After three decades cadet chairman calls it a day

New 47F Chairman, Flt Lt John Rogers (left) and Group Captain Frank Doran (right).
New 47F Chairman, Flt Lt John Rogers (left) and Group Captain Frank Doran (right).

GRANTHAM’S 47F Grantham Squadron Air Training Corps is saying farewell to its chairman of 31 years.

Group Captain Frank Doran OBE, who spent time as an Air Training Corps cadet himself before joining the RAF, is calling it a day at the age of 88 and plans to move with his wife to live on the south coast.

Flt Lt Gary Allen, Officer Commanding 47F, said: “It is important that we ensure the name of Group Captain Doran carries on for years to come and we now have an trophy.

“The award is for the best flight and this is based on overall team effort and awarded each year. The interflight trophy will be called the ‘Group Captain Doran Trophy’.”

Frank joined the RAF in 1940 as an air gunner. He saw active service as a tail gunner in a Wellington bomber and later in an American B26 Marauder.

Frank stayed in the Air Force after the war and in 1955 re-trained in the Air Traffic Control branch.

He commanded RAF Bishops Court in Northern Ireland before becoming Station Commander RAF Shawbury. He retired as a Group Captain in the role of Deputy Officer Commanding Military Air Traffic Operations.

Frank retired from the RAF in 1978 after 38 years’ service. It was around this time in 1980 that he came into contact with 47F having got to know a former OC of 47F, Flt Lt Stan McHale, who convinced Frank to become the chairman to help rebuild the squadron’s civilian committee.

A life-long interest in aviation saw him as a founder member of the Grantham aviation society and by virtue of his time in the B26 Marauder, was a member of three US Air Force associations.

He is also chairman of RAFA in Market Deeping and Sleaford Air Crew association.

A popular after-dinner speaker, Frank would often talk of his old friend and contemporary, Group Captain Douglas Bader.

Frank has handed over the reins as chairman to new chairman, Flt Lt John Rogers.