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Air Commodore P M Brothers (37668)

P M Brothers - 1934Peter Malam                 b: 30 Sep 1917                        r: 4 Apr 1973                        d: 18 Dec 2008

 CBE – 13 Jun 1964, DSO – 31 Oct 1944, DFC – 13 Sep 1940, Bar – 15 Jun 1943.

 Act Plt Off (P): 23 Mar 1936, Plt Off: 27 Jan 1937, Fg Off: 27 Oct 1938, Act Flt Lt: 2 Mar 1939, Flt Lt (WS): 3 Sep 1940, Act Sqn Ldr: xx Jun 1941, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Dec 1941, Act Wg Cdr: xx Oct 1942?, Sqn Ldr (WS): 2 Jan 1943, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1945, Sqn Ldr: 5 Aug 1946, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1952, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1959, Act A/Cdre: 19 Oct 1965, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1966.

27 Jan 1936:    Pupil pilot,  

23 Mar 1936:   Granted a Short Service Commission.

 4 Apr 1936:    U/T Pilot, No 9 FTS.

11 Oct 1936:    Pilot, No 32 Sqn. (Gauntlet II) (Biggin Hill)

 xx xxx 1938:    Flight Commander, No 32 Sqn.

 9 Sep 1940:    'B' Flight Commander, No 257 Sqn. (arrived 10 Sep 1940)

19 Dec 1940:     Instructor, No 55 OTU.

xx Feb 1941:     Instructor, No 52 OTU

xx Feb 1941:    Attended Central Flying School

16 Jun 1941:    Officer Commanding, No 457  (RAAF) Sqn. (Spitfire I/II/V)

27 Jan 1942:    Transferred to RAFO and called up for service.

xx Jun 1942:     Officer Commanding, No 602 Sqn. (Spitfire V)

xx Oct 1942:    Wing Leader, Tangmere Wing.

xx Apr 1943:    CFI?, No 52 OTU.

 1 Aug 1943:    Officer Commanding, Training Wing, No 61 OTU.

24 Nov 1943:   Staff, HQ No 10 (Fighter) Group.

 4 Apr 1944:     Officer Commanding, RAF Milfield?

25 Apr 1944:   Wing Commander - Flying, Exeter Wing.

xx xxx 1944:    Wing Commander - Flying, Culmhead Wing

xx xxx 1944:     Attended US Command and General Staff School.

xx xxx 1945:     Staff, Tactics Branch - Central Fighter Establishment.

xx xxx 1947:   Colonial Service, Kenya.

21 Jan 1950:     Officer Commanding, No 57 (Bomber) Sqn.

12 Nov 1951:   Air Staff, HQ No 3 (Bomber) Group.

xx Jan 1954:     Attended RAF Staff College.

20 Dec 1954:   Air Staff - Operations, HQ Fighter Command.

xx xxx 1957:     Officer Commanding, RAF Marham.

15 May 1959:   Staff Policy, Plans and Policy Division, SHAPE.

30 Jul 1962:     Deputy Director of Operations (Air Defence and Overseas).

12 Feb 1965:   Officer Commanding, RAF Boulmer.

19 Oct 1965:    AOC, Military Air Traffic Organisation.

xx Feb 1968:    Director of Public Relations.

Born at Prestwich, Lancashire, he learned to fly at 16 and joined the RAF in 1936.  He joined No 32 Squadron flying Gauntlets at Biggin Hill and became a flight commander with the squadron in early 1939.  By the outbreak of war the squadron had re-equipped with Hurricanes and he flew these throughout the Battle of Britain, moving to No 257 Squadron in September 1940.  Four months later he was rested as a instructor at No 55 OTU at Aston Down but a month later was sent to CFS to undertake a course.  In June he was promoted Squadron Leader and appointed to form No 457 Squadron at Baginton.  A year later he took command of No 602 Squadron, which at that time was based in Scotland but moved south briefly to take part in the Dieppe landings in August 1942.

In October 1942, he was lead the Tangmere Wing before being rested at No 52 and then No 61 OTU as Chief Flying Instructor and a short spell on the staff of HQ, No 10 Group.  He returned to operations as Wing Leader of the Exeter Wing in April 1944, but prior to D-Day he took over as Wing Leader of the Culmhead Wing.  In October he attended US Command and General Staff School at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.  His final score at the end of the war was 16 confirmed destroyed, one unconfirmed, one probable and three damaged.  On his return he joined the Central Fighter Establishment, remaining until 1947.  However, he was not offered a permanent commission in the post-war RAF, so he left to join the Colonial Service in Kenya as a District Officer, owning his own aircraft which proved extremely useful for touring his area. 

However, two years later he rejoined the RAF, being given command of a Lincoln bomber squadron which he led in operations in Malaysia during the Emergency.  He then joined the staff of No 3 Group until January 1954, when he attended the RAF Staff College.  From there he joined the staff at HQ Fighter Command before returning to Bomber Command as OC of RAF Marham in Norfolk.  Here he commanded the first 'V-bomber'  Wing in the RAF equipped with Valiants.  From  1959 until 1962 he held posts at Supreme HQ Allied Powers Europe before returning to the UK and the Air Ministry as Deputy Director of Operations (Air Defence and Overseas).  In 1965 he was appointed AOC, Military Air Traffic Organisation and then in 1968, Director of Public Relations.  He retired from the RAF in 1973.

From 1973 to 1986, he was Managing Director of Peter Brothers Consultants Ltd.  He has also been a member/officer of various bodies and appeared in a number of TV documentaries about WW2, the  Spitfire and the Battle of Britain.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

“Acting Flight Lieutenant Peter Malan BROTHERS (37668).

During an offensive patrol in August, 1940,this officer's flight encountered about one hundred enemy aircraft.  He led the flight in attack against them, but before this could be pressed home, he  was himself attacked by a number of Messerschmitt 110’s. Turning to meet them, he found himself in a stalled position, he spun out of it and immediately sighted and engaged a Dornier 215 which  he shot down.  Later in the day he destroyed a Messerschmitt 109.  Altogether Flight Lieutenant Brothers has destroyed seven enemy aircraft.  He has at all times displayed great courage and initiative.”

(London Gazette – 13 September 1940)

Citation for the award of the Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross.

"Acting Wing Commander Peter Malam BROTHERS, D.F.C. (37668), Reserve of Air Force Officers.

This officer has displayed outstanding keenness and efficiency.  Within recent months he has led a wing in many operations and, by his skilful work and personal example, has contributed in a large measure to the high standard of operational efficiency of the formation. He has displayed great devotion to duty.”

 (London Gazette – 15 June 1943)

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

“Wing Commander Peter Malam BROTHERS, D.F.C. (37668), R.A.F.O.

Wing Commander Brothers is a courageous and outstanding leader whose splendid example has inspired all.  He has led large formations of aircraft on many missions far into enemy territory.  Much of the success obtained can be attributed to Wing Commander Brothers brilliant leadership.  He has destroyed 13 enemy aircraft.”

(London Gazette – 31 October 1944)

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