Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Vice Marshal C H K Edmonds

C H K Edmonds - 1912Charles Humphrey Kingsman     b: 20 Apr 1891             r: 3 Oct 1945                   d: 26 Sep 1954

CBE - 1 Jan 1943 (OBE - xx xxx 1919), DSO - 19 Feb 1915, MiD - 14 Mar 1916, MiD Ė 1 Jan 1945, CdeG (F) - 17 Apr 1918, Cwn,Off - 8 Feb 1919, PR2 - 12 Jun 1945, LoM (Cdr) - 9 Oct 1945. 1st Prize, "Gordon-Shephard" Essay Comp. - 1919, 1st Prize "R M Groves" Essay Comp. - 1921, 1st Prize "R M Groves" Essay Comp. - 1929, 3rd Prize, "Gordon-Shephard" Essay Comp.- 1931.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(RN):- Midín: 15 May 1908, Act Sub-Lt: 13 Jun1911, Sub-Lt: 15 Jul 1911, Lt: 15 Feb 1913, Flt Lt: 1 Jul 1914, Flt Cdr: 23 Feb 1915, Sqn Cdr: 30 Jun 1916, Wg Cdr: 31 Dec 1917.

(RAF):-- (T) Lt Col [Maj]: 1 Apr 1918, Sqn Ldr: 1 Aug 1919, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1922, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1929, Act A/Cdre: xx xxx 1940/41?, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jun 1941, Act AVM: 18 May 1942 - 7 Aug 1945, A/Cdre (WS): 18 May 1943, A/Cdre: 1 Dec 1944, AVM: Retained.

15 Sep 1903:             Attended RN College, Osborne

15 May 1908:            Midshipman, HMS Britannia

11 Nov 1909:            Midshipman, HMS Talbot

17 Apr 1910:               Midshipman, HMS Ettrick

14 May  1910:             Midshipman, HMS Inflexible

13 Jun 1911:               Attached HMS Leander for Torpedo Boat Destoyers

 8 Nov 1911:               Officer, HMS Nemesis

 9 Oct 1912:               Officer, HMS Edward VII

 7 May 1913:              Attended Military Pilot's Course, Central Flying School.

13 Aug 1913:              Flying Officer, Calshot NAS.

xx Sep 1914:               Pilot, HMS Riviera 

20 Mar 1915:              Pilot, HMS Engadine

xx xxx 1915:               Flight Commander, HMS Ben-my-Chree.

 5 May 1915:              Flight Commander, HMS Raven II, Mediterranean & Aden

xx xxx 1916:                Staff Officer, Air Department, Admiralty

15 Feb 1917:              Squadron Commander, No 6 Wing RNAS, Otranto.

29 Jan 1918:               Acting Officer Commanding, RNAS units in Mediterranean

 1 Apr 1918:               ?

 1 Aug 1919:               Awarded Permanent Commission as a Major

22 Jan 1920:               Removed from the Navy Lists on being awarded Permanent Commission in RAF

16 Feb 1920:              Officer Commanding, Storage Station, Brockworth. 

 1 May 1920:              Staff, HQ No 7 Group.  

22 Aug 1921:              Staff, Directorate of Organisation.

xx xxx xxxx:                Attended Army Staff College, Camberley.

 1 Nov 1921:              Holding post, Air Pilotage School (cadre) - pending formation of RAF Staff College

 1 Apr 1922:               Directing Staff, RAF Staff College.

 1 May 1925:              Officer Commanding, Armament and Gunnery School.

15 Mar 1927:             RAF Member, British Naval Mission to Greece.

 8 Mar 1929:              Attended RN Senior Officer's War Course

 6 Aug 1929:               Officer Commanding, RAF Worthy Down.

 7 Aug 1931:               Officer Commanding, No 21 Group.

 1 Mar 1932:               Deputy Director of Manning.

xx xxx 1935:               Deputy Director of Personal Services

xx xxx xxxx:                Director of Personal Services.

 1 Feb 1938:               Staff Officer, Deputy Directorate of Plans - Special duties with the CID,

 6 Nov 1939:              SMSO (designate), HQ Maintenance Command.

27 Nov 1939:             Senior Maintenance Staff Officer, HQ Maintenance Command.

xx Jun 1942:               SASO?, HQ Combined Operations.

13 Nov 1942:             AOA, HQ Fighter Command.

15 Nov 1943:             AOA, HQ Allied Expeditionary Air Force.

 8 Jan 1945:                AOA, HQ Flying Training Command.

Joining the Royal Navy in 1903, he served in the Balkan War of 1911 - 12, before learning to fly and transferring to the Naval Wing of the RFC (later renamed RNAS), he gained RAeC Certificate 206 on 16 April 1912.  One of the earliest pilots in the RNAS, he was one of the pilots selected to take part in the Cuxhaven Raid on Christmas Day 1914 flying Short Type 74 (No 811) - See Archives, for which he received his DSO.  He later served aboard the Ben-my-chree during the Gallipoli campaign. It was in the Dardanelles that on 12 August 1915 that he became the first pilot in history to sink a ship with an air dropped torpedo, a Turkish steamer off Bulsair.  Five days later he torpedoed his second vessel when he successfully attacked one of three large supply ships heading for Ak Bashi Liman.   Flying Short Type 184, No 849 on 11 February 1916, he suffered engine failure and on landing on a heavy sea, the aircraft capsized.  Edmonds and his observer (Lt R Erskine Childers, the author of "The Riddle of the Sands") were rescued by HMT Charlsen.

Recommendation for the award of Commander of the Order of the Bath (MiD awarded)

"EDMONDS, Charles Humphrey Kingsmill, AVM, CBE, DSO (Royal Air Force) - Allied Expeditionary Air Force

This officer has been Air Officer Administration of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force since its inception. The fact that the organization proved adequate for the task, and that the whole of the build-up on the continent was carried out without a hitch, reflects great credit on his work in this capacity."

(Source - Air 2/9017)


This page was last updated on 11/08/23©

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