The Airmen's Stories - W/Cdr. I R Parker
Ian Robertson Parker was born on 27th October 1902 in Aigburth, Lancashire, now a Liverpool suburb and educated at Eton. His father, one of whose brothers married into the Bowes-Lyon family, is shown in the 1911 census as a West India Merchant.
He was awarded Aero Certificate 8515 at the
Liverpool & District Aero Club on
27th February 1929, his occupation being recorded as 'Sugar planter'.
He also flew with the RAFO in the early thirties. He took part in the Kings Cup Air Race in 1930.
Parker was commissioned in Class 'AA' of the RAFO in October 1931, transferred to Class 'C' on 9th October 1932 and transferred back to Class 'AA' in May 1933.
When 610 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force was formed at Hooton Park on 10th February 1936 he was given command. The squadron was then a light bomber unit equipped with Hawker Harts.
He married Dinah Augusta Gairdner in 1936 in Cheshire.
On 1st January 1939 it was transferred to Fighter Command and Parker continued in command until 7th January 1940, when he was promoted and posted away to be Station Commander at RAF Digby.
When 611 Squadron was at Digby in August 1940, Parker flew an operational sortie with it on the 21st and thus qualified for the Battle of Britain clasp. He flew with Green section, to patrol Mablethorpe at 11,000 feet. A He111 was intercepted ten miles north-east. P/O CH MacFie and Sgt. SA Levenson both opened fire and damaged the enemy aircraft.
Parker was released from the RAF in 1945 as a Group Captain and made an QBE (gazetted 1st January 1946). In December 1947 he was appointed Honorary Air Commodore in the Royal Auxiliary Air Force.
He had inherited Little Cumbrae, an island in the Firth of Clyde, in 1936. He collapsed and died there while out shooting pheasants, on 23rd December 1959 and lies in the local churchyard.