Name:  Anderson, Alan Ford (Service number: 25033)
Date of birth: November 21st, 1910 (Simla, India)
Date of death:  December 19th, 2002
Nationality:  British
Alan Anderson originally joined the Royal Artillery in 1931 and in 1934 was seconded to the RAF to fulfil his ambition to fly. He was posted to 13 Sqdn initially at Netheravon and then Old Sarum flying the Audax and after serving in Palestine and Egypt he joined 2 Sqdn flying Lysanders for the early part of the war up to December 1939. In January 1940 he took command of 613 sqdn at Odiham flying Hector biplanes and there followed an extraordinary operation in May when he led six of these obsolete aircraft to Calais to attack enemy troops laying siege to remnants of the B.E.F. Fortunate to survive against ground fire and the attentions of ME109 's even though the Hector had only a topspeed of 140 knots,
He received command of 268 Sqdn in May 1941 which were re-equipped with Tomahawks and by March 1942 his Mustangs were sweeping enemy shipping and positions along the Channel and Dutch coast. In October the long range capability of this aircraft was tested when he led four aircraft on the RAF's first daylight single engined fighter escort and photo recee over Germany. In March 1943 he was rested and awarded a DSO and there followed command of 35 Wing No 2, 4, and 268 Sqdn's flying Mustangs in support of the allied advance in north west Europe.
From 1948 to 1950 he commanded 342 Wing of Tempests in the Middle East returning home to command Linton-on-Ouse before eventually retiring to run the Channel House Hotel at Minehead and, after seven years as a hotelier, opted for growing tomatoes commercially in Somerset. Retiring for a second time, to Minorca, he returned to the U.K. after 20 years, where he died in December 2002, aged 92.

29 January,1931: 2e luitenant Royal Regiment of Artillery
15 January, 1934: Temporary commissioned as Flying Officer
15 January, 1937: Flight Lieutenant
15 January, 1938: return to Army duty
24 October, 1938: re-seconded to the RAF
1 januari 1940: Squadron Leader
1 September, 1941: Temporary Wing Commander
27 October, 1943: Wing Commander (war sub)
1 September 1945: Appointed permanent Squadron Leader
1 January, 1946: Temporary Group Captain
1 July, 1947: Wing Commander
1 July, 1952: Group Captain
Rank: Squadron Leader
Unit: No. 613 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on: November 5th, 1940
Action: Recommendation:
"During the months of May and June 1940, this officer was in charge of No. 613 Squadron which operated during the evacuation of the B.E.F. In spite of the fact that this squadron was without previous experience of operational flying, a number of important sorties were successfully accomplished in the face of heavy anti-aircraft fire. Squadron Leader Anderson took part in each of these which included the bombing of batteries in the vicinity of Calais, and the dropping of ammunition and water for the garrison holding the Citadel there. All these operations were successfully carried out. This was substantially due to the confidence and enthusiasm which Squadron Leader Anderson inspired in his junior officers and to his magnificent leadership."
Rank: Wing Commander
Unit: No. 268 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on: February 5th, 1943
Action: Recommendation:
"Wing Commander Anderson has been in command of No. 268 Squadron since December 1940. At the time the Squadron was equipped with Lysanders and in order to get some sort of operations for his pilots he arranged for dusk and dawn patrols off the East Coast. In May 1941 the Squadron was re-equipped with Tomahawk aircraft and by September was fitted with a No. 19 A.F. wireless set giving larger range.

On 19 October 1941, the first attack was made on targets at Ijmuiden and Dan Helder in Holland with the Wing Commander leading. Several other attempts were made by Wing Commander Anderson but were abandoned owing to lack of cloud cover or fog. In December, in order to get further operational experience, Wing Commander Anderson asked for and obtained permission to be attached to R.A.F. Ibsley with a view to getting combat experience. Working under 10 Group, Wing Commander Anderson and three pilots carried out convoy patrols.

In January 1942, owing to the numerous mechanical failures of the Alison Engine, H.Q., Army Command, stopped operational flying. Throughout the above period the Squadron continued its normal role of training with H.Q. No. 2 Corps.

In April 1942, the Squadron was re-equipped with Mustang aircraft and in June, at the request of Wing Commander Anderson, it was permitted to carry out shipping reconnaissance off the Dutch Coast.

In August 1942, the Squadron was attached to No. 12 (Fighter) Group for full fighter operations and was equipped with V.H.F. and operated on interceptor patrols, shipping reconnaissance off the Dutch Coast and attack of ground targets in Holland and Germany.

It has been due to the personal effort of Wing Commander Anderson that his squadron has been enabled to carry out offensive operations and he himself has always led the first of any new type of sortie.

In October, Wing Commander Anderson led a section of four Mustangs to North-West Germany and attacked targets on the Dortmund-Ems Canal. This was the first time that single-engined fighters based in England had attacked targets in Germany.
Throughout this period, Wing Commander Anderson has led: 6 Tomahawk operations over Holland; 2 Mustang “Rhubarbs” - one over Holland and the other over Germany; 12 Mustang shipping reconnaissance operations; and 3 Mustang interceptor patrols over the North Sea.

Wing Commander Anderson has always displayed the greatest initiative to get his squadron onto offensive operations. he is a born leader and has instilled an operational attitude into not only the pilots but also the N.C.Os and ground crew as well. He is absolutely tireless and one of the most enthusiastic Commanding Officers I have met. Through his magnificent leadership, courage and example he has produced in 268 Squadron a thoroughly sound and reliable fighting unit not only in its primary role of Fighter Reconnaissance but also in its secondary and more offensive roles."
Rank: Acting Group Captain
Awarded on: April 27th, 1945
Action: Recommendation:
"Between 15 December 1944 and 21 February 1945, Group Captain Anderson carried out 6 reconnaissance sorties over enemy territory. Besides bringing back valuable information, this officer and his No. 2 made the following claims:

1 1000-ton ship destroyed (seen on fire); 2 1000-ton ships severely damaged (one on fire); 1 minelayer damaged; 1 tug destroyed; 3 tugs damaged (one on fire); 3 barges severely damaged; 1 500-ton ship and sundry small M.Vs damaged; 1 ferry damaged; 2 M.T. destroyed; 1 Met and 1 A.F.V. damaged.

These attacks were carried out often in the face of intense accurate flak and twice Group Captain Anderson’s aircraft was hit and damaged.

Since the date of his last award this officer has carried out 49 sorties over enemy territory, some of which were to provide photographs necessary during the planning of “Overlord”. Besides the claims made above, he has scored successes against a number of different types of target including 16 locos damaged, parties of troops on the ground, and damage to transport vehicles of all descriptions, at all times displaying a fine offensive spirit and courage of a high order.

Group Captain Anderson has proved himself to be an outstanding Commanding Officer. The Recce. Wing he has commanded in the Field since August 1944 has achieved magnificent results whilst working with 1st Canadian Army. The results achieved, at a small cost to the Wing, are an indication of its efficiency. This high standard is very largely due to the efficiency of its Commanding Officer and the magnificent example he sets to the rest of his unit."
Rank: Group Captain
Awarded on: October 31st, 1947
Action: Recommendation:
"Group Captain Anderson commanded No. 35 Reconnaissance Wing from 30 August 1944 until 1 December 1945. The Wing operated from Gilze Rijen and Mill during the winter of 1944-45. During this period his Wing was responsible not only for tactical reconnaissance and artillery spotting, but also for provision of photographic cover extending deep into enemy territory, without which detailed plans for operations by the Army and Air Force could not have been made. Group Captain Anderson proved himself to be a courageous leader; he himself flew a great number of operational sorties and frequently insisted on leading missions which, by the nature of their tasks, expected heavy opposition. Under his inspiring leadership the Wing carried out all these tasks in an exemplary manner."
1939-1945 STAR
Details: With "FRANCE AND GERMANY" clasp.
WAR MEDAL 1939-1945
  Provide alterations or additional information
Information source(s):   - The London Gazette Publication date:30 January 1931 Issue:33685Page:675
- Page 757 | Issue 34020, 2 February 1934 | London Gazette | The Gazette
- Page 1418 | Issue 34376, 2 March 1937 | London Gazette | The Gazette
- Page 24 | Issue 34765, 2 January 1940 | London Gazette | The Gazette
- Page 6393 | Issue 34986, 5 November 1940 | London Gazette | The Gazette
- Page 5219 | Issue 35270, 9 September 1941 | London Gazette | The Gazette
- Page 5144 | Issue 38113, 31 October 1947 | London Gazette | The Gazette
- Page 4913 | Supplement 36766, 24 October 1944 | London Gazette | The Gazette
- Page 1077 | Supplement 37479, 19 February 1946 | London Gazette | The Gazette
- Page 3417 | Supplement 38020, 18 July 1947 | London Gazette | The Gazette
- Dix Noonan Webb
- The Telegraph - Obituaries
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