Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation


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Air Vice Marshal A L Fiddament


Arthur Leonard             b: 1 Jul 1896                r: 25 Mar 1949                     d: 5 Aug 1976

CB - 10 Jun 1948, CBE - 19 Sep 1944, DFC - 21 Nov 1922.

(Army):- (T) 2 Lt (P): 5 Jul 1917, 2 Lt: 31 Aug 1917.

(RAF):- Lt: 1 Apr 1918, Fg Off: 16 Sep 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Flt Lt: 30 Jun 1922, Sqn Ldr: 5 Mar 1930, Act Wg Cdr (unpd): 1 Jun 1934 - 1 Mar 1935, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1936, Act A/Cdre: xx xxx xxxx, (T) A/Cdre: 15 Jul 1941, Gp Capt: 14 Apr 1942 [1 Jan 1940], Act AVM: 16 Sep 1944, A/Cdre: 1 Dec 1944, (T) AVM: 1 Jan 1946, AVM: 1 Oct 1946. 

xx Aug 1914:          Soldier, Norfolk Regiment.

xx xxx 1915:          Sapper, Royal Engineers (Special Brigade).

31 Aug 1917:          Flying Officer, RFC

xx Jan 1918:            Instructor, No 60 Training Sqn RFC.

15 Jul 1918:            Instructor, No 34 Training Depot Station

xx xxx 1918:            Instructor, No 46 Training Depot Station

xx xxx xxxx:             Pilot, No 47 Sqn RFC.

xx xxx xxxx:             Pilot, No 11 Sqn RFC.

xx xxx xxxx:             Pilot, No 81 Sqn RFC.

16 Sep 1919:           Awarded Short Service Commission (Aeroplane Branch) in the rank of Flying Officer.

12 Jan 1920:            Pilot, No 20 Sqn. (Bristol F2B)

24 Jul 1922:            Air Staff, HQ RAF India.

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27 May 1924:          Flight Commander, No 100 Sqn. (Vimy)

 9 May 1926:           Attended RAF Staff College.

15 Sep 1927:           Staff. Directorate of Operations and Intelligence.

21 Sep 1931:           Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

31 Oct 1931:           Officer Commanding, No 17 Sqn. (Bulldog)

 9 May 1932:           Directing Staff, RAF Staff College.

 7 Apr 1934:            Supernumerary, HQ Coastal Area.

 8 Mar 1935:            Officer Commanding, No 30 Sqn. (Wapiti)

12 Jan 1937:            Attended Imperial Defence College.

 1 Jan 1938:             Air Staff, Deputy Directorate of Plans.

xx xxx 1939:            Deputy Director of Dominions Air Co-operation.

xx xxx 1940:            Dominions Liaison Officer?, Directorate of Plans.

xx xxx 1941:            Member, RAF Delegation, Washington.

30 Apr 1942:           Director of Personal Services.

xx xxx 1943:            Assistant Commandant, RAF Staff College.

 1 Feb 1944:            AOC, No 46 Group.

16 Sep 1944:           SASO, HQ Transport Command.

xx xxx 1946:            AOC, No 38 Group.

In 1944, when he took over No 46 Group, one of his staff officers was Wing Commander Louis Strange, who had been his Commanding Officer in WW1.  Nicknamed 'Fido', in November and December 1945 he undertook a round the world fact finding trip, mostly in a Lancastrian (except when some engine trouble meant he borrowed an American plane (Dakota?) for a few days).  Retired at his own request.

Lancastrian used by AVM Fiddament on his round the world fact finding trip in 1945

Courtesy of his grand-daughter©

The following story has been sent to me by Stephen De Wild, which readers may find interesting: -

"AVM Fiddament spent some of his retirement in Burnham-on-Sea Somerset, I remember his large house on Rectory Road.   In about 1968, as children, we borrowed from him his WW1 leather flying helmet as part of our ‘ bi-plane’  entry into the summer carnival.   We returned it safely.  Looking back, he was so brave to lend it to us.  I remember a very kind gentleman who came to the sea-front to watch us pass by in the carnival parade.  I recall that we were told that he was a WWI flying ace, this created quite an impression."

This page was last updated on 24/10/17

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