Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
Air Marshal Sir George Beamish (16146)
b: 29 Apr 1905
r: 7 Feb 1958
d: 13 Nov 1967
- 9 Jun 1955 (CB - 8 Jun 1944), CBE –
1 Jan 1942,
MiD - 1 Jan 1943, MiD
- 8 Jun 1944, GI(s)O
- 29 Dec 1942,
LoM (O) -
10 Mar 1944, Sword of Honour – 1924,
High Sheriff (Londonderry) – 1962.
For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations,
For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here
17 Dec 1924, Fg Off: 17 Jun
1926, Flt Lt: 8 Jan 1930,
Sqn Ldr:: 1 Dec 1936,
(T) Wg Cdr: 1
(T) Gp Capt: 14 Apr 1942 [1 Jan 1940],
Act A/Cdre: 1 May 1942?, 1 Nov
1942, (T) A/Cdre: 1
Capt: 1 Dec 1944, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1947, Act
AVM: 15 Jun 1945 - 1 Apr 1946, AVM:
1 Jul 1950 [1
Jan 1950], Act AM: 15 Sep 1955, AM:
1 Jan 1956,
Flight Cadet, 'A' Sqn, RAF College. (Cadet U/Off, Athletics, Cricket,
Rugby, Hockey, Soccer)
Dec 1924: Pilot, No 100 Sqn.
Dec 1928: QFI, No 3 FTS.
Attended Aircraft Engineering Course, Home Aircraft Depot.
1 Jun 1930: Placed on half pay list, Scales B.
Attended ? Course, Home Aircraft Depot.
Aug 1932: Engineering Staff/Instructor, Home Aircraft Depot.
Nov 1934: Flight Commander, No 45 Sqn.
Attended RAF Staff College.
Air Staff, Deputy Directorate of Intelligence.
13 Apr 1939: Senior Operations Officer, HQ Palestine & Transjordan.
2 Jan 1940: Air Staff, HQ RAF Middle East.
Apr 1941: Senior RAF Officer, Crete.
Officer Commanding, No ? (Bomber) Wing.
Senior Air Staff Officer, Western Desert Air Force.
Mar 1943: SASO, North African Tactical Air Forces.
xx xxx 1943: SASO, 2nd Tactical Air Force.
xx Nov 1943: Air Officer - Training, HQ Air Defence of Great Britain.?
AOC, No 44 Group.
AOC, No 45 Group.
1 Apr 1946: President. RAF Selection Board.
Aug 1947: Director of Weapons.
AOC & Commandant, RAF College - Cranwell.
AOC, AHQ Iraq.
Director-General of Personnel (II).
AOC in C, Transport Command.
AOC in C, Technical Training Command.
was one of four brothers from Northern Ireland, all of whom eventually joined
the RAF. A enthusiastic rugby player, he played for Leicester Tigers and was an
Irish International player (being capped 26 times) as well a being the chairman
of the RAF Rugby Union and an RAF rugby selector, prior to WW2.
Senior RAF Officer on Crete on 17 May 1941, he was tasked with overseeing the
reception of units following their withdrawal and evacuation from Greece.
For this purpose he was allocated two squadrons (30 & 203) from Egypt
and the fighter squadrons which until recently had been operating in Greece
with the German decision to invade Crete he found himself conducting the defence
of the island.
However, he was totally unable to convince the Army Commander that the
best means of destroying the invaders was in the air before landing. As a result
the success of the German airborne assault soon overwhelmed the British forces
and he was forced to order the last RAF aircraft to withdraw back to Egypt on 19
May 1941. Remaining
on the island to assisted the GOC, General Freyburg, eventually escaping with
the General aboard a Sunderland in late May.
his promotion to Acting Air Commodore in 1942, he became the first officer to be
trained by the RAF (i.e. with no previous service in the Army/RFC or Navy/RNAS)
to achieve air rank.
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