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Thread: CO 608 Squadron 1943-44; which Finlay?

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    Default CO 608 Squadron 1943-44; which Finlay?

    Morning all

    I wonder if anyone can clear up a mystery? I am researching the story of Donald Finlay for a forthcoming biography, and many sources quote him as commanding 608 Sqn from Dec 43 to Jul 44 but I think this is incorrect; was it in fact his brother, Denis?

    TIA

    Snapper

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    Default Re: CO 608 Squadron 1943-44; which Finlay?

    My notes suggest W/C Denis Finlay OBE (33056), later A/Cdre CBE, born 4 Jan 1912, commissioned 15 Jul 1933, retd 15 Jan 1967.

    cheers
    PeteS
    https://630squadron.wordpress.com/
    Last edited by PeteS; 29th April 2021 at 10:38.

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    Default Re: CO 608 Squadron 1943-44; which Finlay?

    Thanks Pete - that indeed is Denis, not Donald

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    Default Re: CO 608 Squadron 1943-44; which Finlay?

    You are welcome Snapper, I just checked and in "Twenty One Squadrons" (History of Royal Aux Air Force) they record him as W/C Don Finlay OBE but in "Coastal Support and Special Squadrons" by JDR Rawlings it is shown as W/C D Finlay OBE where Don Finlay was DO Finlay DFC AFC by then I think.
    I just realised that "Aces High" by Chris Shores shows Don Finlay DFC AFC as CO of 608 Sqn from Dec 43. Confusing !
    cheers
    PeteS
    https://630squadron.wordpress.com/

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    Default Re: CO 608 Squadron 1943-44; which Finlay?

    And a further check shows that S/L Denis Finlay (33056) received the OBE in the London Gazette 11/07/1940 whereas A/W/C Donald Osborne Finlay (36031) received DFC (with 11 Group HQ) on 10/04/1942 and AFC as A/G/C/ on 01/09/1944.

    cheers PeteS
    https://630squadron.wordpress.com/

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    Default Re: CO 608 Squadron 1943-44; which Finlay?


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    Default Re: CO 608 Squadron 1943-44; which Finlay?

    Pete;

    Don never received the OBE, so it must be his brother. Plus, Don was a Spitfire pilot whereas his brother was of Coastal Command so it makes sense that he was OC of a Hudson sqn. I've downloaded the 608 Sqn ORB which quotes Wg Cdr D Finlay OB... (unreadable letter), which must be OBE

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    Default Re: CO 608 Squadron 1943-44; which Finlay?

    Well done Snapper, sounds as if you nailed it.

    Paul has given you a link to one of the best RAF websites on the net, I elected to pay for full membership because it will answer so many of these sort of queries, I forgot to check it this time though DOH. As Paul suggests this shows that Denis was the CO of 608 Sqdn and as you correctly state he was the Coastal type after all. Let us know when the book is out, I'd be fascinated to read it.

    cheers PeteS

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    Default Re: CO 608 Squadron 1943-44; which Finlay?

    Thanks Pete; I am a paid-up member of RAF Web. The book will be published next year by Fighting High (who have published my two previous) - no title as yet! Sally Gunnell has kindly agreed to write the foreword; very pleased to have her persepctives as an olympic hurdler.

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