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The Airmen's Stories - S/Ldr. D S MacDonald


Duncan Stuart MacDonald was born on 15th March 1912 at Oban, Scotland, the son of a doctor. He was educated at St. Annes School and Oban High School.

In his youth his health was not good and in 1929 he went to Kenya to be an assistant coffee planter. When the plantation failed MacDonald returned to the UK.


Above: after completing his first solo at Filton


In September 1935 he joined the RAF on a short service commission and did his initial training at 2 E&RFTS Filton. He was posted to 4 FTS Abu Sueir on 23rd November 1935 and after completing his training joined 41 Squadron at Sheik Othman, Aden on 24th April 1936.

The squadron left for the UK on 11th August 1936. MacDonald was appointed a Flight Commander in 1938 and in July 1939 he was posted to CFS for a course and then to 8 FTS Montrose as an instructor.
MacDonald arrived at 6 OTU Sutton Bridge on 15th August 1940 for a refresher course and was posted to 213 Squadron at Exeter on the 23rd as a supernumerary.

Although posted to 213, it appears that he went directly from 6 OTU to 310 Squadron at Duxford. He joined 213 Squadron from 310 on 27th August.

He made his first flight on the 29th and assumed command of the squadron on 2nd September. On the 28th MacDonald destroyed a Me110, on the 30th destroyed another, on 17th October he damaged a Me109 and on 1st November he destroyed a Me109.

He was awarded the DFC (gazetted 17th December 1940), credited with at least three enemy aircraft destroyed. In May 1941 213 Squadron embarked on HMS Furious for the Middle East and MacDonald continued in command until October.




The squadron was employed in the ground attack role against Vichy French troops in Syria. He was next appointed to lead 241 Wing, before moving to 251 Wing, comprising 213 and 815 Fleet Air Arm squadrons, and then to the Air HQ Levant staff.

After the defeat of Rommel MacDonald first formed and then commanded 283 Wing of the Balkan Air Force comprising 213 Squadron, now flying North American Mustangs, and two South African Beaufighter squadrons. In the summer of 1944 he led the wing in support of partisans and guerillas in the Balkans.

283 Wing was disbanded in May 1945. He returned to the UK and was awarded the DSO (gazetted 21st August 1945).

In 1947 he changed his name to Wilson-MacDonald, incorporating his wife’s surname.

In the post-war RAF MacDonald held various appointments, his last being Air Attaché in Stockholm, until he retired on 6th July 1963 as a Group Captain.

He died in March 1996.




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