Neil Cameron ~ Marshall of the RAF


Neil Cameron, KT, GCB, CBE, DSO, DFC: was another of the flight training
recruits at Scone Aerodrome during the late 1930s. He was born in Perth on 8 July 1920 to Isabella Cameron (née Stewart) and Neil Cameron who had served as a company sergeant major in the Seaforth Highlanders. Neil Cameron the elder died when his only child was but 3 weeks of age. Consequently, Cameron was raised by his mother and grandmother.

Neil Cameron rose through the ranks of the RAF to become later Lord Cameron of Balhousie – Baron Cameron of Balhousie, Marshal of the RAF, the Chief of Defence Staff, and the first president of the Scottish Aero Club.

He was educated at the Northern District School and Perth Academy, after a short time took up a post in 1937 with the Commercial Bank of Scotland in their Newburgh office (Fife) he joined the RAF Volunteer Reserve in May of 1939. With the declaration of war by Britain in September of 1939 came a commission as a pilot officer for Neil Cameron.

He served as a fighter pilot, taking part in the Battle of Britain, the Battle of Alam el Halfa, the First Battle of El Alamein, and the Second Battle of El Alamein. As a squadron leader, Cameron served in actions in Burma (today
Myanmar) flying Republic P-47 Thunderbolts. Later, Cameron became
a military thinker, strategist, and in August 1977, the Chief of the
Defence Staff. He later became Principal of King’s College, London
and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Law degree.

In 1983, he was created a life peer as Baron Cameron of Balhousie and later that year appointed a Knight of the Order of the Thistle. Cameron died in London on 29 January 1985.

Neil Cameron, KT, GCB, CBE, DSO, DFC

First Day Cover, posted 22 July 1987. Flown in Phantom FG1, XT860, RAF 43 Squadron, Leuchars, Fife. Overflew Perth Academy and the Region of Balhousie.