Lot Archive


№ 531


27 September 1994

Hammer Price:

A fine C.B.E., D.S.O., D.F.C. group of nine awarded to Group Captain O.R. Donaldson, Royal Air Force, Commanding Officer of No. 7 Squadron, Path Finder Force

ORDER OF THE BRITISH EMPIRE, C.B.E., 2nd type neck badge, enamel on lower arm chipped; DISTINGUISHED SERVICE ORDER, G.VI.R., officially dated '1943'; DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS, G.VI.R., the reverse officially dated '1940'; 1939-45. STAR; AIR CREW EUROPE STAR, clasp, France and Germany; DEFENCE AND WAR MEDALS, M.I.D.; GENERAL SERVICE 1918-62, 1 clasp, Palestine 1945-48 (Act. Gp. Cpr., R.A.F.); CORONATION 1953, the last eight mounted as worn, generally good very fine (9)

C.B.E. (Military), London Gazette, 1 January, 1953.

O.B.E., (Militaty) London Gazette, 10 June, 1948 (Palestine).

D.S.O., London Gazette, 11 June, 1943. 'Group Captain Donaldson has completed a large number of sorties since the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. During the six months he has commanded the squadron, it has maintained its fine operational record and fresh honours have been achieved. By his sound organisation, thorough training and personal example, he has fashioned a first class fighting unit. Each operation is most carefully planned and executed and nothing which deserved his personal attention is omitted. Group Captain Donaldson's firm and tactful handling of aircrews, his cheerful spirit and devotion to duty have earned him the unswerving loyalty of all ranks. He is a skilful pilot with a fine record of successful bombing sorties against the enemy. His example as a captain of aircraft has been an inspiration to his unit.'

D.F.C., London Gazette, 11 June, 1940. 'One night in May, this officer was captain of an aircraft detailed to attack vital points behind the enemy's positions. In the neighbourhood of Hirson he came under heavy anti-aircraft fire. In spite of the enemy fire Flying Officer Donaldson made five attacks on a road through a nearby wood. As a result, a large fire and thirteen violent explosions occurred in what must have been an important enemy dump. He has consistently shown the highest degree of courage and determination.'

Oliver Russell Donaldson was born at Revelstoke, British Columbia, and joined the R.A.F. as a pupil pilot in 1936. He was granted a short service commission the following year and promoted Flying Officer in 1939. From the outbreak of war to August 1940, Donaldson did 34 war operations over Western Germany, Norway and the Low Countries. During that time he was operating with 115 Squadron at R.A.F. Marham. When proceeding to Canada in January 1941, his log book was lost at sea due to enemy action. It is, therefore, not possible to give a list of these operations from records held by No. 7 Squadron (Ref. P.R.O. Air 2/8955). Donaldson commanded No. 7 Squadron from 2 October 1942 until 3 May 1943. He was subsequently Station Commander at Wyton from 27 July 1944 until 25 February 1945. He was promoted to Group Captain on 1 July 1952, and retired in May 1957.