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William MacDonald (RAF officer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sir William MacDonald
Born(1908-08-11)11 August 1908
County Cork, Ireland
Died9 November 1984(1984-11-09) (aged 76)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Air Force
Years of service1929–1966
RankAir Chief Marshal
Commands heldNear East Air Force (1958–62)
AHQ Singapore (1952–54)
No. 230 Group (1952)
Central Flying School (1946–48)
No. 137 Wing RAF (1943–44)
No. 150 Squadron (1938–40)
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Flying Cross
Mentioned in Despatches (2)
Knight of the Legion of Honour (France)
Croix de Guerre (France)
Order of the Star of Jordan

Air Chief Marshal Sir William Lawrence Mary MacDonald, GCB, CBE, DFC (11 August 1908 – 9 November 1984) was a Royal Air Force Officer who served as Commander-in-Chief of the Near East Air Force from 1958 to 1962.

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RAF career

Born in County Cork and educated at Castleknock College, William MacDonald joined the Royal Air Force (RAF) in 1929.[1] He was appointed Officer Commanding No. 150 Squadron in 1938 and served in the Second World War. On 30 September 1940, during the Battle of France, his Fairey Battle bomber was chased at tree top height by three German fighters and he cartwheeled into a French field.[1] He continued his war service as a member of the Air Staff at Headquarters No. 1 Group before being appointed Air Officer for Administration at Headquarters No. 84 Group in November 1944.[1]

After the war MacDonald became Commandant of the Central Flying School and then Deputy Director of Plans at the Air Ministry, before being appointed Air Officer Commanding No. 230 Group and then Air Officer Commanding Air Headquarters Singapore in 1952.[1] He was made Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Intelligence) in 1954 and Commander-in-Chief Middle East Air Force in 1958 (including responsibility for British Forces Cyprus and Administration of the Sovereign Base Areas).[1] His role was retitled Commander-in-Chief Near East Air Force in March 1961.[2]

MacDonald's final appointment was as Air Secretary in 1962; he was made Air Aide-de-Camp to the Queen in 1965 and retired in 1966.[1]


Military offices
Preceded by
Francis Fressanges
Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Intelligence)
Succeeded by
Sidney Bufton
Preceded by
Sir Hubert Patch
RAF Middle East Air Force/Near East Air Force

Succeeded by
Sir Denis Barnett
Preceded by
Sir Theodore McEvoy
Air Secretary
Succeeded by
Sir Donald Evans
This page was last edited on 27 December 2019, at 05:38
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