An interesting Air Force Cross recipients Second World War North West Europe and post war Malaya group awarded to Flight Lieutenant D.E.R. Lang, Royal Air Force and Royal Naval Reserve who having flown both Spitfires and Barracudas during the Second World War would go on to pilot the Boeing B29 Superfortress (Washington) ELINT aircraft on covert missions against the Soviet Union collecting radar and signals data. He would subsequently serve in Oman, evacuating wounded from a firefight at Buraimi Oasis and would be awarded the Air Force Cross in the London Gazette of 12th June 1958. He retired from the Royal Air Force on 26th March 1964 with over 6,000 flying hours and subsequently moved to the United States.
Group of 5: 1939-1945 Star; France and Germany Star; Defence Medal; War Medal; General Service Medal 1918-1962, GVIR 2nd type bust, 1 Clasp: Malaya; (FLT. LT. D.E.R. LANG. R.A.F.) court-mounted for display together with a ribbon for an Air Force Cross.
Condition: court-mounted for display, edge-bruising to the GSM, Very Fine
3 Flying Log Books covering the period October 1954 until February 1964, the recipients first two covering the period March 1943 until October 1954 noted as lost during a move from Bahrain to UK in 1958.
Matching miniature group mounted together with an Air Force Cross
Letter dated 12th November 1958 from the Central Chancery of the Orders of Knighthood, St. James’ Palace inviting Flight Lieutenant Donald E.R. Lang, A.F.C., Royal Air Force to an investiture at Buckingham Palace on 2nd December 1958.
Testimonial by Air Vice Marshall Fletcher dated 29th January 1964, marked Confidential, Air Ministry, London.
Testimonial by Group Captain V.H. Hemming, M.B.E., R.A.F. dated 1st March 1964 on Headquarters Bomber Command, Royal Air Force paper.
A copy of a letter from Regimental Headquarters, Trucial Oman Scouts, Sharjah congratulating Lang on the award of his Air Force Cross
11 various photographs of Lang during his career.
Donald Eric Robert Lang was born in Monmouthshire in 1925. Commissioned Pilot Officer in the Royal Air Force on 1st February 1944 he would fly Spitfires from December 1944 and was promoted to Flying Officer in the same month. He is also noted as an Acting Sub Lieutenant in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve from 5th June 1944.
His log book indicates that he flew both the Barracuda and Hellcat from January 1945 with the Fleet Air Arm 1791 and 1792 night fighter squadrons in the U.K., followed by the Fairey Firefly from April 1946 in the Mediterranean. He was released from Naval Service on 20th June 1946 and was commissioned as a permanent Flying Officer in the Royal Air Force on 3rd August 1949 and then subsequently as a Flight Lieutenant on 1st August 1950.
By 1st October 1954, having already amassed a total of 2762 hours, he was serving with 192 Squadron flying the Boeing Washington B1, which was the Royal Air Force version of the RB29 ELINT variant of the Superfortress bomber intelligence gathering aircraft. One of three of such aircraft that had served with 192 Squadron since April 1952.
ELINT Washingtons flew regular sorties monitoring Russian radar and signal transmissions along the borders of the Soviet Union. The primary tasks of these sorties were to intercept and plot the radar stations being used by the Soviet military and to attempt to intercept radio communications. One Washington achieved an important breakthrough when it brought back the first recordings of the Soviet intercept radar ‘Scan Odd’. The Washingtons were regular intercepted by Soviet fighter aircraft but none were lost.
Lang was posted to R.A.F. Bahrain in September 1956 where he flew Pembrokes all around the Gulf. He commanded the Royal Air Force Guard of Honour at the Bahrain Durbar on 4th January 1957. He would been closely associated with the Trucial Oman Scouts, most likely as a result of performing an evacuation flight on 19th October 1956 when the Scouts were involved in an armed clash at Buraimi Oasis. He would stay in the Gulf, taking part in the Central Oman Campaign which began in July 1957, making his last flight in the region on 19th September 1958 having shortly before being awarded the Air Force Cross in the London Gazette of 12th June 1958, he is additionally entitled to the Arabian Peninsula clasp to his GSM.
From March 1959 until May 1961 he would see service flying the Blackburn Beverley with No. 47 Squadron at R.A.F. Abingdon from March 1959 until May 1961 and subsequently served as an examiner with the Transport Command Evaluation Unit flying the Hastings, Valetta, Devon and the twin Pioneer as well as the Beverley flights ranging from Germany to Hong Kong and Saigon, including container drops. On 23rd February 1964 he piloted a Beverley from Khartoum to Khormaksar, and made his final flight piloting a Dakota from Khormaksar on 25th February 1964. His log book also noted flat he flew single seat Gloster Meteor jet fighters.
Retiring on 26th March 1964, after 21 years service and 6,355 flying hours, having been continually rated ‘Exceptional Transport Command and light aircraft pilot. Following his retirement he moved to the United States, possibly to pursue a civilian flying career.