Wednesday, June 11, 2008

ACM Sir Neil Wheeler GCB CBE DSO DFC* AFC FRAes CBIM 1917-2009

Wheeler was with No 207 Squadron at the outbreak of war flying Fairey Battles, later joining 12 OUT as a flying instructor. During the Battle of Britain he flew with the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit in unarmed Spitfires, later awarded the DFC and becoming the Flight Commander and then CO. Unfortunately in March 1942 he was involved in a car accident and taken off flying for six months, during which time he served with Air Ministry Directorate of Naval Co-operation. In November 1942 after training on Beaufighters he took command of No 236 Squadon and led anti-shipping operations, which were very hazardous and earnt him a bar to his DFC. Having completed nine months on operations he was awarded the DSO and went to the RAF Staff College. He then went to America to attend the USA Army Command and General Staff School, returning in April 1944 where he joined the Joint Planning Staff in the Cabinet Offices. He went on to have a very successful post war career.