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Air Commodore C H Elliott-Smith


Charles Henry                        b: 6 Oct 1889         r: 6 Oct 1942 [12 Jun 1944]            d: 14 Jan 1994

AFC - 10 Oct 1919, WE5S - 15 Feb 1917, GI-Cdr - 29 Sep 1944 

(Army):- (T) 2 Lt: 29 Dec 1914, (T) Capt: 1 Jun 1916, Lt: 1 May 1916,

(RAF):- Capt: 1 Apr 1918, Act Maj: 12 Sep 1918, Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Sqn Ldr: 1 Jan 1922, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1930, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1936, Act A/Cdre: 15 Aug 1941?, A/Cdre: Retained.

29 Dec 1914:           Officer, 9th Battalion, The Bedfordshire Regiment

23 Oct 1915:            Flying Officer, RFC.

xx Nov 1915:           Pilot, No 30 Sqn - Mesopotamia

 1 Jun 1916:             Flight Commander, No 30? Sqn. RFC.

12 Sep 1918:           Officer Commanding, No ? Sqn.

 1 Aug 1919:           Awarded Permanent Commission as a Captain  

3 Aug 1919:            Flight Commander, No 55 Sqn.

25 Jun 1920:            Staff, HQ Palestine Group.

 7 Nov 1921:           Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

13 Jan 1922:            Air Staff - Training, HQ Inland Area

 1 May 1923:           Attended RAF Staff College.

23 Apr 1924:           Refresher flying course, No 24 Sqn.

 8 Sep 1924:            Staff, Armament and Gunnery School.

xx xxx xxxx:              (Temporary) Officer Commanding, Armament and Gunnery School.

27 Sep 1926:            Officer Commanding, No 56 Sqn.

23 Apr 1928:            Officer Commanding, No 504 (County of Nottingham) Sqn.

 8 Oct 1929:             Officer Commanding, No 55 Sqn.

22 Feb 1930:            Officer Commanding, No 1 Armoured Car Company - Hinaidi.

11 Nov 1931:           Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

 9 - 10 Apr 1932:     Placed on half pay list, Scale A.

11 May 1932:           Senior Personnel Staff Officer, HQ Inland Area.

 2 Mar 1936:            Officer Commanding, No 9 Flying Training School - Thornaby and Hullavington

28 Oct 1940:            Attached to No 2 Service Flying Training School (Vereeniging, South Africa)

30 Oct 1940:           Officer Commanding, 22 Air School (Vereeniging, South Africa)

15 Aug 1941:            AOC, No 25 (Training) Group SAAF.

 6 Oct 1942:             Retired as Group Captain and re-employed.

 xx Oct 1942:            AOC, 21 Group SAAF

12 Jun 1944:             Reverted to Retired List as Group Captain retaining Air Commodore.

He joined the 9th Battalion of the Bedfordshire Regiment in 1914 as a (Temporary) 2nd Lieutenant following education at Bedford School and remained with them until 23 October 1915 when he transferred to the Royal Flying Corps.  On completion of his flying training as a pilot, he was posted to No 30 Sqn, which was the only RFC unit operating at that time in Mesopotamia (now Iraq).

With the formation of the RAF, he was granted a Permanent Commission as a Captain, becoming a Flight Lieutenant with the introduction of RAF titles in 1919.  In October 1919, he was awarded the AFC for ?.  Promotion to Squadron Leader came in 1922 together with a posting to HQ Inland Area. Command of flying units followed including both fighter, No 56 equipped with Siskin IIIA's and bomber units, No 504 (County of Nottingham) Squadron before being promoted to Wing Commander.  With this promotion came a return to Iraq, this time in command of No 1 Amoured Car Company.

His previous experience as a Staff Officer (Training) came to the fore with his appointment, in 1936, to form No 9 FTS at Thornaby, later moving to Hullavington in No 23 Group, Training Command.  Following the outbreak of war he was sent to South Africa to form a Flying Training School there, retiring as a Group Capt in 1942.  However he was immediately recalled for further duty until 12 Jun 1944.  During this period he was obviously given Acting or (Temporary) rank as an Air Commodore.  Air Commodore Elliott-Smith eventually lived on to the ripe old age of 105 becoming the oldest Air Officer and possibly the oldest member of the RAF.  

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