Paul Holder and his family returned to the UK in his childhood. He joined the RAF in June 1934. In 1938 he was posted to 84 Squadron in the Persian Gulf and transferred to Iraq in 1939. He played a leading role when the station was attacked an besieged by Iraqi rebels after the Baghdad coup.
In November 1941 he returned to the UK where he was placed in command of No. 218 Squadron flying Sterlings.
His first action was against the German battle cruisers Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in Brest harbour. He flew his 65th and last operational sortie in the daylight raid on the Lubeck U-boat pens.
In 1943 after time spent at staff college, he was posted to Turkey as Chief of Staff to Force 686, a secret planning unit. From there he went to Libya to raise and train a Yugoslav Hurricane Squadron for Tito, after which he returned to RAF Staff College.
After the war he was vice president of the RAF Selection Board, and then posted as commander of RAF Shallufa . In 1957 he was posted as AOC in Singapore and then moved on as AOC Hong Kong before returning to the UK. His final appointment was C-In-C Coastal Command before retiring in 1968.
June 3th, 1934: Acting Pilot Officer (probation)
March 3th, 1936: Pilot Officer
September 3th, 1936: Flying Officer
March 3th, 1938: Acting Flight Lieutenant
September 3th, 1938: Flight Lieutenant
June 1st, 1939: Squadron Leader
June 1st, 1941: Temporary Wing Commander
June 9th, 1943: Acting Group Captain
Decmber 9th, 1943: Wing Commander (war sub)
October 1st, 1946: Wing Commander
January 1st, 1951: Group Captain
February 26th, 1957: Acting Air Commodore
July 1st, 1957: Air Commodore
January 1st, 1960: Air Vice-Marshal
January 23th, 195: : Acting Air Marshal
July 1st, 1965: Air Marshal
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