Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Commodore G S Cooper (57632)

Geoffrey Strickland               

b: 25 Oct 1925                        r: 1 Sep 1978              d:  13 Dec 2014

OBE 14 Jun 1969.

AC2: xx xxx xxxx, Plt Off (P): 21 Dec 1945, Fg Off (WS): 21 Jun 1946, Fg Off: 21 Dec 1946, Flt Lt: 30 Jun 1949, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jan 1956, Act Wg Cdr: xx xxx 1957?, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1962, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1971, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1975.

xx xxx 1944:                 U/T Pilot (AC2 3031393)

21 Dec 1945:               Appointed to a Short Service Commission (4 years on the active list)

xx xxx 1948:                  Pilot, No 208 Sqn

14 Sep 1949:               Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

xx xxx xxxx:                 Pilot/Flight Commander, Various Fighter Sqns 

 1 Feb 1956:                Officer Commanding, No 45 Sqn.

xx xxx 1957:                Wing Commander - ?, Joint Operations Centre, Kuala Lumper (Acting rank?)

20 Dec 1958:               Work Study Staff Officer, HQ Fighter Command

14 Jul 1962:                 Officer Commanding, Flying Wing, RAF Binbrook.

xx xxx xxxx:                 Attended RAF Staff College

xx xxx xxxx:                 Staff Officer, Ministry of Defence

xx xxx xxxx:                 Staff Officer, HQ Fighter Command

 xx xxx 1967:               Wing Commander - Operations, Air Headquarters, Persian Gulf

 8 Sep 1969:                Air Staff, Directorate of Air Staff Plans.

 2 Sep 1970:                Staff Officer, Department of AMSO.

12 Feb 1971                Officer Commanding, RAF Patrington

27 Nov 1972:              Deputy Director of Air Staff Plans.

5 Jul 1975:                   Director of Air Staff Plans.

28 Jun 1976:                AOC, Military Air Traffic Organisation.

In May 1948, he shot down an Egyptian Spitfire which was one of three that attacked their base at Ramat David, thinking it was occupied by the Israelis.  In January 1949 after 208 Squadron had moved to the Canal Zone he was carrying out a reconnaissance patrol along the Egyptian border with three other pilots they came under AA fire which forced one pilot to bale out and the other three were then attacked by Israeli Spitfires.  All three RAF aircraft were shot with Cooper and Flying Officer McElhaw baling out whilst the remaining pilot was killed.  Cooper landed in Egypt and was rescued by Bedouin tribesmen and returned to his base the following day.

Whilst OC, No 45 Squadron, he formed a four-man Venom aerobatic display team within the squadron, although initially, he performed a solo set, but by late 1957, he was leading the team, which performed around the Far East.

Retired at his own request and served as the air correspondent of The Daily Telegraph for 11 years from 1979.

This page was last updated on 25/05/17 using FrontPage 2003

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