Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Commodore H G Crowe (05075)

Henry George               b: 11 Jun 1897            r: 28 Dec 1945            d: 26 Apr 1983

CBE - 8 Jun 1944, MC - 26 Jul 1918, CBD (SC) - 25 Jun 1946.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Army):- 2 Lt: 19 Jul 1916, Lt: 19 Jan 1918.

(RAF):- Lt: 1 Apr 1918, Obs Off: 1 Aug 1919, Fg Off: 17 Nov 1921 [1 Apr 1918], Flt Lt: 30 Aug 1922, Sqn Ldr: 8 Jan 1930, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1936, Act Gp Capt: xx xxx xxxx, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1940, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jun 1941, 14 Apr 1942 [1 Jan 1940], Act AVM: 16 Nov 1943 - 8 Apr 1944, A/Cdre: Retained.

Photo:  RAeC

xx Nov 1915:         Cadet, RMC Sandhurst

19 Jul 1916            Officer, 6th Battalion, Royal Irish Regiment.

 4 Sep 1917:           Returned to Home Establishment

 5 Sep 1917            Seconded to RFC as an Observer on probation

27 Nov 1917:         Embarked for France

28 Nov 1917:         Attached, Observer, No 20 Sqn, RFC

17-25 Dec 1917:     On Temporary Duty, AMR (sic)

23 Jan 1918:           Appointed Flying Officer (Observer) [seniority 28 Nov 1917].

2-12 Feb 1918:       To Biggin Hill on Temporary Duty

 8 Oct 1919:            Flying Officer (Observer), No 2 Sqn.

xx Aug 1918:           U/T Pilot, Reading

xx Dec 1918:           U/T Pilot, Collinstown, nr Dublin.

xx Apr 1919:           Pilot, No 106 Sqn.

 1 Aug 1919:            Re-seconded to RAF for further two years (gazetted 27 Apr 1920)

 8 Oct 1919:            Pilot, No 105 Sqn.?

 1 Feb 1920:            Pilot, No 2 Sqn.

21 Nov 1921:          Pilot, No 39 Sqn.

19 Oct 1922:           Supernumerary, School of Photography.

 9 Apr 1923:            Staff, School of Photography

27 Feb 1925:           Photographic Officer, HQ Iraq Command.

17 Oct 1926:           Flight Commander, No 14 Sqn.

30 Dec 1928:           Attended RAF Staff College.

 1 Feb 1930:            Staff, Deputy Directorate of  Organisation.

xx Jan 1933:             Refresher flying course, Central Flying School.

13 Feb 1933:           Officer Commanding, No 23 Sqn.

 3 Sep 1935:            Officer Commanding, No 74 Sqn.

19 Jul 1936:             Posted to Home Establishment

10 Sep 1936:           Staff, Directorate of Organisation.

25 Oct 1938:           Supernumerary, HQ No 1 (Indian) Group.

xx xxx 1938:            Officer Commanding, No 1 (Indian) Wing, Kohat

20 Jan 1940:            Deputy Director of War Training and Tactics.

xx Jul 1940:              Deputy Director of Air Tactics

 1 Jun 1941:              Director of Allied Air Co-operation and Foreign Liaison.

27 Aug 1942:            Deputy AOA, HQ Air Forces in India.

 5 Oct 1944:             AOC, No 223 (Composite) Group.

Group Photo of No 6 Sqn RIAF with AM Sir John Baldwin and A/Cdre H G Crowe

Members of No.6 Squadron RIAF during the visit of Air Marshal Baldwin accompanied by Air Commodore Henry Crowe visit No 6 Squadron at Cox Bazaar in 1944

L - R:  

FO 'Massy' MASSILAMANi,  Unidentified Indian Officer,  FO Mehar SINGH,   FO 'Titch' HAWKINS, Air Marshal J. BALDWIN,  P/O H.K. PATEL,  A/Cdre H. CROWE,  F/O Murkot RAMUNNY (Kneeling),  F/O  'Creamy' BLUNT,  Unidentified USAF Officer,  F/L M.S. PUNJI,  Unidentified RAF Officer,  F/O J.C. 'Bandy' VARMA.

Wg Cdr H.K. PATEL via Norman Hood

He attended Clive House School  in Colwyn from September 1905 to 1912 before attending an Dean School in Cheltenham until December 1913, after which he returned to Dublin to study for an engineering degree at Trinity College, but with the advent of WW1 he entered Sandhurst in 1915.  He joined the Royal Irish Regiment whilst it was serving on the Somme at Kemmel.  Flying as observer to Major J A Dennistoun on 1 April 1918, their Bristol Fighter was hit by AA fire resulting in a forced landing which totally destroyed the aircraft.  Fortunately, both crew were unhurt and were able to make their way by road back to base.  As an observer he was involved in the destruction of eight enemy aircraft with various pilots in No 20 Squadron.  No 74 Squadron was formed from No 23 aboard the troopship ship taking personnel to Malta as part of the RAF's response to Italy's invasion of Abyssinia.

Citation for the award of the Military Cross

"Lt; Henry George Crowe, R. Ir. Regt. and R.A.F.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty when taking part in many low-flying bomb raids and reconnaissances as an observerOn every occasion he brought back very accurate and valuable information. On three occasions his machine was shot down by enemy fire, but he continued his work, and his great fearlessness and fine spirit have been an invaluable example to others.  He has taken part in several air combats and been responsible for the destruction of many hostile machines."

(London Gazette - 26 Jul 1918)

Citation for the award of Commander of the Order of the British Empire

"CROWE, Henry George, A/C, MC - Command Headquarters, South East Asia

This officer has been Deputy Air Officer in Charge of Administration for the past 18 months, during which time the Royal Air Force in India and the Indian Air Force have been expanded greatly.  During this development, achieved in the face of great difficulties, Air Commodore Crowe has dealt successfully with every matter of organisation, of accommodation and of personnel services.  His modesty and single-mindedness have tended to conceal the splendid influence he has had on the staff at Headquarters and on the development of the welfare of the whole of the air forces in India and Ceylon.  His zeal, integrity and devotion to duty have been beyond praise."

(Source - Air 2/9003)

This page was last updated on 23/06/23

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