The mounted C.B.E. group of eight miniature dress medals worn by Air Commodore H.G. Blair, Royal Air Force who commanded 31 Squadron in the early years of the Second World War, going on to serve as Chief Signals Officer, Air Section, HQ Combined Operations in 1942.
The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Commander's (C.B.E.), Military Division Badge, silver-gilt and enamel; 1939-45 Star; Africa Star, clasp, North Africa 1942-42, Defence and War Medals 1939-45; General Service 1918-62, 2 clasps, Malaya, Cyprus; Coronation 1937; Coronation 1953, mounted as worn, Good very fine (8)
Henry Gordon Blair was born on 2 July 1909 at Chorlton-on-Medlock, Lancashire. Commissioned into the Royal Air Force on 29 December 1930 as Pilot Officer and posted to No. 2 Flying Training School on 10 January 1931. After spending time as an Instructor at the Central Flying School Blair was appointed Instructor/Adjutant of No. 603 Squadron Auxiliary Air Force on 16 February 1934. Promoted Flight Lieutenant on 1 June 1936 he was posted to No. 28 Squadron on the Northwest Frontier, acting as their Signals Officer from 5 October 1937. Appointed to command the Squadron the next year he was advanced Squadron Leader on 1 December 1938 before moving to command No. 31 Squadron.
Blair was transferred to the Special Branch on 25 April 1940 upon returning to Britain. Appointed a Staff Officer at the Directorate of Telecommunications on 1 March 1941 and later Chief Signals Officer, Air Section, HQ Combined Operations on 9 June 1942. Promoted Wing Commander 1 April 1943, Blair was appointed to Air Staff, Supreme HQ South East Asia on 18 October. Continuing to specialise in signals, Blair became Deputy Director of the Directorate of Signals on 11 September 1944. The next year he became Senior Radio Officer for HQ Air Command Far East on 1 July 1947 later promoted to Command Signals Officer with the same unit on 6th April 1948. Appointed Command Signals Officer, Air Staff, Middle East Air Force on 29 August 1955 he was promoted Air Commodore on 1 July 1956. His final commission was as Director of Radio Engineering on 14 July 1958. Retiring on 29 October 1960 Blair became Deputy Lieutenant for Berkshire on 8 August 1975, he died in March 1989 at Swindon, Wiltshire. His brother, Kenneth Hughes Blair, was a fighter ace with eight confirmed kills. While serving with No. 85 Squadron he was awarded the D.F.C. during the Battle for France on 31 May 1940 and a bar on 23 May 1944. While his son Lieutenant Colonel David Blair, 1st Battalion, Queen's Own Highlanders was killed at Warrenpoint, Northern Ireland on 27 August 1979 along with seventeen other servicemen; Henry Blair's full size medals were sold by Spink in July 2021.