Donald Clifford Tyndall Bennett CB CBE DSO RAF

    Don Bennett 1948    Don Bennett in 1947 

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flag australia  b. 14 September 1910 in Queensland

With Imperial Airways, promoted to Senior Master in October 1938

'Pathfinder' Bennett for his work with Bomber Command during WWII. As you probably know, the Pathfinder Force consisted of people who actually knew how to navigate properly, and marked the targets for the bombers.

In May 1945, he became a Liberal M.P.: "Air Vice-Marshal D. C. Bennett, Pathfinder chief and youngest man of his rank in the R.A.F., was returned unopposed to-day as Liberal M.P. for Middlesbrough West."

In 1948 he and his wife bought a couple of transport aircraft, formed AirFlight Ltd, and joined the Berlin airlift to fly dehydrated potatoes to the 2 million population.

CEO of British South American Airways until forced to resign over an interview he gave in 1948.

Opinions varied on what had happened: "SACKED FOR SPEAKING MY MIND-Airway Chief Air Vice-Marshal D. C. T. Bennett has been dismissed from his post as chief executive officer of British South American Airways. The following statement was issued by the British South American Airways Corporation: "The board have terminated the appointment of their chief executive, Air Vice-Marshal D. C. T. Bennett, following differences of opinion on matters of policy.

In a statement, Air Vice-Marshal Bennett said:— "Last week, in view of current misinformation on certain affairs of this corporation, I granted an interview to a newspaper correspondent, at which I expressed views concerning the obvious ills of British civil aviation in general and concerning recent interference with management by the Minister of Civil Aviation. It is because of this that I have been forced to discontinue my appointment. I feel I should make it clear that I have been forced to take this course for exercising what I consider to be a right—the freedom of speech."

"A personally difficult and naturally aloof man, he earned a great deal of respect from his crews but little affection."

He also came 8th in the Monte Carlo Rally of 1953, driving a Jaguar.

Wrote his autobiography in 1958, called, of course, 'Pathfinder'.

 Died 15th September 1986, aged 76

 

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