Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
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b: 13 Mar 1904
r: 12 Sep 1956
d: 21 Jun 1995
CB - 1 Jan 1946, AFC - 8 Jun 1939, MiD – 1 Jan 1945, Polar Medal - 1 Nov 1932, KW - 10 Mar 1944, MBDS - 11 Apr 1944, MA - 1934.
For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations,
For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here
Plt Off (P): 14 May 1923, Plt Off: 14 Nov 1923, Fg Off: 14 Dec 1924, Flt Lt: 12 Dec 1928, Sqn Ldr: 1 Dec 1936, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1940, Act Gp Capt: xx xxx xxxx, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Mar 1942, Wg Cdr: 14 Apr 1942 [1 Jan 1940], Act A/Cdre: 1 Dec 1943 - 45?, Gp Capt (WS): 1 Jun 1944, Gp Capt: 1 Oct 1946, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1949.
Photo - Crown Copyright ©
14 May 1923: Appointed to a Short Service Commission.
14 May 1923: U/T Pilot, No 1 FTS.
18 Jun 1924: Pilot, No 56 Sqn.
9 Oct 1925: Attended Cambridge University.
18 Sep 1926: Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flying Officer.
18 Sep 1926: Aircraft Engineering Course, Home Aircraft Depot. (E* rating)
1 Jan 1929: Attended Cambridge University.
2 Jul 1930: Member, British Arctic Air Route Expedition.
2 Nov 1931: Attended Central Flying School.
16 Feb 1932: Flight Commander, No 25 Sqn.
2 Jan 1933: Engineering Officer, M.A.E.E.
25 Feb 1935: Air Staff, HQ Iraq Command.
19 Jan 1937: Attended RAF Staff College.
18 Dec 1937: Officer Commanding, No 19 Sqn. (Gauntlet II/Spitfire I)
xx Dec 1939: Assistant Director (MT), Joint Directorate of Research and Development.
12 Jul 1941: Liaison Staff, Joint Organisation and Maintenance (US Army Air Force)
xx xxx 1942: Officer Commanding, RAF Hemswell
1 Dec 1943: SASO, HQ No 1 Group.
xx xxx 1944: AOC, No 13? Base (RAF Hemswell)
26 Nov 1945: SASO, HQ No 216 Group.
xx xxx 1947: Attended Imperial Defence College.
xx xxx 1947: Deputy Director of Command and Staff Training.
7 Jul 1949: Director of Plans
10 May 1951: Deputy Assistant Chief of Staff - Operations and Training, SHAPE.
6 Sep 1954: AOA, HQ Home Command.
Having taken command of No 19 Squadron, the previous year, he heard in 1938, that his neighbouring unit at Duxford, No 66 was to be equipped with the first examples of the Supermarine Spitfire to enter RAF Service. Determined to gain this honour for his own squadron, he was able to influence certain persons at the Air Ministry to have the decision changed. Together with Sqn Ldr J L F Fuller-Good, OC No 66 Squadron, he wrote the report which resulted in the early modifications to the Spitfire, including constant speed propellers, revised canopy, improved oil seals for the engine and improved gearing for the starter motor.
During WW2, whilst in command of the Base at Hemswell, he made the only colour movie film of Lancaster operations entitled 'Night Bombers', now available on video. From 1969 - 1990, he was the Vice-President of the British Schools Exploring Society.
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P D Cracroft
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