2018 marks the 100 year anniversary of the RAF.
Here we remember two famous RAF officers who were both Freemasons.
Squadron Leader Henry Melvin ‘Dinghy’ Young, DFC & Bar.
One of the most famous is Squadron Leader Henry Melvin ‘Dinghy’ Young – a member of Dambusters Squadron 617.
Getting his nickname “Dinghy’ from the two times he had to bail out into the sea to be saved by his dinghy!
In 1942 he served in 104 Squadron in the Middle East, followed by a ‘Special Duties’ unit and in March 1943 he served in 43 Squadron flying the Avro Lancaster.
In April 1943 he was transferred to 617 Squadron and was chosen to participate in Operation Chastise, later to be known as the Dambuster Raid.
In May 1941 he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. The citation in the London Gazette included the following:
“This officer has carried out 28 bombing missions involving 230 hours flying as well as 6 convoy patrols on which some 40 hours were spent in the air.
His operational flights include attacks on important targets in Germany and Italy.
On two occasions he has been forced down on the sea, on one of which he was in the dinghy for 22 hours in an Atlantic gale.
On both occasions his courage and inspired leadership, combined with a complete knowledge of dinghy drill, were largely responsible for the survival of his crews.”
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Cyril Louis Norton Newall, 1st Baron Newall, GCB, OM, GCMG, CBE, AM
Cyril Louis Norton Newall was born on 15 February 1886, the son of Lieutenant-Colonel William Potter Newall of the Indian Army.
He was educated at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst.
In 1905 he joined the Royal Warwickshire Regiment and served in the Zakkha Khel Expedition in 1908.
In the following year he transferred to the 2nd (King Edward’s Own) Gurkhas, with whom he remained until 1914 when he joined the Royal Flying Corps.
He served in the First World War, being mentioned in dispatches three times and was awarded the Albert Medal (first class) and, also, the C.B.E. In 1919 he was transferred to the Royal Air Force.
He commanded units of the Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force in the First World War, and served as Chief of the Air Staff during the first years of the Second World War.
From 1941 to 1946 he was the Governor-General of New Zealand.
Today in London (10/07/2018).
There will be a celebration to mark the 100 years with a centenary service in Westminster Abbey, followed by a parade in The Mall and extra ordinary flypast over Buckingham Palace of 100 flying machines including a Spitfire, Hurricane, Puma Helicopter, Chinnock, Tornado, Typhoon and of course, the Red Arrows.
Her Majesty The Queen, accompanied by The Prince of Wales, will present a new Queen’s Colour to the Royal Air Force at a ceremony to mark its centenary, on the forecourt of Buckingham Palace.