Distinguished Flying Cross, GVI, dated 1943, 1939-45 Star, Atlantic Star, Defence Medal, War Medal, with MiD Oakleaf, Air Efficiency Medal, GVI, Flight Lieutenant William Allan O’Moore Slayter Brayton, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, attached from A.I. 1(K) Air Ministry Intelligence.
Born on 5th May 1910 in St Johns Wood. He moved to live in Newquay and served in the RAF Reserve from 1934.
Following the outbreak of WW2 he joined the RAFVR, being commissioned on 17th June 1940, during this time he served with Air Intelligence AI 1(K), he appears to have really wished to do some operational flying so got himself attached to 502 Squadron in 1942 earning the DFC. After his tour he returned to the Air Ministry.
Flt Lt Brayton was originally serving with Air Intelligence, section A.I. 1(K), he was then attached to No 502 Squadron, 19 Group when he earned the D.F.C. announced in the London Gazette on 12th January 1943.
After his short and gallant flying tour he returned to the Air Ministry.
He was a member of the Operations section of the Directorate of Intelligence, working under the Assistant Chief of Air Staff Intelligence, which he joined upon his commission on 4th July 1940, the Operations section only had a small number of Active Officers.
Recommendation for DFC:
“Acting Flight Lieutenant Brayton, whilst on attachment from A.I. 1(K) Air Ministry, has flown 405 hours on operations and has displayed exceptional enthusiasm for his duties.
No task was ever too great for him and, though for some time afflicted by a serious illness, his determination to fly was so great that he made a most spirited recovery with that sole object in view.
His keen observation became a byword in the squadron, and he was never once known to relax his vigilance during a flight.
On 1st April 1942, this resulted in a successful attack on a U-Boat which he sighted in the Bay of Biscay at 23.43 Hours from his rear turret, after the aircraft had passed overhead.
Although hampered by darkness, he was able to direct his Captain back over the target at sea level, and he had the satisfaction of seeing a violent explosion envelop the still surfaced U-Boat.
The high standard of efficiency which he sets for himself has been an inspiration to all, and his strong personal example has been invaluable to his colleagues. He ceased his attachment with 502 Sqn and returned to Air Ministry on 1st September 1942.”
He was twice mentioned in despatches during his flying tour first on 11th June 1942 and then before the award of his D.F.C. on 1st January 1943.
He continued his service after the war and was promoted to Squadron Leader on 1st August 1947, retiring from service on 30th August 1956.
A little information on his Unit, Air Intelligence A.I. 1(K). They were the specialists of “Prisoner Interrogation” later known as “A.D.I.(K)”.
They worked with A.I. 1(g) who were technical specialists and would examine the wrecked German planes for code equipment etc and new technology.
Whereas A.I. 1(k) would swoop in and grab the Aircrew and Prisoners of War for interrogation. They were under the command of Squadron Leader Denys Felkin, Chief Interrogator at Bletchley, who got an OBE for his service, out of interest here is his C.O. Sqn Ldr Felkin’s Citation:
"This officer joined the Assistant Directorate of Intelligence (K) in August 1939 as second in command and from 1940 onwards he has been head of this Assistant Directorate. Group Captain has been responsible not only for the interrogation of all German Air Force prisoners of war who have come into our hands in this country, but also for the organisation and supervision of the interrogation of German Air Force prisoners captured in the Middle East, North Africa and on the continent of Europe. As a result of the efficiency with which he has organised and conducted the work of his Assistant Directorate, it has been possible for the Air Staff successfully to combat many German schemes and devices before they were launched against this country. His Assistant Directorate has made an important contribution to our knowledge of German navigational aids, to the curtailment of the efficiency of enemy night fighter attacks against our bomber aircraft and to our knowledge of German secret weapons, with the result that the enemy neither surprised us by the launching of their V weapons nor succeeded in making them as effective as had been planned. Group Captain Felkin’s personal contribution to the gaining of this information has, due to his energy and unique ability as an interrogator has been a major one. He has personally carried out most of the important interrogations and prepared the reports on vital subjects. At all times he has worked extremely hard and unsparingly and had he relaxed only a little much valuable information might have been missed.”
There is some info on the unit in the book Arrival of Eagles: Luftwaffe Landings in Britain 1939-45 where they mention:
“Working hand-in-glove with their sister organisation, AI 1(g), the AI 1(k) section of the RAF’s Directorate of Intelligence was tasked solely with the gathering of intelligence from POWs or, in some instances, from papers etc collected from fatalities found in wrecked enemy aircraft.”