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Air Vice-Marshal D F Stevenson

Donald Fasken             b: 7 Apr 1895              r: 10 Feb 1948                        d: 10 Jul 1964

CB - 13 Jun 1946, CBE - 1 Jan 1942 (OBE - 11 May 1937), DSO - 7 Mar 1918, MC- 17 Sep 1917, Bar - 18 Oct 1917, MiD - 31 Dec 1918, MiD - 11 Jul 1919, MiD - 1 Jan 1943.

(Army): - 2 Lt: 22 Nov 1915, (T) Lt: 1 Apr 1917, (T) Capt: 23 May 1917, Lt:1 Jul 1917,

(RAF): -  (T) Capt: [Lt]: 1 Apr 1918, Act Maj: 1 May 1919,  Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Sqn Ldr: 1 Jul 1925,  Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1933,  Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1938,  (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1940,  Act AVM: 17 Feb 1941,  (T) AVM: 1 Dec 1941,  A/Cdre: 14 Apr 1942 [1 Jul 1940], AVM: 9  Feb 1948,

22 Nov 1915:   Officer, Nottinghamshire (Sherwood Foresters) Yeomanry

13 Nov 1916:   Appointed Flying Officer, RFC.

 6 Dec 1916:     Embarked for France

 8 Dec 1916:     Pilot, No 12 Sqn RFC. (BE2c, BE2e – Western Front)

23 May 1917:   Flight Commander, No 12 Sqn RFC.

28 Mar 1918:    Flight Commander, No 4 Sqn RFC

15 Jul 1918:       Injured in an accident

 2-21 Aug 1918:    Temporary duty with No 53 Sqn

10 Sep 1918:    Officer Commanding, No 35 Sqn. (Bristol F2B, FK8 – Western Front/Netheravon)

13 Feb 1919:    Temporary duty in England

 2 Mar 1919:    Officer Commanding, No 5 Sqn. (RE8 – Germany/Bicester)

24 Mar - 15 Apr 1919:    Admitted to N 21 Casualty Clearing Station (Loose cartilage)

 1 Aug 1919:    Awarded Permanent Commission as a Captain

 8 Sep 1919:    Returned to Home Establishment

30 Oct 1919:    QFI, RAF College.

18 Feb 1921:   Instructor, School of Army Co-operation.

 1 May  1923:  Attended RAF Staff College.

23 Apr 1924:   (Temporary) Air Staff (Supernumerary), HQ Inland Area.

18 Sep 1924:   Air Staff, HQ Iraq Command.

13 Nov 1925:   Officer Commanding, No 6 Sqn. (Bristol F2B - Mosul)

26 Nov 1926:   Supernumerary - Non-effective (sick), RAF Depot

10 May 1927:  Area Examining Officer, HQ ADGB.

 4 Oct 1927:     Attended RN Staff College, Greenwich.

15 Jul 1929:     Staff, Deputy Directorate of Personal Services.

14 Jan 1930:    Attended Imperial Defence College.

20 Dec 1930:   Supernumerary, No 12 Sqn. (Fox, Hart – Andover)

 5 Jan 1931:     Officer Commanding, No 12 Sqn. (Fox, Hart – Andover)

 3 Nov  - xxx 1931:    Attended Instrument Flying Course, CFS.

 1 Dec 1933:    SASO, HQ Transjordan and Palestine.

 4 Jan 1938:     Deputy Director of Operations (Home).

xx xxx 1940:      Director of Operations (Home).

xx xxx 1939 - 1 Dec 1940:        ADC to the King

17 Feb 1941:   AOC, No 2 (Bomber) Group.

 2 Jan 1942:     AOC, No 221 Group

xx Feb 1942:    AOC, Burgroup?

12 Mar 1942:   AOC, No 221 Group.

24 Apr 1942:    AOC, No 224 Group

 7 May 1942:    AOC, AHQ Bengal.

14 Mar 1943:   AOC, RAF in Northern Ireland.

 7 Dec 1943:    AOC, No 9 Group.

xx xxx 1944:     Head of British Military Mission/High Commissioner, Romania.

He was awarded the OBE for services rendered in the field in Palestine during the period April to October 1936.

As Director of Home Operations, he was a member of Sir John Salmond’s Night Interception Committee in late 1940.  He was responsible for ordering spectacular low level operations by the Blenheims of No 2 Group, which resulted in extremely high casualty figures.  As a result of these operations and his refusal to curtail them he earned universal dislike within his group and the RAF generally, acquiring the nickname 'Butcher'.  His posting to the Far East brought with it relief to the hard pressed crews of 2 Group and curtailment in these highly costly operations.  When he took over No 221 Group in Burma, he only possessed 37 aircraft in total including 21 P40's of the American Volunteer Group ('Flying Tigers').  Although his aircrews fought gallantly against the advancing Japanese, they were vastly outnumbered and he was forced to withdraw he HQ back to India from where he controlled his forces.  

Citation for the award of the Military Cross

"2nd Lt. (T./Capt.) Donald Fasken Stevenson, Yeo. and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in carrying out three contact patrols in one day in bad weather, and at low altitudes.  Although attacked by enemy machines in superior numbers, he drove them off, and by his fine reconnaissance work brought back valuable information. He has at all times displayed indomitable pluck and initiative."

(London Gazette – 17 September 1917)

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Cross

"2nd Lt. (T./Capt.) Donald Fasken Stevenson, M.C., Yeo. and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in obtaining photographs of a raid carried out by our troops which necessitated his flying through our barrage at a height of less than 1,000 feet. On another occasion he brought down a hostile machine. He was under heavy fire from the ground the whole time, and was eventually forced to land behind our lines owing to his petrol tank being shot through.

(M.C. gazetted 17th.September, 1917.)"

(London Gazette - 7 March 1918)

Citation for the award of the Bar to the Military Cross

"Lt. (T.-/Capt.) Donald Faskern Stevenson, M.C., Yeo. and R.A.F.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when carrying out low-flying reconnaissances and contact patrols, under very heavy machine-gun, rifle, and anti-aircraft fire, In his patrols, often lasting many hours, and in bad weather conditions, he attacked enemy infantry, transport and batteries from a low level, using his machine gun and dropping bombs, frequently returning with his machine riddled with bullets, and the information he obtained was quite invaluable.  His cheerful spirit, consistent dash, and fearlessness, and his magnificent work have set a. splendid example to all in his squadron, and greatly encouraged them at a time when the casualties in it were extremely heavy."

(London Gazette - 26 July 1918)

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