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Air Commodore H P Connolly (565712/44636)


Hubert Patrick             

b: 9 Mar 1915                                                        

d: 11 Dec 1968

CB - 1 Jan 1963, DFC 8 Dec 1944, Bar 13 Apr 1945, AFC - 1 Jan 1953, AFM 1 Jan 1941, ADC.

Plt Off (P): 23 Sep 1940 [18 Sep 1940], Fg Off (WS): 23 Sep 1941 [18 Sep 1941], Flt Lt (WS): 18 Sep 1942, Act Sqn Ldr: xx xxx xxxx, Act Wg Cdr: 1 Oct 1944?, Sqn Ldr (WS): 1 Apr 1945, Sqn Ldr: 28 Feb 1946 [1 Sep 1945], Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1947, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1955, Act A/Cdre: xx xxx xxxx, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1961.

xx xxx 1931:            Aircraft Apprentice, No 1 School of Technical Training, RAF Halton (565712).

1935                       Rigger/Air Gunner, No ? Sqn. (Wapiti)

xx xxx 1937:            Sergeant Pilot.

xx xxx 1940:            Attended Central Flying School.

xx xxx 1940:            QFI, ?

xx xxx 1943:            Flight Commander, No 635 Sqn.

xx xxx 1945:            Officer Commanding, No ? Sqn.

 1 Mar 1945:           Air Staff, HQ No 8 Group.

xx xxx 1945:            Served in Far East Air Force.

28 Feb 1946:          Appointed to an Extended Service Commission (scheme B) in the rank of Squadron Leader.

1 Jul 1946:            Appointed to Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader (retaining rank current at the time).  [wef 1 Sep 1945]

xx xxx 1948:            Attended RAF Staff College.

xx xxx 1948:            Air Staff - Plans, HQ Bomber Command.

xx xxx 1950:            Attended Joint Services Staff College.

xx xxx 1951:            OC Flying, RAF Binbrook.

xx xxx 1953:            Air Staff, HQ No 1 (Bomber) Group.

16 May 1955           Officer Commanding, RAF Scampton

 1 Jun 1955:             Officer Commanding, RAF Waddington.

xx xxx 1957:            Attended Imperial Defence College.

 7 Jan 1958:             Group Captain - Air Plans,  HQ Far East Air Force.

21 Jan 1961:            AOC & Commandant, Central Flying School.

 7 Mar 1963:           Assistant Chief of Staff (Training), HQ CENTO.

xx xxx 1965:            Commandant, Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre.

xx xxx 1967:            AOC, RAF Halton/Commandant, No 1 School of Technical Training.

Hugh Connolly joined the RAF as a 'Trenchard Brat' at RAF Halton in 1931.  Qualifying as a Rigger he was posted to No ? Squadron in India and had soon volunteered for aircrew duties as an air gunner, which at that time was still a 'part-time' post filled by ground crew.  However his chance to fly as a pilot soon came and in 1937 he was accepted for training as an NCO pilot.  Having been awarded an AFM in 1940 for ?, he was commissioned and sent to the CFS to train as an instructor.

In 1943 he returned to operations when he joined No ? Squadron of the No 8 Group and by 1945 he was commanding a PFF squadron.  After the war his career followed a fairly routine pattern of operational tours interspersed with staf posts and attendance at various colleges.  Whilst commanding RAF Waddington, his station was selected as the home base for the RAF's first Vulcan squadron.  In 1961, he returned to the CFS as it's new Commandant and following the selection of the Folland Gnat T1 as the RAF's new advanced trainer, he displayed an early production model at the Paris Salon of 1961, before the type's entry to service.   His final posting prior to retirement was another return to old haunts for him, when he was appointed Commandant of No 1 School of Technical Training at Halton, where he had begun his RAF career 36 years earlier.

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