107 Aberdeen Squadron Air Cadets
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Air Chief Marshall Sir Charles Stuart Burnett KCB CBE DSO (1882 – 1945)

During the establishment of 107 (Aberdeen) Sqn, in May 1939, the then Air Marshall Sir Charles Burnett of Kemnay, Aberdeenshire accepted the honorary position of Vice-President of 107 (Aberdeen) Squadron ADCC.   He was granted the rank of ACM when he retired from the RAF in 1942.   Burnett was a senior commander in the RAF during the first half of the 20th Century and served as Chief of the Air Staff of the Royal Australian Air Force during World War II.

Burnett enlisted as a private in the Imperial Yeomanry in 1899 and saw action in the Second Boer War before being appointed to a commission in the Highland Light Infantry in Oct 1901.   In 1904 he was seconded to the West African Frontier Force and fought in Northern Nigeria.   He resigned his commission in 1909 and served as a British diplomat in Nigeria.   In 1914 he rejoined the Army (RFC) and immediately qualified as a pilot.   In 1915 he was posted as a Flight Commander on 17 Sqn flying BE2c aircraft from Gosport and Egypt.   In 1916, Burnett was OC 36 Sqn and later the same year was posted to the Western Front as OC 12 Sqn RFC.  In 1917 he was OC 5th Wing operating in Palestine and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for his Wings’ contribution to the victory in the Battle of Jerusalem.   He was awarded the Egyptian Order of the Nile, third class (1919) and CBE in 1919.

Between the two World Wars, Burnett held many different offices in the RAF, including General OC Palestine Brigade, OC Mesopotamian Wing, Group Staff Officer HQ Middle East Area, OC 29 Gp, Station Commander RAF Leuchars (1922), Deputy Director of Operations and Intelligence and Commandant Central Flying School.   He was made a Companion of the Bath (CB) in 1927.   In 1932 he was AOC Iraq Command.   In 1934 he was awarded the Swedish Knight Order of the Sword.   In 1936 he was AOC (British) Inland Area, was promoted to Air Marshall and made a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (KCB).   Most importantly, AM Burnett was Air Officer Commander-in-Chief of Training Command in the three years running up to the start of World War II and was appointed Inspector-General of the RAF in 1939.

In 1940, AM Burnett was appointed Chief of the Air Staff of the Royal Australian Air Force and grew the RAAF from a strength of less than 4,000 men to almost 80,000 by May 1942 when he returned to the UK and retired from the RAF in the rank of Air Chief Marshall.   On his retirement in Jun 1942, ACM Burnett worked full-time for the Air Training Corps as commandant ATC Central Command.   He died in April 1945.

Air Marshall Sir Charles Burnett was Honorary Vice-President of 107 (Aberdeen) Squadron from May 1939 to April 1945 (Feb 1940 – May 1942 he was CAF RAAF).