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Raymond Myles Beecham Duke-Woolley


Took command of Debden Wing [3 x Eagle Sqn]
Transferred to command 4th FG USAAF as an RAF officer, 12 September 1942 — December 1942. RAF Squadron Leader with temporary rank of Wing Commander placed in operational command of the 4th Fighter Group at the time of its transfer to the USAAF. Was the first British pilot to be awarded the American Distinguished Flying Cross.
Post 4th Fighter Group:
Eventually attained the rank of Group Captain
Distinguished Service Order, Distinguished Flying Cross (with Bar, British), Distinguished Flying Cross (American), 1939-45 Star, 1939-45 War Medal, Defense Medal.


Units served with

  • VIII Bomber Command

    VIII Bomber Command

    VIII Bomber Command was constituted and activated in 1942. It oversaw heavy bombardment operations until February 1944, when it was redesginated as the 8th Air Force.

  • 4th Fighter Group

    4th Fighter Group

    Some of the pilots of the 4th Fighter Group had seen many hours of combat by the time they joined the 4th Fighter Group as they had volunteered with the Royal Canadian Air Force and the Royal Air Force. The three 'Eagle Squadrons' of RAF Fighter...

  • No 71 'Eagle' Squadron

    No 71 'Eagle' Squadron

    'On 19 September 1940, No. 71 was reformed at Church Fenton as the first 'Eagle' Squadron to be manned by American personnel. The Squadron received Hurricanes in November and became operational on defensive duties on 5 February 1941. No. 71 converted...

  • No 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    No 121 'Eagle' Squadron

    'On 14 May 1941, No. 121 was reformed at Kirton-in-Lindsey as the second 'Eagle' Squadron to be manned by American volunteers. Equipped with Hurricanes, it began defensive patrols in October but in November it converted to Spitfires. It moved to North...

  • No 133 'Eagle' Squadron

    No 133 'Eagle' Squadron

    'On 1 August 1941, No. 133 reformed at Coltishall as the third 'Eagle' Squadron manned by American personnel. Equipped with Hurricanes it became operational at the end of September. The next month the Squadron moved to Northern Ireland, returning to...

  • Headquarters (4th Fighter Group)

    Headquarters (4th Fighter Group)

    The Headquarters Squadron was made up of true leaders. Most had flown Hurricanes, Spitfires, Thunderbolts and Mustangs. ...


  • EN915

    Spitfire Mk Vb EN915 was built at the Vickers-Armstrong aircraft factory, Castle Bromwich, and delivered to the RAF at 37 Maintenance Unit, Burtonwood, on 17 May 1942. It was issued to 154 Squadron at Hornchurch on 12 June 1942. During its time with...

  • BM582

    Supermarine Spitfire BM582 Mk Vb, Built at Castle Bromwich Aircraft Factory. ...


  • VIII Fighter Command

    19 August 1942
    31st Fighter Group despatches 123 Spitfires in support of the landings at Dieppe, France. 8 are lost. These are the first operations of VIII Fighter Command units under VIII Fighter Command control. ...

  • VIII Bomber Command 6

    27 August 1942
    97BG despatches 9 B-17s to bomb the shipyards at Rotterdam, Holland.

  • VIII Fighter Command

    29 August 1942
    31FG despatches 36 Spitfires to patrol along the French coast; 1FG despatches 2 P-38s on a fighter intercept on enemy raiders. First use of P-38s by 8th AF in the ETO.

  • VIII Fighter Command

    2 October 1942
    1FG despatches 31 P-38s to escort bombers attacking the aircraft factory at Meaulte, France, sustaining one loss. 1FG also despatches 34 Spitfires on a sweep over the English Channel; 52FG despatches 7 Spitfires on a sweep over the English Channel; 4FG...

Associated Place

  • Biggin Hill

    Military site : airfield
    An RAF Station with US lodger units. USAAF Spitfires and P-38s were attached to RAF No 11 Group stations in mid-1942 for training; also used for special operations by British and US forces.

  • Debden

    Military site : airfield
    RAF Debden, construction of which began in 1935, is perhaps most famous as a Battle of Britain fighter airfield, partly responsible for the defence of London in 1940. In 1942 it was also home to three RAF 'Eagle Squadrons’ of volunteer American pilots...

  • Kirton-in-Lindsey

    Military site : airfield
    Used as an RFC and RAF Home Defence landing ground during the First World War, Kirton-in-Lindsey was built during 1938-40 as an RAF fighter station. It had two grass runways, 10 hardstandings, three grouped C hangars and four over-blister hangars....

  • Martlesham Heath

    Military site : airfield
    Opened in 1917 as home to the RFC Aeroplane Experimental Unit, Martlesham Heath became well known during the 1920s-30s as home to the Aircraft and Armament Experimental Establishment. Used as an RAF fighter station from 1939, with only a grass airfield...


Event Location Date
Born Manchester, England 16 October 1916

Born 16 October 1916 Manchester, England.

Educated Marlborough College, Bath Rd, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 1PA, UK 1934

Educated Marlborough College.

RAF Educated RAF Cranwell, 10 Cranwell Ave, Cranwell Village, Sleaford, Lincolnshire NG34 8HG, UK 1935 – 1936

RAF College Cranwell 1935-36.

Assigned Northolt, Greater London, UK 1936

Assigned to 23 Sqn 1936.

E/A Kill 18 June 1940 – 19 June 1940

2nd recorded night kill, claimed He111 E/A kill in Blenheim NF whilst 23 Sqn B Fl Commander 18/19 June 1940.

Transferred Kenley, Greater London, UK 12 September 1940

Transferred to 253 Sqn 12th Sept 1940.

E/A Probable 15 September 1940

Probable Do17 15th Sept 1940.

E/A Shared 6 October 1940

Shared Do17 6th Oct 1940.

E/A Damaged 21 October 1940

Damaged Ju88 21st Oct 1940.

E/A Destroyed 9 November 1940

Destroyed Ju88 9th Nov 1940.

1 x E/A Damaged, 1 x Shared 22 November 1940

Shared and damaged Do17 22nd Nov 1940.

Awarded DFC Kenley, Greater London, UK 24 December 1940

"This officer has commanded his squadron since September, 1940, and his fine leadership and personal example have contributed materially to the many successes obtained. He has destroyed at least three enemy aircraft and damaged several more"

Rested from Op's Digby, Lincoln, Lincolnshire LN4, UK January 1941

Rested from Op's 12 Grp HQ, Digby Jan 1941.

Formed 124 Sqn Castletown, Thurso, Highland KW14, UK May 1941 – June 1942

Formed 124 Sqn Castletown, May 1941, led same till June 1942.

E/A Kill 7 December 1941

Destroyed Ju88 7th Dec 1941.

Awarded Bar to DFC Castletown, Thurso, Highland KW14, UK 29 May 1942

"This officer has participated in many sorties over Northern France and the English Channel. He is a cool and capable leader whose skill is reflected in the high standard of efficiency in his squadron. He has destroyed at least 7 enemy aircraft."
Second DFC received in the form of a bar to be worn on the ribbon of the first DFC.

Took command of Wing Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK June 1942

Took command of Debden Wing [3 x Eagle Sqn] June 42 Wing Ldr.

Dieppe Veteran Dieppe, France 19 August 1942

Flew 4 x sorties with 71 [Eagle]Sqn leading the wing over Dieppe on Operation Jubilee 19th Aug 42.

E/A Kill 27 August 1942

Fw190 Destroyed 27th Aug 42.

E/A Probable 29 August 1942

Fw190 Probable 29th Aug 42.

Transferred Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 12 September 1942 – December 1942

Transferred to command 4th FG USAAF as an RAF officer, Debden wing.

E/A Shared 2 October 1942

Fw190 shared 2nd Oct 42.

Transferred Great Britain, United Kingdom January 1943 – July 1943

Transferred to 8th US Bomber Command as fighter liaison officer.

Awarded DSO Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 8 January 1943

"By his outstanding, leadership and untiring efforts, Wing Commander Duke-Woolley has contributed much to the successes attained by his Wing. Since June, 1942, he has led his formation in many raids over enemy occupied territory, in the course of which 28 enemy aircraft were destroyed. Wing Commander Duke-Woolley has completed successfully a large number of operational sorties and has displayed outstanding qualities of airmanship and tactical skill. He has destroyed at least 10 enemy aircraft."

Awarded DFC [US] Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 5 March 1943

Granted permission to wear the decoration DFC US March 5th, 1943.

Transferred July 1943 – January 1945

Set up mobile command for 84 Grp 2nd TAF, thereafter to Normandy with same as 2nd IC. July 43.

Instructor Turkey 1945 – 1948

To Turkey instructor air war college. Wars end to 1948.

Instructor Bulstrode, Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire SL9 8SZ, UK January 1945

To RAF Staff college as instructor. Jan 45.

Re-promoted Wing Co Acklington, Morpeth, Northumberland NE65, UK 1948 – 1950

Re-promoted Wing Commander, commanded RAF Aklington 1948-50.

Instructor Bracknell, Bracknell Forest, UK 1951

To RAF Staff college instructor 1951.

Commanded RAF Debden Debden, Saffron Walden, Essex CB11, UK 1951 – 1953

Commanded RAF Debden 1951-53.

Posted overseas United States 1953 – 1956

Posted to USA 1953-56.

Promoted 1954

Promoted Group Captain 1954.

Transferred United Kingdom 1956 – 1958

Transferred to Fighter command 1956-58.

Post RAF Career London, UK 1961 – 1971

Worked for Life Insurance Co till retirement.

Retired RAF England, UK 30 January 1961

Retired RAF 1961.

Parliamentary Role Houses of Parliament, House of Lords, Parliament Square, Westminster, London SW1A 0PW, UK 1973 – 1979

Served as 'Black Rod' in the House Of Lords.

Died Chichester, Chichester, West Sussex, UK 10 October 1991

10th October 1991 Chichester, England.


Date Contributor Update
16 November 2021 19:38:44 Al_Skiff Changes to events and unit associations

Date Contributor Update
27 July 2016 12:29:36 general ira snapsorter Changes to media associations

Merged with duplicate entry to include details from:
- the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia ;

Date Contributor Update
25 February 2016 10:40:00 Al_Skiff Changes to unit associations and place associations

Men of The Battle of Britain: A Biographical Dictionary of The Few By Kenneth G. Wynn
Aces High: A Tribute to the Most Notable Fighter Pilots of the ..., Volume 2 By Christopher Shores, Clive Williams

Date Contributor Update
24 September 2015 23:30:21 Al_Skiff Changes to middlename, nickname, biography, events, unit associations and mission associations

Men of The Battle of Britain: A Biographical Dictionary of The Few By Kenneth G. Wynn
Aces High: A Tribute to the Most Notable Fighter Pilots of the ..., Volume 2 By Christopher Shores, Clive Williams

Date Contributor Update
24 September 2015 17:09:51 Al_Skiff Changes to surname, middlename, nickname, nationality, service number, role, biography, awards, events, unit associations, place associations and aircraft associations

Date Contributor Update
27 September 2014 18:22:01 AAM AAM ingest

Drawn from the records of the National Museum of the Mighty Eighth Air Force, Savannah, Georgia