Grostenquin, France

G/C JFK MacDonald

MacDONALD, W/C John Kennedy Francis (C890)

[DFC Ribbon] Distinguished Flying Cross - No. 6 Group (now No. 432 Squadron)

Award effective 19 January 1945 as per London Gazette of that date and AFRO 471/45 dated 16 March 1945. Born 5 January 1917 in Antigonish, Nova Scotia; home there. Enlisted and commissioned in Halifax, 7 November 1938. Trained at Trenton and Camp Borden, 1938-1939. To No. 10 (BR) Squadron, November 1939 (Canteen Officer). On course at Trenton, February to May 1940. With No. 8 (BR) holding down such diverse tasks as Flight Training Officer, Photo Officer, and detachment commander. During this time he rose from Flying Officer to Squadron Leader. To No. 149 (TB) Squadron, December 1942. To Halifax, May 1943, reporting in UK, June 1943. Further trained at No. 18 (P) AFU (Oxfords, 1 October 1943 to 1 January 1944), No. 23 OTU (Wellingtons, 1 January to 28 February 1944), and No. 1659 HCU (Halifaxes, 28 February to 29 April 1944). Reported to No. 432 Squadron, April 1944 to become familiarized with bomber operations, commencing operations on 29 April 1944. To No. 432 Squadron as Wing Commander and CO, 30 May 1944. Shot down by night fighter, 26/27 July 1944, evaded, regaining Allied lines on 14 August 1944; returned to UK, 20 August 1944. To No. 6 Group Headquarters, September 1944. Although entitled to leave in Canada, he declined this for early return to operations. There being nothing in his escape that prevented this, he was returned to No. 432 Squadron, October 1944, continuing on operations until February 1945 when he was appointed Base Operations Officer, No. 63 Base, and subsequently CO Station Middleton St. George. To Canada, July 1945. DFC presented 2 November 1946. Remained in postwar RCAF; reverting from Group Captain to Wing Commander. At No. 2 Air Command, Winnipeg, November 1945 to March 1947. Attended RCAF Staff College. In September 1947 he was posted to North West Air Command Headquarters, Edmonton (Staff Officer Personnel Administration). To Station Sea Island, May 1949. To NWAC as Staff Officer Selection and Manning, July 1949. To Air Transport Command Headquarters, Rockcliffe, July 1950; to Station Lachine as CO, March 1951; to No. 426 Squadron as CO, March 1951 to August 1952. Promoted to Group Captain and transfered to No. 1 Air Division in August 1952; assumed command of 2 (F) Wing Grostenquin France during October and Novermber 1952; and then to AFHQ (Director Air Plans and Programmes), December 1952 to February 1956 when he was took refresher flying training at Station Chatham. To No. 3 (F) Wing, Zweibrucken, April 1956 to July 1960. AFHQ (Director of Air Policy), July 1960 to September 1963. Attended National Defence College, Kingston. To AFHQ (Director, Senior Appointments, Air Force), July 1964 to July 1965. Promoted to Air Commodore and assigned supervisory duties over training. To Training Command Headquarters, Winnipeg, January 1966 (Chief of Staff Support Services); to Maritime Command Headquarters, January 1967 (Commander, Maritime Operation Test and Evaluation Unit); Commenced released proceedings, May 1965; honourably released, January 1970. Awarded Queen's Coronation Medal, 6 November 1953. No citation other than that in air operations he had "displayed outstanding bravery, fortitude and devotion to duty, setting an example of a high order." DHist file 181.009 D.1513 (RG. 24 Vol. 20600) has recommendation for immediate award dated 19 November 1944 when he had flown 22 sorties (98 hours 55 minutes).

On the night of 25/26 of July 1944, while flying on a bombing mission to Stuttgart, Wing Commander MacDonald and crew were attacked by an enemy fighter over France. Their aircraft was set on fire and the flying controls were so badly damaged that the aircraft was almost unmanageable. Wing Commander MacDonald, by superb pilotage, and despite intense heat from the fire, managed to keep the aircraft on an even keel before his crew took to their parachutes.
Before this operation, Wing Commander MacDonald has flown many sorties against some of the enemy's most heavily defended targets. He has led his squadron in an exemplary manner and has won, by his inspiring leadership, the confidence and great respect of all personnel associated with him.
After skilfully evading the enemy in France, he returned to this country. Waiving aside home leave, he elected to continue with his tour immediately. He is now once again commanding his old squadron and, as its commander, is an inspiring example and the personification of leadership and spirit.

Extracts from 2 Wing Historical Reports

The first Commanding Officer, Group Captain John KF MacDonald DFC, CD, 35, of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, joined the RCAF in 1938. During the first three years of the war he flew with Coastal Command and from 1943 until the end of the war he served in Bomber Command in the United Kingdom. In 1944 he was made Commanding Officer of 432 Bomber Squadron. In early 1945 he assumed command of Middleton-St. George, a bomber base in the Canadian Bomber Group. From Sep 1945 to 1950 he filled various staff positions and returned to flying as Commanding Officer of 426 Transport Squadron in 1951. He is married and has four children, three sons and one daughter. His wife and family are residing in Canada.

14 Nov 52

CO's Parade held.

27 Nov 52

Farewell party for G/C MacDonald and welcome to G/C Pollard was held in the Mess.

28 Nov 52

G/C Pollard assumed command of 2 (F) Wing RCAF.

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Updated: June 22, 2002