Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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Air Chief Marshal Sir Robert Foster (04008)


Robert Mordaunt               b: 3 Sep 1898                     r: 1 Feb 1954                     d: 23 Oct 1973

KCB - 8 Jun 1950 (CB - 5 Jul 1945), CBE - 8 Jun 1944, DFC - 3 Aug 1918, MiD - 3 Jun 1919, MiD - 11 Jul 1919, MiD - 1 Jan 1942, MiD - 14 Jan 1944, MiD – 1 Jan 1946, LoM (Cdr) - 1 Jan 1946, DL (Suffolk) - 17 Apr 1968.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Army):- (T) 2 Lt: 19 Jul 1916, (T) Lt: xx xxx xxxx,

(RAF):- Lt: 1 Apr 1918, Fg Off:  1 Aug 1919, Flt Lt: 1 Jan 1924, Sqn Ldr: 1 Dec 1932, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1937, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Jun 1940, Act A/Cdre: 20 Oct 1942, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jun 1943, Gp Capt (WS): 20 Apr 1943, Act AVM: 26 Mar 1944, A/Cdre (WS): 26 Mar 1945, (T) AVM: 1 Jan 1946, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1946, AVM: 1 Oct 1946, Act AM: xx xxx xxxx, AM: 1 Jul 1950, ACM: 28 Jan 1953.

xx xxx 1914 :         Attended Royal Military College, Camberley.

xx xxx 1916:          Officer, Royal Fusiliers.

xx Jun 1916:            U/T Pilot, RFC.

 7 Oct 1916:            Pilot, No 54 Sqn RFC.

xx xxx xxxx:             Pilot, No 44 Sqn RFC.

xx Apr 1918:           Flight Commander, No 209 Sqn.

 1 Aug 1919:           Awarded Permanent Commission as a Lieutenant

15 Dec 1919:          Pilot, No 20 Sqn – India.

21 Oct 1923:           Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

13 Jan 1924:           U/T, RAF Base - Gosport.

 2 Jan 1925:            Supernumerary, HQ Coastal Area (awaiting Staff College Course).

 5 May 1925:          Attended RAF Staff College.

12 Apr 1926:          Attended School of Oriental Studies, London.

26 Oct 1926:          Air Staff - Intelligence, HQ Iraq Command.

29 Apr 1930:          Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

 7 Oct 1930:           Pilot, No 70 Sqn.

 8 May 1933:          Officer Commanding, No 15 Sqn (A & AEE)

31 May 1935:         Supernumerary - ?

11 Jul 1935:            Air Staff, HQ British Forces in Iraq.

 4 Jan 1938:            Air Staff, Deputy Directorate of Plans (moved by Dec 1939)

12 Sep1939:           Senior Personnel Officer, HQ No 2 Group.

xx xxx 1939:           Officer Commanding, No 110 Sqn.

xx xxx 1940:           Officer Commanding, RAF Wyton.

 1 Nov 1941:          

 8 Jan 1942:            Officer Commanding, No 214 Group.

20 Oct 1942:          AOC, No 213 Group.

 4 Mar 1943:          Air Staff, Mediterranean Air Command

26 Mar 1944:         AOC, RAF Malta.

xx xxx 1944:           Head of the Air Commission, Italy.

 3 Dec 1944:          AOC, Desert Air Force

30 Aug 1945:          Chief of Air Division, Control Commission - Austria.

 6 Sep 1945:           AOC, RAF Austria

 9 May 1946:          AOC, AHQ RAF Italy

 9 Jul 1946:             AOC, No 3 Group

24 Feb 1947:          Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Policy)

 1 Oct 1949:           AOC in C, Reserve Command

 1 Aug 1950:           AOC in C, Home Command

 1 Oct 1951:            C in C, British Air Forces of Occupation/2 Tactical Air Force

Robert Foster was an old boy of Winchester. He joined the RFC as a direct entrant in Jun 1916 and having undergone pilot training was posted to No 54 Squadron  in France, where he flew Camels.  A spell on home defence duties with 44 Squadron was followed by a return to France as a flight commander with No 209.  Having already acquired one confirmed victory with 54, he notched up a further 15 with 209 bringing his total to 16 by the end of the war.

On 24 Jan 1923, his incendiary ammunition spilt out into his Bristol F2B and set the aircraft on fire.  Force landing, he and his observer were captured, beaten up and held for three weeks before being returned.

As Head of the Air Commission in Italy, he was effectively in command of the Italian Air Force.  He was a representative of the RAF at the funeral of King George VI.  Retired at his own request in order to facilitate the promotion of younger officers.

He was made a Deputy Lieutenant of Suffolk in 1968.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

“Lt. (T./Capt.) Robert Mordaunt Foster.

This officer has taken part in numerous combats and 1'ed his patrols brilliantly; he has destroyed five hostile machines.  On one occasion he attacked two biplanes single-handed; one he forced down and the other burst into flames and broke up in the air.”

(London Gazette – 3 August 1918)

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