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Queens Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air

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Derek Mason (10 May 1922 - 22 November 2012)

Derek was born 11 May 1922 in Lancaster as a son of late Thomas Bond Mason (wounded during WW1 - MGC) and Madge Swindlehurst Mason.

During the WW2 he was a Flight Lieutenant (number 149627) with the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and was attached to No. 147 Squadron, Transport Command. F/L Mason received Air Force Cross, gazetted 1 January 1946.

After the war he flew for BOAC and British Airways, also Singapore Air and later on was employed by the United Nations where he retired at the age of 72. He lived in Florida where he died 22 November 2012.

Now, can any of you figure out what ribbons he has on the pictures:


- 1939-45 Star

- Atlantic Star with the rosette

- Defence medal (????)

- War medal (????)

- MID (????)

Is there a MID in the end? I can't find him on the LG at all. Only award that I was able to locate was AFC. Any help would be great.

Finally from where I can pick up BOAC, BEA, BA cap badges and BEA pilot wings for his display? Also what kind of money these are going for?

Derek Mason photo 3.jpg

Derek Mason.jpg

Derek Mason photo 6.jpg

Derek Mason photo 1.jpg

Derek Mason photo 4.jpg

Derek Mason photo 5.jpg

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I received more valuable information about him from British Airways museum today:

Captain Mason was one of BEA’s early captains; he flew DC-3s, Vikings, Viscounts, Comet 4Bs and was a training captain on Comet 4Bs.  He joined British Airtours in 1970 later becoming Flight Manager TriStars with them.  He helped with the introduction of the Boeing 707 by British Airtours, helping many pilots convert to the type.
He retired at the end of 1986 and was awarded the Brackley Memorial trophy ‘for significant contribution to the standard of British civil air transport’. 

Based on the newspaper articles that I received, he was flight Captain during the test flights for deicing equipment and liquids. Also he gave interviews to BBC regards the life as a pilot.




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Timo  -  well done on being able to add a full history to his different services.  Strange to think that he might actually have flown me at some time as that was the period I was doing a lot of travel.     Thanks for posting the full story.    Mervyn

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Thank you Mervyn. Yes, very interesting career! I hope to find out more about his WW2 service. Looks like he was on bombers as well some moment. Would love to see what for he got AFC. 


One pilot - ATC (Air Traffic Controller) joke as well.... somehow I remembered it, when I research his career:

The German air controllers at Frankfurt Airport are a short-tempered lot. They not only expect one to know one’s gate parking location but how to get there without any assistance from them. So it was with some amusement that we (a PanAm 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and a British Airways 747 (call sign “Speedbird 206″) after landing:

Speedbird 206: “Top of the morning Frankfurt, Speedbird 206 clear of the active runway.”

Ground: “Guten morgen! You will taxi to your gate!”

The big British Airways 747 pulled onto the main taxi way and slowed to a stop.

Ground: “Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?”

Speedbird 206: “Stand by a moment ground, I’m looking up our gate location now.”

Ground (with some arrogant impatience): “Speedbird 206, have you never flown to Frankfurt before?!?”

Speedbird 206 (coolly): “Yes, I have, in 1944.  In another type of Boeing. I didn’t stop.”


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The Air Force Cross was created in 1918 and was intended for Awards of Gallantry on non-operational missions and for Meritorious Services on flying duties. Some 2600 were awarded during WW2  -  so much rarer then the DFC.    Mervyn

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