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He was born to Emily Tuckley and Alfred Salomon (6 August 1872–c.1965), who was the youngest son of Ernst Salomon (1840–1916) of the famous investment bank Salomon Brothers. On holiday at Bad Homburg, Germany in August 1914, George and his parents were arrested and held during the First World War, during which period he became fluent in German.
After leaving school in Enfield, George worked for Norbert Herst in Bermondsey, London in the leather industry. George travelled extensively in Europe by car and witnessed the rise of Hitler. He communicated with Winston Churchill about the inevitability of war. During trips out of Germany he smuggled Jews and their possessions in the boot of his Triumph Gloria car, including the businessman Freddie Meyer.
Second World War
In 1938, George resigned his job and entered the RAF as an intelligence officer based in Transport Command at RAF St Mawgan. When Rudolf Hess parachuted into Scotland, Churchill sent for George Salaman. He impersonated a captured Luftwaffe Officer and was placed in the same cell as Rudolf Hess in the Tower of London. As such he was one of the last Englishman to be incarcerated in the Tower of London (the Cray twins were held there in the 1950s).
He was transferred to RAF Bomber Command HQ at High Wycombe and planned the infamous Operation Millennium bombing raid on Cologne. He flew without Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Harris's permission in the second flight on 31 May 1942. George was so distressed at the civilian population carnage at Cologne that he attempted to resign from the RAF. Given sensitivities he was promoted to Air Commodore and posted to Lord Mountbatten’s South East Asia Command.
After the war Salaman returned to the leather industry, becoming the managing director of Avondale Leather Company Ltd.
- Salaman, G., Wing Commander, RAF. The Gumption and Freeborn operations. Intelligence Extract No. 16, HQ Combat Cargo Task Force, 20 May 1945. HRA.