Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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Marshal of the RAF Sir Dermot Boyle (16138)


Dermot Alexander:            b:  2 Oct 1904,            r:  1 Jan 1960,                     d:  5 May 1993

GCB - 1 Jan 1957 (CB - 1 Jan 1946), KCVO - 16 Jul 1953, KBE - 1 Jan 1953 (CBE - 1 Jan 1945), AFC - 8 Jun 1939, MiD - 1 Jan 1941, MiD - 24 Sep 1941, MiD - 2 Jun 1943, Cwn-P (Cdr) - 11 Jul 1947, CdeG (P) (B) - 11 Jul 1947.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

Plt Off:  31 Jul 1924, Fg Off: 31 Jan 1926, Flt Lt: 13 Nov 1929, Sqn Ldr: 1 Oct 1936, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1940, Gp Capt (T): 1 Sep 1941, Wg Cdr: 14 Apr 1942 [1 Jan 1940], Act A/Cdre: 17 May 1943, Gp Capt (W): 17 Nov 1943, A/Cdre: 1 Oct 1944, Gp Capt: 1 Dec 1944, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1947, Act AVM: 26 Apr 1945 – 19 Mar 1946, Act AVM: 26 Jul 1948, AVM: 1 Jul 1949, Act AM: 7 Apr 1953, AM: 1 Jan 1954, ACM: 1 Jan 1956, MRAF: 1 Jan 1958.

14 Sep 1922:            Flight Cadet, RAF College. (Flt Cdt Sgt

31 Jul 1924:              Granted a Permanent Commission.

31 Jul 1924:              Pilot, No 17 Sqn.

15 Dec 1925:            Pilot, No 1 Sqn.

 1 Nov 1926:            Pilot, No 6 Sqn.

12 Mar 1927:           Attended Flying Instructor's Course, CFS

26 Apr 1927:           QFI, Central Flying School.

 5 Oct 1929:            Assistant Adjutant/QFI, No 601 (County of London) Sqn AuxAF.

16 Jan 1930:            QFI, RAF College, Cranwell

 5 Jan 1931:             Adjutant/QFI, No 601 (County of London) Sqn AuxAF

 7 Apr 1933:            Personnel Staff, HQ RAF India

21 Jan 1936:            Attended RAF Staff College.

2 Jan 1937:              Officer Commanding, No 83 Sqn.

19 Jul 1937:             CFI - RAF College, Cranwell.

21 Nov 1939:          Staff Officer, HQ AASF.

28 Jun 1940:            Air Staff - Operations, HQ Bomber Command.

21 Nov 1940:          Officer Commanding, No 83 Sqn.

17 Feb 1941:           Assistant Secretary, Committee of Imperial Defence.

17 Jan 1942:            Officer Commanding, RAF Stradishall.

17 May 1943:          SASO, No 83 Group.

26 Aug 1943:           Appointed Air ADC to The King

26 Apr 1945:           AOC, No 85 (Base) Group.

20 Jul 1945:             AOC, No 11 Group.

 2 Apr 1946:            Attended Imperial Defence College.

 2 Jan 1947:             Commandant, RAF Staff College

26 Jul 1948:             Director-General of Personnel (1)

 2 Aug 1949:            Director-General of Manning

 5 Apr 1951:            AOC, No 1 (Bomber) Group.

 7 Apr 1953:            AOC in C, Fighter Command

 1 Jan 1956:             Chief of the Air Staff

 1 Feb 1960:            Placed on Half Pay.

Dermot Boyle became the first ex-Cranwell Cadet to reach the position of Chief of the Air Staff.  He qualified as a QFI at the CFS in 1927 achieving a rare 'A1' rating.  Whilst serving at the Central Flying School in 1928, he led the school's display team of two Genet Moths, the other pilot being fellow instructor, Richard Atcherley.  However, he nearly did not achieve his ultimate greatness. He was carrying out a low slow roll in one of the School's Tomtits, when the engine cut out.  The aircraft crashed and was declared a write-off but Boyle walked away owing to the strength of it's metal construction.

In 1935 he had the privilege of taking The Queen Mother (then the Duchess of York) for her first flight.  This took place from the grounds of Sir Philip Sassoon's residence in a Puss Moth.  The flight resulted in an instruction from the Air Council that members of the Royal Family where not to be flown "in conditions unbecoming of their station".

Appointed to the staff of the Advanced Air Striking Force in 1939, he was tasked with the organisation of the final withdrawal of the Force’s remaining units through Brest and together with his AOC, became one of the last RAF officers to leave France.

Whilst AOC, No 1 Group, he undertook a flight from London to Valetta in a Canberra, setting a new speed record for the journey.  In 1952 he flew one of the four Canberras involved in Operation' Round Trip'.  This consisted of a seven week tour taking in 14 South American countries covering 24,000 miles.  Shortly after taking up his appointment as CAS, he undertook a tour of RAF bases in the Middle and Far East by piloting himself in a Canberra covering around 20,000 miles.   Following his retirement from active service he joined ? (Aircraft Company) becoming Vice-Chairman of the British Aircraft Corporation in 1962 until 1971.  He was also Master of the Guild of Airline Pilots and Air Navigators (1965 - 66), Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the RAF Museum (1965 - 74) and Deputy Chairman of the RAF Benevolent Fund (1971 - 80)

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