Alan Anderson originally joined the Royal Artillery in 1931 and in 1934 was seconded to the RAF to fulfil his ambition to fly. He was posted to 13 Sqdn initially at Netheravon and then Old Sarum flying the Audax and after serving in Palestine and Egypt he joined 2 Sqdn flying Lysanders for the early part of the war up to December 1939. In January 1940 he took command of 613 sqdn at Odiham flying Hector biplanes and there followed an extraordinary operation in May when he led six of these obsolete aircraft to Calais to attack enemy troops laying siege to remnants of the B.E.F. Fortunate to survive against ground fire and the attentions of ME109 's even though the Hector had only a topspeed of 140 knots,
He received command of 268 Sqdn in May 1941 which were re-equipped with Tomahawks and by March 1942 his Mustangs were sweeping enemy shipping and positions along the Channel and Dutch coast. In October the long range capability of this aircraft was tested when he led four aircraft on the RAF's first daylight single engined fighter escort and photo recee over Germany. In March 1943 he was rested and awarded a DSO and there followed command of 35 Wing No 2, 4, and 268 Sqdn's flying Mustangs in support of the allied advance in north west Europe.
From 1948 to 1950 he commanded 342 Wing of Tempests in the Middle East returning home to command Linton-on-Ouse before eventually retiring to run the Channel House Hotel at Minehead and, after seven years as a hotelier, opted for growing tomatoes commercially in Somerset. Retiring for a second time, to Minorca, he returned to the U.K. after 20 years, where he died in December 2002, aged 92.
29 January,1931: 2e luitenant Royal Regiment of Artillery
15 January, 1934: Temporary commissioned as Flying Officer
15 January, 1937: Flight Lieutenant
15 January, 1938: return to Army duty
24 October, 1938: re-seconded to the RAF
1 januari 1940: Squadron Leader
1 September, 1941: Temporary Wing Commander
27 October, 1943: Wing Commander (war sub)
1 September 1945: Appointed permanent Squadron Leader
1 January, 1946: Temporary Group Captain
1 July, 1947: Wing Commander
1 July, 1952: Group Captain
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