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The Airmen's Stories - S/Ldr. A R D MacDonell


Aenas Ranald Donald MacDonell, the Hereditary 22nd Chief of Glengarry, was born in Baku, Russia on 15th November 1913. His father was British Consul there. He was educated at Hurstpierpoint School and entered the RAF College Cranwell in September 1932 as a Flight Cadet. He graduated in July 1934 and joined 54 Squadron at Hornchurch.

On 17th May 1936 MacDonell was posted to 802 (Fleet Fighter) Squadron based onshore at Hal Far, Malta and at sea on HMS Glorious. He left the squadron in January 1938 and went to RAF Gosport as an instructor.



MacDonell was posted to CFS Upavon on 22nd January 1939 for a course. He was serving at the Air Ministry later in the year and on 30th June 1940 he arrived at 5 OTU Aston Down. After converting to Spitfires he was posted to Kenley on 19th July to take command of 64 Squadron.

On 25th July MacDonell claimed a Ju87 destroyed, on the 29th a Ju87 and a Me109 destroyed and another Me109 damaged, on 5th August a Me109 destroyed and another probable, on the 8th two probable Me109's, on the 11th a Me109 destroyed and another damaged and on the 15th one destroyed and another damaged.

MacDonell destroyed a Me109, probably another, damaged a third, shared a He111 and damaged another on 16th August. On this day he was shot down by a Me109 as he returned to Kenley from Hawkinge and baled out, unhurt, landing at Possingworth Park.

His Spitfire, P9554, crashed at Blackboys, Uckfield.

MacDonell destroyed a Me110 and damaged a Ju88 on 18th August and was awarded the DFC (gazetted 6th September 1940).

On 11th November 1940 MacDonell damaged a Me109 and on the 29th destroyed another, his final victory.

On 13th March 1941 MacDonell was shot down by Werner Molders on a sweep over France in Spitfire P7555. He baled out and was captured, being sent to Stalag Luft 3. Freed in April 1945, he received a Mention in Despatches (gazetted 28th December 1945) for distinguished services while a PoW.

MacDonell was made a CB (gazetted 1st January 1964) and retired from the RAF on 15th November 1964 as an Air Commodore. His portrait was drawn by Cuthbert Orde in 1940.

He died on 1st June 1999.



He published his memoirs as From Dogfight to Diplomacy (ISBN 978 184884 198 7).

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