Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Vice-Marshal J C T Downey (42208)

John Chegwyn Thomas b: 26 Nov 1920           r: 13 Dec 1975            d: 14 Feb 2010

CB – 14 Jun 1975, DFC – 6 Feb 1945, AFC – 7 Jun 1951, MRAeS.

Act Plt Off (P): 24 Jun 1939, Plt Off (P): 9 Dec 1939, Plt Off: 1 May 1940, Fg Off (WS): 9 Dec 1940, Flt Lt (WS): 9 Dec 1941, Act Sqn Ldr: xx xxx 1942, Flt Lt: 1 Sep 1945, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jul 1949, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1955, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1960, Act A/Cdre: 2 Apr 1965?, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1965, Act AVM: 28 Nov 1969, AVM: 1 Jan 1970.

24 Jun 1939:                Appointed to a Short Service Commission.

xx xxx 1939:                 U/T Pilot, ?

xx xxx 1940:                 Attended School of General Reconnaissance, RAF Thorney Island

18 Mar 1940:               Pilot, No 608 (North Riding) Sqn. (Anson I/Botha/Hudson)

xx xxx 1940:                 Pilot, PRU (St Eval)

xx xxx xxxx:                  Officer i/c, No ? Flt

xx Sep 1941:                Pilot, No 202 Sqn (Catalinas - Gibraltar)

xx xxx 1942:                 Navigation Instructor, ?

xx May 1944:               Flight Commander, No 224 Sqn

xx xxx xxxx:                  Staff, Empire Radio School

29 Apr 1947:               Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant (wef from 1 Jul 1946 [1 Sep 1945]

xx xxx xxxx:                  Staff, Empire Flying School

xx xxx 1949:                 Staff, RAF Flying College

xx xxx 1951:                Attended RAF Staff College

xx xxx 1952:                Staff Officer, Air Ministry.

xx xxx 1956:                 Staff, RAE Farnborough.

xx xxx 1959:                 Officer Commanding, Bomber Command Development Unit.

22 Feb 1960:               Head of the Middle East Defence Secretariat, HQ Near East Air Force

21 Jan 1963:                Officer Commanding, RAF Unit Farnborough/Experimental Flying Department.

 2 Apr 1965:                Director of Operational Requirements (3).

xx Jan 1968:                 Attended Imperial Defence College.

27 Jan 1969:                AOC & Commandant, RAF College of Air Warfare.

28 Nov 1969:               Commander, HQ Southern Maritime Air Region.

14 Jan 1972:                Senior Air Force Member, Directing Staff, Royal College of Defence Studies.

xx xxx 1974:                 Deputy Controller Aircraft 'C', MoD (PE).

Educated at Whitgift School, he briefly working in a bank until joining the RAF on a short service commission in 1939.  Following a short tour with No 608 Squadron he began flying photo reconnaissance Spitfires from St Eval before moving to Gibraltar, where he commanded a flight of Swordfish.  After a tour as a navigation instructor he joined No 224 Squadron equipped with Liberators.  He was awarded his AFC for anti-U-boat operations, having damaged the U-763 on 24 Sep 1944. 

Whilst serving at the RAF Flying College, he captained Lincoln 'Aries III' on round the world flight of 29,000 miles, breaking the London - Khartoum record in the process in 1950. 

He published “Management in the Armed Forces: An Anatomy of the Military Profession”  in 1977.

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