Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Commodore G B Dacre

G B Dacre - 1911 George Bentley           b: 22 Mar 1891               r: 26 Jun 1944                        d: 4 Jan 1962

CBE - 1 Jan 1941, DSO - 19 Feb 1915, DL (Sussex) - 27 Apr 1951, Shf (Sussex) - 15 Nov 1957, MiD - 14 Mar 1916, MiD - 11 Jul 1940.

(RNAS): - (P) Flt Sub-Lt: 5 Aug 1914, Flt Sub-Lt: 16 Sep 1914, Flt Lt: 31 Dec 1914, Flt Cdr: 30 Jun 1916.

(RAF): - Capt: 1 Apr 1918, Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Sqn Ldr: 1 Mar 1920, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1929, Act Gp Capt: 10 Jun 1930 - 20 May 1932, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1935, Act. (U) A/Cdre: 26 Mar 1938, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1938.

xx Sep 1914:            Pilot, Fort George Naval Air Station

xx xxx 1914:             Pilot. No 3 Wing RNAS?

xx xxx 1915:             Pilot, HMS Ben-my-Chree

25 Aug 1916:           Prisoner of War

xx xxx xxxx:             

18 Feb 1919:            Staff, M.A.E.E.

 1 Aug 1919:             Awarded Permanent Commission as a Captain

25 Sep 1922:             Attended Royal Naval College, Greenwich

 5 Jul 1923:                Staff, RAF Training Base, Leuchars.

xx Jul 1925:               Still shown at Leuchars but index indicates he was aboard a carrier?

 7 Jun 1926:               Armament Officer, Chemical Warfare Experimental Station, Porton.

20 May 1929:            Member, British Naval Mission to Greece.

10 Jun 1930:              Seconded as Adviser to the Greek Ministry of Aviation.

29 May - 29 Jun 1932:    Placed on half pay list, Scale A

10 Jul 1932:                 ?

 3 Aug 1932:              Officer Commanding, RAF Kenley

 1 Oct 1932:              Officer Commanding, RAF Biggin Hill.

17 Jan 1933:              Attended Imperial Defence College.

18 Dec 1933:             Senior Personnel Staff Officer, HQ Western Area.

21 Mar 1935:             Air Attaché, Rome.

27 Sep 1937:             Supernumerary, HQ Coastal Command.  

xx Feb 1938:              Officer Commanding, RAF Thorney Island.

23 Mar 1938:             AOC (Temporary), No 25 (Armament) Group.

17 Aug 1938:             AOC, RAF Halton/Commandant, No 1 SoTT (Apprentices).

xx xxx 1939:               AOA, HQ Advanced Air Striking Force.

xx xxx 1940:               AOC, RAF Halton/Commandant, No 1 SoTT (Apprentices).  

xx xxx xxxx:                AOC, No 24 Group

28 Sep 1942:               AOC, No 72 Group

xx xxx 1943:                 Staff Officer, HQ Central Mediterranean Forces.

xx xxx xxxx - 31 Jan 1961:    Honorary Air Commodore, No 3618 (County of Sussex) Fighter Control Unit, RAuxAF

Educated at Clifton College, he qualified as a pilot on 28 November 1911 gaining RAeC Certificate No 162, having studied Engineering at Bristol University joining the experimental staff of the British and Colonial Aeroplane Co, Ltd.  He joined the RNAS in August 1914 and whilst flying the prototype Short 184 on 17 August 1915, he spotted a Turkish steam tug in False Bay.  His aircraft being damaged? he landed on the sea and whilst taxiing towards it he attacked and sank it with his airborne torpedo.  He later failed to return from a mission to attack an enemy camp at Bureir and a viaduct over a nearby wadi.  He was captured by the Arabs, remaining a prisoner of war until the Armistice?.  

In 1951, he and his wife presented the Dacre Trophy to the RAF, in memory of their son, Kenneth Fraser, who was killed on operations over Germany in 1943, whilst serving with No 605 Squadron. The trophy is awarded annually to the most proficient fighter squadron in the RAF. 

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

“Flight-Lieutenant George Bentley Dacre, R.N.

For his services in the Dardanelles when he flew over the Gallipoli Peninsula, and in spite of serious trouble with his machine succeeded in carrying out a difficult operation, and afterwards returned safely to his base.  Great nerve and courage were displayed in prosecuting an attack under very adverse conditions.”

(London Gazette – 19 November 1915)

Citation for the award of a Mentioned in Despatches

"DACRE, George Bentley, Flight Lieutenant, DSO

For "operations between the time of the landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula in April, 1915, and the evacuation in December, 1915 - January, 1916".”

(awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 March 1916)                                                                

This page was last updated on 20/09/23

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