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Air Vice-Marshal Sir Geoffrey Bromet


Geoffrey Rhodes              b: 28 Aug 1891                 r: 25 Apr 1938                d: 16 Nov 1983

KBE - 14 Jun 1945 (CBE - 17 Mar 1941, OBE - 1 Jan 1919), CB - 1Jan 1943, DSO – 12 May 1917, MiD - 1 Jan 1941, LoH, C - xx xxx 1917, DL (Kent) - 1958, PR2 - 12 Jun 1945, WL2 - 6 Sep 1946, LoM (Cdr) - 17 Aug 1948.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(RN): - Mid’n: xx xxx 1904?, Sub-Lt:  17 May 1912, Lt: 15 May 1914, Act Flt Lt: 1 Jul 1914, Flt Lt: 29 Sep 1914 [1 Aug 1914], Flt Cdr: 7 May 1915, Act Sqn Cdr: 7 May 1915, Sqn Cdr: 31 Dec 1916, Wg Cdr: 31 Dec 1917.

(RAF): - (T) Lt Col [Maj]: 1 Apr 1918, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Aug 1919, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1921, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1929, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1933, Act  AVM: 4 Mar 1940 - 12 Sep 1941, (T) AVM: 1  Jun 1943, AVM: Retained.

xx xxx xxxx:              Attended Britannia Naval College, Dartmouth

13 May 1910:              Midshipman, HMS Cochrane.

12 May 1914:             Attended No 6 Course, Central Flying School.

 1 Aug 1914:               Intelligence Officer, RNAS Westgate on Sea.

xx xxx 1914:                Pilot, HMS Ark Royal.  

 7 May 1915?             Flight Commander, No 4 Sqn RNAS (Eastchurch).

16 Aug 1915:              Commended for service in action (at Gallipoli)

 26 Jun 1916:                Officer Commanding No 1 Sqn, No 5 Wing RNAS.

25 Oct 1916:               Officer Commanding, No 8 Sqn RNAS. (Sopwith Strutter, Pup, Triplane, Camel – Western Front)

xx Oct 1917:

 1 Apr 1918:                Staff  Officer, 1st Class, Deputy Directorate of Training.

 4 Feb 1919:                Staff Officer 1st Class, HQ Midland Area.

 3 May 1919:               Staff Officer, HQ No 29 (Fleet) Group.

 1 Aug 1919:                Awarded Permanent Commission as a Major

13 Jul 1920:                 Admiralty Liaison Officer, HQ Coastal Area.

27 Jul 1921:                Officer Commanding, School of Naval Co-operation and Aerial Navigation.

15 Feb 1922:

 1 May 1923:               Attended RAF Staff College.

 9 May 1924:               Fleet Aviation Officer to C in C, Mediterranean Fleet.

16 Apr 1928:               Officer Commanding, M.A.E.E./RAF Felixstowe

31 Jan 1931:                SASO, HQ Coastal Area.

18 Jan 1932:                SESO, HQ Coastal Area.

xx xxx xxxx?:                Officer Commanding, M.A.E.E.

 7 Jan 1933:                 SASO, HQ RAF Middle East.

 2 Jun 1936:                 Supernumerary, HQ Coastal Command.

30 Jun 1936:                SASO, HQ Coastal Command.

8 Jan 1940:                  SASO, HQ Coastal Command.

12 Sep 1941:               AOC, No 19 Group.

18 Sep 1943:               AOC, No 247 Group.

10 Oct 1945:               Reverted to Retired List, retaining rank of Air Vice-Marshal

On 1 Oct 1943, he boarded the troopship HMT Franconia leading a British force to commence operation 'Alacrity'.  This was in effect an 'invasion' of the Azores, carried out at the invitation of the Portuguese government. The aim of the operation was to take over previously prepared facilities on the island and to set up No 247 Group of Coastal Command.  The purpose of this group was the control of operations by long range Fortresses and Liberators over the central Atlantic area, thereby effectively closing the 'Atlantic Gap' to German U-boats. 

He gained Royal Aero Club Certificate No 714 on 22 December 1913.  He flew the first air reconnaissance of the disastrous Dardanelles campaign in a Wight seaplane on 17 February 1915 and later took part in the Battle of the Somme with No 8 (Naval) Sqn. 

He was married twice, his first wife dying in 1961.  Four years later, he married Commandant Dame Jean Conan Doyle, daughter of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Director of the WRAF from 1963 to 1966.  He retired at his own request.

After WW2 he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of the Isle of Man and as the founding CO of 'Naval 8' in 1916, it was fitting that he should present the Squadron Standard to No 208 Squadron RAF at Abu Sueir on 18 November 1955.  

Citation for award of DSO: -

Sqn.-Cdr. Geoffrey Rhodes Bromet, R.N.

This officer commanded a squadron of the R.N.A.S., attached to the Flying Corps, with conspicuous ability and success.  Under his command the squadron developed into a most efficient and formidable fighting force, •which has brought great credit to the Royal Naval Air Service."

(London Gazette - 12 May 1917)

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