Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation


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Air Commodore J Wallace (40868)


James                           b: 28 Jul 1918                       r: 28 Jan 1968                      d: 17 Sep 1980

DSO 8 Sep 1944, MVO 18 May 1962, DFC 5 Feb 1943, AFC - 1 Jan 1954, MiD: - 24 Sep 1941.

Act Plt Off: 4 Jun 1938, Plt Off: 4 Apr 1939, Fg Off (WS): 28 Oct 1940 [3 Sep 1940], Flt Lt (WS): 2 Sep 1942,  Act Sqn Ldr: xx xxx xxxx, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Jan 1944, Act Wg Cdr: 7 Apr 1945, Sqn Ldr: 2 Apr 1946 [1 Sep 1945], Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1952, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1958, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1964.

 4 Jun 1938:             Appointed to a Commission in the RAFO.

30 Jan 1939:            Attended School of Air Navigation

19 Jun 1939:            Pilot, No 45 Sqn.

xx xxx 1939:             Pilot, No 223 Sqn.

xx xxx xxxx:             Flight Commander, No 223 Sqn

28 Dec 1942:           Attended Course No 9, Middle East Staff School/College, Haifa.

xx xxx 1943:            SASO, HQ Sudan?

14 Aug 1943:           Officer Commanding, No 13 Sqn.

1944 - 1945            Served in North West Europe

xx xxx xxxx:              Attended, No 2 Group Support Unit

 7 Apr 1945:             Wing Commander - Flying, No 137 Wing

 4 Jun 1945:              Officer Commanding, No 137 Wing

 8 Jun 1945:              Officer Commanding, No 137 Wing/B77 Glize Rijen

23 Jun 1945:             Wing Commander - Flying, No 137 Wing

27 Jun 1945:             Officer Commanding, No 137 Wing/B77 Glize Rijen

10 Oct 1945:             Wing Commander - Flying, No 140 Wing

16 Oct 1945:             Member, No 2 Group Aircrew Redundancy Board

 2 Apr 1946:            Appointed to Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader (retaining rank current at the time). [wef 1 Sep 1945]

 1 May 1946:           Wing Commander Organisation, HQ No 2 Group.

xx xxx 1949:            Staff, HQ Fighter Command?

xx Nov 1949:           Officer Commanding, No 41 Sqn. (Hornet F3)

xx xxx 1951:            OC Flying, RAF Duxford.

xx xxx 1953:            Attended Joint Services Staff College.

xx xxx 1954:            Staff, British Joint Staffs Mission, Washington.

23 Oct 1956:           Chief, Operations Requirements Office, SHAPE

xx xxx 1958:            Staff, HQ Fighter Command.

 1 May 1958:          Officer Commanding, RAF Bawdsey.

25 Apr 1960:           Deputy Captain, The Queen's Flight.

 5 Aug 1963:           Staff Officer, Department of the Air Member for Personnel.

xx xxx 1964:            Director of Public Relations (RAF).

During a raid on Gura, his Wellesley (L2690) was attacked by CR42s and damaged, although he was able to return to base but on landing his undercarriage collapsed.

In 1952, he led the Coronation Flypast of six Meteor squadrons and one RCAF Sabre squadron.

On retirement, he joined Spitfire Productions Ltd., until 1970, after which he was appointed a Director of Promoter (Europe) Ltd. for three years. In 1974 and 75, he was Area Warden for Wiltshire National Trust and a further two years  with Walsh Security Service at the London Hilton.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

"WALLACE, James, A/S/L (40868, Royal Air Force) - No.223 Squadron.

 Squadron Leader Wallace operated throughout the campaign in East Africa and later in the Western Desert. These operations were often unescorted and over difficult and mountainous country. Some were unescorted day raids over heavily defended areas. He is keen, courageous and efficient, and in the Western Desert has led the squadron on many successful raids. His high morale has been invaluable in difficult times. By his gallantry and continuous devotion to duty, Squadron Leader Wallace has been a great inspiration to the junior members of the squadron during prolonged operations."

(Source - Air 2/8933 He had flown 92 sorties (300 hours) when recommended)


Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

"WALLACE, James, W/C, DFC (40868, Royal Air Force) - No.13 Squadron.

Wing Commander Wallace commenced operational flying in 1940 in the Sudan.  Since the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross, he has acted as Senior Staff Officer at Headquarters and as Commanding Officer of his squadron.  His organizing ability, tact and knowledge greatly assisted in the operating of the squadron.  Wing Commander Wallace has completed numerous sorties during this period.  On one occasion when extremely adverse weather prevailed, he was the only pilot to reach and bomb the target successfully.  His outstanding record, enthusiasm and determination have been commendable at all times."

(Source - Air Ministry Bulletin  15507 and Flight, 2 November 1944)


Recommendation for the award of the French Legion of Honour (not awarded)

"WALLACE, James, A/W/C, DSO, DFC (40868, Royal Air Force).

 This officer, a pilot of the Royal Air Force, expressed a firm desire to fight from the beginning to the end of hostilities.  Constantly present in the fight, he has carried out a long series of war operations under what were often very difficult conditions, contributed by his qualities as a fighter and a leader to the success of bombing sorties, which were highly important in bringing about the realisation of the plans of the High Command.  Wing Commander in Charge of Operations, subsequently Officer Commanding, No.137 Wing, has contributed by his operational experience, his knowledge as a pilot and his qualities of leadership to the outstanding results obtained by No.342 (Lorraine) Squadron."

(Source - Air 2/9141)

This page was last updated on 16/09/23

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