William Sholto Douglas

media-14217.jpeg UPL 14217 29 September 1942 at Debden, change-over review of the three Eagle Squadrons carried out by Air Chief Marshal Sholto Douglas, RAF. He is followed by Major General Carl Spaatz (right) and Brigadier General Frank O'Driscoll Hunter (left) - Commanding Generals of USAAF in Great Britain and 8th Air Force Fighter Command.

AAM DB Entry correction.

Object Number - UPL 14217 - 29 September 1942 at Debden, change-over review of the three Eagle Squadrons carried out by Air Chief Marshal Sholto Douglas, RAF. He is followed by...

Marshal of the Royal Air Force William Sholto Douglas, 1st Baron Douglas of Kirtleside GCB MC DFC was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force. After serving as a pilot, then a flight commander and finally as a squadron commander during the First World War, he served a flying instructor during the inter-war years before becoming Director of Staff Duties and then Assistant Chief of the Air Staff at the Air Ministry.

During World War II Douglas clashed with other senior commanders over strategy in the Battle of Britain. Douglas argued for a more aggressive engagement with a 'Big Wing' strategy i.e. using massed fighters to defend the United Kingdom against enemy bombers. He then became Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Fighter Command in which role he was responsible for rebuilding the command's strength after the attrition of the Battle of Britain, but also for bringing it on the offensive to wrest the initiative in the air from the German Luftwaffe.

Douglas went on to be Air Officer Commanding in Chief of RAF Middle East Command in which role he was an advocate of Operation Accolade, a planned British amphibious assault on Rhodes and the Dodecanese Islands in the Aegean Sea, and was disappointed when it was abandoned. He became commander of the British Zone of Occupation in Germany after the war. He was raised to the peerage as Baron Douglas of Kirtleside, of Dornock in the County of Dumfries on 17 February 1948.

Awards: - Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, Military Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit (United States).

Mentioned in Despatches on three occasions.


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Event Location Date Description


Headington, Oxford, Oxford, UK 23 December 1893 Born the son of Professor Robert Langton Douglas and his wife Margaret Jane Douglas (née Cannon) - 23 December 1893 Headington, England.


RAF Service

England, UK 15 August 1914 Served in RAF 1914 – 1948. World War I, World War II.


Northampton, Northampton, UK 29 October 1969 Died - 29 October 1969 Northampton, England.


St Clement Danes London, UK St Clement Danes, London.


Post RAF Career

England, UK Retired in 1948 and became chairman of British European Airways in 1949, a post he retained until 1964.



Educated at Emanuel School, Tonbridge School and Lincoln College, Oxford.


ChangesCreated entry with surname, middlename, firstname, nationality, role, biography, events and media associations. Changes to Role of Honour Picture. Changes to Role of Honour Picture

William Sholto Douglas: Gallery (1 items)