Artefact of the Month Archive

DONALDSON’S RETIREMENT CARTOON

October, 2008

Air Commodore Edward Mortlock ‘Teddy’ Donaldson CB, CBE, DSO, AFC* LoM (USA) retired from the RAF on 21 February 1961.
His final appointment was as Commandant of the RAF Flying College and his ‘dining-out’ from the Service was held in the College’s Officer’s Mess at RAF Manby on 10 February 1961. It was attended by many of his former commanding officers, all eager to pay testimony to his distinguished military career. To mark the occasion a drawing was commissioned from the cartoonist Wren to “record a few of the many who were at the RAF Flying College to say ‘Goodbye’ to its Commandant on his leaving the Service”.

Attending the dinner and drawn in the cartoon are the three other members of No 1 Squadron’s successful 1937 aerobatic team, led by Donaldson when he was a Flight Commander at Tangmere. Also featured, is his World Air Speed Record achievement of 616 mph when he commanded the RAF’s High Speed Flight at RAF Tangmere in 1946.

‘Teddy’ died, aged eighty, on 2 June 1992 and is buried in the churchyard, St Andrews Church, Tangmere.

THE ORIGINAL WREN CARTOON WAS RECENTLY PURCHASED AT A WEST SUSSEX AUCTION HOUSE AND HAS BEEN GIFTED TO THE MUSEUM WHERE IT IS DISPLAYED IN THE TANGMERE HALL.

Talks by Tangmere

The Museum is pleased to be able to offer speakers to interested groups or societies on a range of subjects connected with the history of operations at RAF Tangmere and other military aviation subjects.

The presentations are usually given as an audio/visual presentation using the Museum's equipment. Our presentations can be tailored to suit audiences ranging from specialist societies to community based groups and range in length from 40 to 90 minutes depending on the subject matter.

Further details of the full range of presentations and the availability of speakers can be obtained by calling the museum on 01243 790090, by emailing your interest to director@tangmere-museum.org.uk or by letter marked for the attention of the Director.

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