The son of Charles and Violet C. Steele, Charles Ronald Steele attended Oundle School and RAMC Sandhurst. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant at Green Howards on 21 January 1916 and was quickly seconded to the Royal Flying Corps. He received Royal Aero Club Aviator's Certificate 2662 on a Maurice Farman biplane at military school, Farnborough on 31 March 1916. Posted to 15 Squadron in April 1916, he flew the B.E.2c until April 1917. At the beginning of 1918, he served briefly with 20 Squadron before he joined 48 Squadron in February to fly the Bristol Fighter. On 24 August 1918, he was wounded in an air raid on his aerodrome and was out of the action for the remainder of the war. He was granted a permanent commission in the Royal Air Force 1 August 1919. Steele remained in the Royal Air Force, receiving a knighthood and retiring as an Air Marshal.
Birth registered in 4th quarter of 1897 at Ecclesall Bierlow, Yorkshire; 1901 residence was Nether Hoyland, Yorkshire.
Great Britain, Royal Aero Club Aviators' Certificates, 1910-1950
Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)
"Capt. Charles Ronald Steele (York. R.).
A bold and skilful leader who inspires confidence in those who serve with him. On August 13th, while leading an offensive patrol of five machines, he observed six enemy scouts; attacking these he shot down one out of control, his observer driving, down a second. In this engagement he became separated from his patrol; seeing this, eight scouts dived to attack him; one of these his observer shot down out of control. Eventually he rejoined his patrol and led them back to the aerodrome. In all he has destroyed three enemy machines and driven down four others out of control."
Supplement to the London Gazette, 2 November 1918 (30989/12973)