Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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Air Marshal Sir Albert Durston


Albert                           b: 19 Jun 1894                      r: 13 Aug 1946                     d: 24 Jan 1959

KBE - 13 Jun 1946, CB - 11 Jun 1942, AFC - 3 Jun 1919, MiD - 1 Oct 1917, MiD - 3 Jun 1918.

(RNR):- Midín: 12 Mar 1913. 

(RNAS):- (T) (P) Flt Sub-Lt: 21 Dec 1915, (T) Flt Sub-Lt: 15 Jun 1916 [21 Dec 1915], (T) Flt Lt: 1 Apr 1917, Act Flt Cdr: 23 Jul 1917, Flt Cdr: 31 Dec 1917.

(RAF):- (T) Capt [Lt]: 1 Apr 1918, (T) Maj (A & S): 1 Apr 1918 Act Maj: xx xxx 1919, Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Sqn Ldr: 1 Jan 1926, Wg Cdr: 26 Nov 1935, Gp Capt: 1 Apr 1939, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Mar 1941, Act AVM: 10 Feb 1942, A/Cdre: 15 Jul 1942, (T) AVM: 1 Dec 1942, Act AM: 1 Apr 1944 - 1 Jun 1946, AVM (WS): 1 Apr 1945, AVM: 19 Apr 1945, AM: Retained.

21 Dec 1915:          U/T Pilot, RNAS Cranwell.

xx xxx 1916:            Pilot, RNAS Eastbourne

1916                       Pilot, RNAS Dover.

1917                       Flight Commander, RNAS Calshot/Bembridge

1 Apr 1918:           Squadron Commander, Bembridge.

Albert Durston in his car outside of the Royal Spithead Hotel in Bembridge - 1918

Photo copyright©  - Paul Donnellan

 7 Jun 1918:            Officer Commanding, No 253 Sqn. (DH6/Short 184 Ė Bembridge)

 5 May 1919:

   1 Aug 1919:         Awarded Permanent Commission as a Captain (Seaplane)

24 Feb 1920:          Staff Officer, HQ No 10 Group.

 6 Nov 1920:          Staff, Seaplane Repair Base (Malta)

 6 Jun 1922:            Supernumerary, HQ RAF Mediterranean.

23 Sep 1922:          Supernumerary, HMS Argus.

 5 Jan 1923:            Flight Commander?, No 267 Sqn.

 8 Feb 1924:           Staff, RAF Base - Malta.

15 Nov 1924:         Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

 1 Mar 1925:          Staff, School of Naval Co-operation.

18 Jan 1926:           Officer Commanding, No 480 (Flying Boat) Flight.

 1 Apr 1927:           Officer Commanding, Practice Camp, North Coates Fitties.

xx xxx 1927:           Officer Commanding, School of Naval Co-Operation

13 Nov 1928:         Admin Staff, HQ RAF Cranwell.

24 Jan 1931:           Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

 9 Mar 1931:           Staff, RAF Base Calshot.

31 Mar 1931:          RAF Staff, HMS Courageous

 8 May 1933:           Attended Senior Officer's Tactical Course, Portsmouth.

15 Jul 1933:             Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

27 - 31 Aug 1933:    Placed on half pay list, scale A.

 1 Oct 1933:            Senior Personnel Staff Officer, HQ Central Area.

 6 Aug 1934:            Air Staff, HQ Coastal Area.

 6 Aug 1936:            Fleet Aviation Officer, C in C, Home Fleet

 7 Nov 1938:           Air Staff, Deputy Directorate of Operations (Naval Co-operation).

xx xxx 1939:             Director of Naval Co-operation

10 Feb 1942:           AOC, No 18 Group.

 1 Jan 1943:             SASO, HQ Coastal Command.

UK0932

As personal representative of the Air Officer Commanding (AOC)  Coastal Command,  Air Vice-Marshal A Durston  CBE, AFC,  Senior Air Staff Officer (SASO), Coastal Command,  hands a letter of congratulations to  Sqn Ldr T A Egerton, Williamstown, Victoria, Australia, Captain of the first of two Sunderlands ever to be flown from England to Australia.

 

The occasion just prior to their departure was an informal farewell by Senior RAAF and Coastal Command officers to members of the crew in the mess at RAF Mount-Batten where the Sunderland of No. 10 Squadron RAAF  is based.

 

left to right:  FO L W Wilson (RAAF);  Sqn Ldr Egerton (RAAF);   Wg Cdr R S Rice (RAAF), Acting Station Commander of Mountbatten;  AVM  H N Wrigley CBE, DFC, AFC, AOC RAAF Overseas HQ;    AVM Albert DURSTON

 

Photo courtesy - Norman Hood

 

 1 Apr 1944:            AOC, No 222 (General Reconnaissance) Group.

xx Sep 1945:            Deputy Chief of the Air Staff. (relinquished 1 Jun 1946)

He was awarded RAeC Certificate No 2378 on 31 January 1916.  He spent almost his whole RAF career in the maritime field.  He was posted to Ceylon in early 1944 to take command of No 222 Group, which had recently been given responsibility for Maritime operations throughout the whole of the Indian Ocean.  His move was in response to a request from the Supreme Commander, Lord Mountbatten, for someone with up-to-date experience of Atlantic operations.

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