David Atcherley and his identical twin brother Richard Atcherley were the son of a Britsh Army Major-General.
He attended Oundle School before entering Sandhurst Military Academy as he was rejected for the RAF due to medical grounds. In 1924 he was commissioned into the East Lanchashire Regiment. His wish to fly succeeded when he was secunded to the RAF. Proving to be as excellent a pilot as his brother he was able to have his secondment converted into a permanent transfer.
At the start of the war he was Commanding Officer of No. 85 Squadron.
He commanded No. 253 Squadron in May 1940 and more postings followed rapidly. His gained his first aerial successes as a night fighter when in command of No. 25 Squadron, which was equipped with Beaufighters, early in 1941. In August 1941 he broke his back as a result of a crash after a take off. However, this did not stop him flying, although it did require six ground crew to get him into and out of his aircraft.
In 1942/43 he was in charge of night fighter untits duriing the Tunesia Campaign. Back in England later in 1943 more postings and promotions followed.
Shortly after the end of the war he was killed in a crash in a Meteor jet fighter taking off from Fayid in Egypt bound for Cyprus. His aircraft never arrived in Cyprus, no radio message was received from him and no sign of him or his aircraft was ever found despite an extensive search being carried out by RAF, Israeli, Turkish and USAF aircraft.
2nd Lieutenant: August 27th, 1924
Lieutenant: August 27th, 1926
Flying Officer: March 19th, 1927
Flight Lieutenant: November 5th, 1930
Squadron Leader: February 1st, 1937
Acting Wing Commander: 1939
Temporary Wing Commander: March 1st, 1940
Temporary Group Captain: March 1st, 1942
Wing Commander: April 14th, 1942
Acting Air Commodore: July 14th, 1944?
Group Captain (war sub): December 14th, 1944
Temporary Air Commodore: January 1st, 1946
Group Captain: January 1st, 1946
Air Commodore: July 1st, 1947
Acting Air Vice-Marshal: January 21st, 1950
Air Vice-Marshal: July 1st, 1950
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