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Air Commodore H R Busteed

H R Busteed - 1911Henry Richard           b: 6 Nov 1887                        r: 14 Nov 1932                        d: 14 Jun 1965

OBE - 7 Jan 1918, AFC - 1 Jan 1919, CdeG(F) - 17 May 1918.  

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(RFC): - 2 Lt (P): 25 Jan 1913,

(RNR/RNAS): - Sub-Lt: 4 Oct 1913, Act Flt Lt (T): 3 Aug 1914, Flt Lt: 28 Nov 1914 [3 Aug 1914], Flt Cdr: 25 Jun 1915, Act Sqn Cdr:  30 Jun 1916, Sqn Cdr: 31 Dec 1916, Wg Cdr: 31 Dec 1917.

(RAF): - (T) Lt Col [Maj]: 1 Apr 1918, Wg Cdr: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1928, Act A/ Cdre: 3 Sep 1939?, A/Cdre: Retained.

RAFO (Class CC): A/Cdre: 8 Mar 1939

25 Jan 1913:               Flying Officer, RFC Special Reserve.

23 Apr 1913:             Attended Central Flying School

 4 Oct 1913:               Officer RNR, attached RFC Reserve (Naval Wing)

3 Aug 1914:                Test Pilot, Isle of Grain Air Station

xx Sep 1914:               Pilot, HMS Hermes

xx Dec 1914:              Test Pilot, Isle of Grain Air Station

xx Mar 1915:              Special Duty, U.S.A.

13 Sep 1915:              Pilot, Hendon Air Station

 7 Sep 1916:              Officer Commanding, Design Flight RNAS.

 7 Mar 1917:              Officer Commanding, Experimental Depot, Isle of Grain.

 6 Oct 1918:               Commandant, M.A.E.E.

 1 Aug 1919:               Awarded Permanent Commission as a Lieutenant Colonel

14 Nov 1921:             Officer Commanding, RAF Base, Gosport.

16 Apr 1923:              Air Staff, HQ No 1 Group

 1 Sep 1923:               Supernumerary, HQ Coastal Area (awaiting duty aboard HMS Furious)

 8 May 1925:              OC Flying, HMS Furious.

 7 Sep 1926:               Attended RN Staff College, Camberley.

26 Oct 1927:              Attached, RAF Worthy Down (prior to forming No 10 at Upper Heyford)

 3 Jan 1928:                Officer Commanding, No 10 Sqn. (Upper Heyford)

8 Oct 1928:                Officer Commanding, No 482 (Coastal Reconnaissance) Flight.

31 Oct 1928:              Officer Commanding, RAF Cattewater

1 Jan 1929:                 Officer Commanding, No 203 Sqn.

xx Feb 1929:               Declared medically unfit for service overseas

19 Feb - 13 Apr 1929:              Placed on half-pay list, scale A.

13 Apr 1929:              Attended Senior Officer's Technical Course, Portsmouth.

 4 Jul 1929:                 Officer Commanding, Reception Depot.

26 Jul 1931:

 3 Aug 1931:                Placed on half pay list, scale A 

14 Nov 1932 - 3 Sep 1939:                Retired List.

 8 Mar 1939:               Appointed to a Commission in Class CC, RAFO in the rank of Air Commodore

 8 Mar 1939?:               Commandant, Southampton District, RAFVR

 3 Sep 1939:              Relinquished his commission (A/Cdre) in Class CC of the RAFO.

3 Sep 1939:               Reverted to the Active List

3 Sep 1939:               AOC, No 33 (Balloon Barrage) Group.

 1 Mar 1940:              AOC, No 34 (Balloon Barrage) Group.

 1 Aug 1941:              Reverted to Retired List

An Australian born in North Carlton, Victoria, by 1910 he was the first Australian to hold a pilot's licence and was one of the first three flying instructors at the Bristol School of Aviation at Larkhill and from June 1911, having gained his RAeC Certificate No 94 on 13 June, until 1913 he was Chief Test Pilot for the Bristol and Colonial Aircraft Company.  He originally joined the Special Reserve of the RFC (Military) Wing, but in October 1913 he resigned his RFC commission and joined the RNR, immediately being attached to the RFC (Naval Wing).  Called up in 1914, he was soon developing his own ideas, one of which was the launching of seaplanes from railway flat wagons, using the aircraft's engine to reach flying speed.  Testing the idea himself he rated the experience as 'great fun'.  On 7 June 1915, he transferred to the RNAS.  

Flying an impressed Albatros BII on 7 February 1915 he suffered an engine failure on take off and ran into a dyke, causing the aircraft to overturn and slightly injuring him.  In 1917 he was a member of the sub-committee which worked with Armstrong Whitworth looking into the design of arresting gear for aircraft carriers.  Also in 1917, he supervised the trials in catapulting aircraft from ships.

This page was last updated on 30/04/21

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