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Donaldson, Edward "Teddy" Mortlock

    Date of birth:
    February 12th, 1912 (Negeri Sembilan, Malaysia)
    Date of death:
    June 2nd, 1992 (Gosport/Hampshire, Great Britain)
    Buried on:
    Commonwealth War Graves St. Andrew Churchyard
    Service number:
    32043
    Nationality:
    British (1801-present, Kingdom)

    Biography

    Edward Mortlock Donaldson, the son of a judge was born in 1912 and was one of three brothers, all of who were fighter pilots and who won the DSO. during the Second World War (Squadron Leader John 'Baldy' Donaldson DSO. K.I.A. in June 1940, and Wing Commander Arthur Hay Donaldson DSO. DFC.*, AFC).

    He was educated in England and at McGill University, Canada. Donaldson joined the R.A.F. from university in March 1931. He learned to fly at No 2 F.T.S. Digby before being posted to No 3 Squadron at Upavon in 1932. He won the Popham Air Firing Trophy in 1933 and the following year. He led the aerobatic team at Hendon in 1935 and at the Zurich International Rally in 1937.

    In November 1938, he was appointed to command No 151 Squadron which he took to France in May 1940. Here he destroyed two enemy aircraft and damaged a third during the Squadron's first combat on May 17th. The Squadron as a whole destroyed a further seven enemy aircraft. More victories followed.
    On June 27th Donaldson was shot down by a Me109. The combat lasted up to 15 minutes with both aircraft twisting and turning to gain a firing position. During a head-on attack, Donaldson's Hurricane was hit by shells and his cloths were set alight when the petrol tank blew up. However, he managed to escape, taking to his parachute from round 800 feet.
    He was picked up by a rescue boat out looking for a Swordfish pilot who was shot down the previous night. Later he wrote that at the time the vessel sailed in his direction, he wasn'shore wether it was friend or foe, until 'I heard the wonderful sounds of real Cockney.'
    He was shot down again on July 12th by return fire from a Do 17. A round hit his engine and rudder. He was able to steers his aircraft to Martlesham. Two days later he shot down a Me109, his last combat victory.
    His tour of operations over, Donaldson became Chief Flying Instructor at No 5 F.T.S. He later made a tour of the U.S.A. running gunnery courses.
    He ended the war with 11 confirmed victories.

    He won the Britannia Trophy for 1946, setting the Air Speed Record at 1001 k.m.p.h. in a Gloucester Meteor IV - the record was set at sea-level. As a result, he was awarded a bar to his Air Force Cross.
    During the early 1950s, Donaldson served in Germany and commanded Fassberg and Wunstorf airfields, gaining appointment to C.B.E. in June 1953. From 1956 to 1958 he served as Deputy Commander of Air Forces in the Arabian Peninsula. The Air Commodore’s final appointment was as Commandant of the R.A.F. College, Manby. He retired in 1961, having been created a C.B. in the previous year.
    In the same year he started working as air correspondent for The Daily Telegraph and retired in 1979.
    But affter his retirement, his health deteriorated and he died at the Royal Hospital, Haslar in June 1992 and was buried at Tangmere along his Battle of Britain comrades.
    In June 2004 his medals were sold at an auction for £ 4.800,-
    His life and career was written down in the book "RAF Top Gun: The Story of Battle of Britain Ace and World Air Speed Record Holder Air Cdre E.M. 'Teddy' Donaldson CB, CBE, DSO, AFC".

    Promotions:
    26th June, 1931: Pilot Officer (P)
    26th June, 1932: Pilot Officer
    26th March, 1933: Flying Officer
    1st April, 1936: Flight Lieutenant
    1st December, 1938: (T) Squadron Leader
    1st Mar 1941: Wing Commander
    28th December, 1942?: Acting Group Captain
    28th June, 1943: (T Wing Commander (WS))
    1st January, 1944: Group Captain
    1st October, 1946: Wing Commander
    1st July, 1949: Group Captain
    xx xxx xxxx: Acting Air Commodore
    1st July, 1955: Air Commodore

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Squadron Leader
    Unit:
    No. 151 Squadron
    Awarded on:
    May 31st, 1940
    Citation:
    "This officer has inspired such a fine fighting spirit in his squadron that, on the first encounter with enemy forces, nine aircraft of his squadron destroyed six enemy aircraft, and a further five were believed to have been destroyed. Four or five enemy aircraft were accounted for on the following day. His high courage and his inspiring qualities of leadership have made his squadron a formidable fighting unit. He has, himself, shot down four enemy aircraft."
    Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Squadron Leader
    Awarded on:
    January 1st, 1941
    Mentioned in Dispatches
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Wing Commander
    Awarded on:
    September 30th, 1941
    Air Force Cross
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Group Captain
    Awarded on:
    February 15th, 1949
    Citation:
    "Group Captain Donaldson, Royal Air Force, performed exceptionally meritorious service with the Army Air Force Flying Training Command in the United States from 7 December 1941 to October 1944. Group Captain Donaldson rendered valuable assistance to the Flying Training Command by his instruction in aerial gunnery procedures and training methods for student fighter pilots. At a critical period he devised texts and training aids and developed techniques that formed a basis of instruction in fighter pilot training throughout the Flying Training Command. Through his efforts, the development of air tactics and fighter operational training methods at the Army Air Force School of Applied Tactics was greatly advanced and the training facilitated. The results of his work were reflected in the excellent performance of American fighter pilots in combat."
    Legion of Merit - Officer (LoM - O)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)

    With "BATTLE OF BRITAIN"-clasp.
    1939-1945 Star

    Sources

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