 30 June 1942)

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

"Squadron Leader James RANKIN (37210), No. 92 Squadron.

Since March, 1941, this officer has led his squadron in operations over the Straits and Northern France in the course of which he has destroyed at least nine enemy aircraft and also damaged one of their trawlers. He has displayed excellent qualities of leadership and a high standard of courage which is reflected in the fact that recently, within the space of twelve days, he has destroyed six enemy fighters. Two of these were shot down in flames within one minute. He has been an inspiration to his fellow pilots."

(London Gazette - 11 July 1941)

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

"Squadron Leader James RANKIN, D.F.C. (37210), Reserve of Air Force Officers, No. 92 Squadron.

This officer was appointed to command the squadron in February, 1941, and, under his leadership, it has destroyed fifty-three enemy aircraft. Of this number Squadron Leader Rankin has himself destroyed at least thirteen; in addition he has damaged three enemy aircraft. He has on several recent occasions led the .wing with great success and has at all times displayed the greatest keenness to engage and destroy the enemy."

(London Gazette - 2 Sep 1942)

This page was last updated on 17/12/23©

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