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Air Commodore M J Rayson (4068403)

Michael John                            b:   19 Jul 1930            r:  19 Jul 1985              d: 12 Aug 2011

LVO - 1 Jan 1971, Iraqi Rescue Medal – xx xxx 1954

Cdt Plt: 16 May 1950?, Act Plt Off: 24 Oct 1951, Plt Off: 10  Jul 1952, Fg Off: 16 Aug 1953, Flt Lt: 16 Feb 1956, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jul 1961, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1968,  Act Gp Capt: 5 Feb 1974, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1978, Act A/Cdre:  8 Jan 1982, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1982.

16 May 1951:              Cadet Pilot?

24 Oct 1951:                Granted A Short Service Commission (8 + 4)

 9 Jul 1952:                  Granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Pilot Officer.

xx xxx 1952:                 Pilot, No ? Sqn

xx xxx xxxx:                  ADC to AOC Middle East

xx xxx xxxx:                  Exchange posting to RCAF (Trenton)

29 Mar 1963:               PSO to AOC in C, Transport Command.

xx Dec 1966:                Officer Commanding, No 46 Sqn. (Andover)

 5 Feb 1968:                Officer commanding, The Queen's Flight.

15 Mar 1971:               Assistant Executive to UK National Military Representative, SHAPE.

 5 Feb 1974:                SASO, Sultan of Oman’s Air Force.

31 May 1976:              Deputy Commander, BRIXMIS

xx xxx 1979:                 Commandant, Officer Cadet Training Unit/Officer Commanding, RAF Henlow

22 Mar 1980:               Director of Initial Officer Training, RAF College.

17 Jul 1982:                 Air Attaché, Bonn.

He born in Guernsey and his early education took place during the German occupation of the Channel Islands then Elizabeth College, Guernsey, before crossing to the mainland to attend St Peter’s Hall, Oxford.  Like other s of his age he had been made to learn German during the German occupation and this would prove useful later in his career when he was appointed the Air Attaché in Bonn.

A keen athlete he developed his career in track and field events eventually leaving Oxford in 1951 with an athletics’ Blue but not a degree, instead joining the RAF as a cadet pilot, soon becoming the RAF’s champion hurdler.

In 1954 the Tigris and Euphrates rivers burst their banks and he was involved in flying in essential flood protection supplies for which he was awarded the Iraqi Rescue.  Appointed Deputy Commander of The British Mission to the C-in-C of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany (BRIXMIS), he undertook actual surveillance operations as well as flying one of the Chipmunk aircraft over Russian/East German exercises to gain intelligence and once found bullet holes in the aircraft on his return.

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