PERSONALIA
 
Name:  Allan, John Watson "Iain" (Service number: 89617)
Date of birth: May 6th, 1918 (Cathcart/Scotland, Great Britain)
Date of death:  July 9th, 1988
Nationality:  British
BIOGRAPHY: 
Known as Iain, he joined the RAFVR in 1938 and qualified as a pilot in 1940. Initially flying Spitfires with No. 266 Squadron, he did a lot of night flying, which eventually led to him being posted to No 256 Squadron, a night fighter unit. He was unsuccessful whilst flying from the UK, but in July 1943 he led a detachment to Malta to take part in providing cover for the invasion fleet during the Sicilian landings and he soon began building a score, with the assistance of his observer, Flight Lieutenant H.I. Davidson. Between July 12th and August 31st, 1943, he was credited with 14 enemy aircraft destroyed, with five being brought down on the night of 15/16 July and two each on 16/17 July and 25/26 July.
After a rest in September 1943, he joined No 151 Squadron and now undertook night ranger operations over Northern Europe, before moving to No. 29 Squadron. In December 1944 he took command of the same Squadron and remained with the squadron to the end of war and beyond. His score at the end of the war was 14 enemy aircraft destroyed.
Various staff postings followed until 1950, when he took command of the all-weather fighter wing at Coltishall and in 1953, he led a flight of Vampire's during the Coronation Review flypast. A period at the Joint Warfare Establishment was followed by three appointments at the Air Ministry before he became Commandant of The Officers and Aircrew Selection Centre at Biggin Hill, which was his final posting.

Promotions:
January 20th, 1941: Pilot Officer (commission, on probation)
January 20th, 1942: Flying Officer
January 20th, 1943: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)
March 15th, 1945: Squadron Leader (war sub)
September 1st, 1945: Squadron Leader
July 1st, 1952: Wing Commander
July 1st, 1963: Group Captain
1 juli 1967: Air Commodore
     
DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER (DSO)
Rank: Acting Squadron Leader
Unit: No. 256 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on: August 17th, 1943
Action: Citation:
"As pilot and observer respectively (F/O, H.J. Davidson R A A.F.) these officers have displayed exceptional skill in recent operations over Sicily. One night in July, 1943, they destroyed two enemy aircraft, while the following night they destroyed one more. Two nights later, during one sortie they shot down four Ju 88s and one Cant 1007. Again, on the following night, they destroyed two more hostile aircraft, and thus in three nights' operations obtained ten victories."
 
     
DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS (DFC)
Rank: Acting Squadron Leader
Unit: No. 256 Squadron, Royal Air Force
Awarded on: August 31st, 1943
Action: Citation:
"As observer and pilot respectively, these officers have displayed rare skill in night operations. In two recent nights they have destroyed 3 enemy aircraft, bringing their victories to 13, all of which have been obtained in July, 1943. Their record is outstanding and worthy of the highest praise."
 
     
MENTIONED IN DESPATCHES
Rank: Acting Squadron Leader
Awarded on: January 1st, 1945
 
 
 
  Provide alterations or additional information
Picture source:   - Iain Allan
Information source(s):   - SHORES, CH. & WILLIAMS, C., Aces High, Grub Street, London, 1994.
- Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36135 published on the 13 August 1943
- Second Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36152 published on the 27 August 1943
- Supplement to The London Gazette Issue 36866 published on the 29 December 1944
- Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
- Aviation News | Aviation Industry & Airline Statistics | flightglobal.com
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