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Air Commodore E L Gerrard


Eugene Louis                b: 14 Jul 1881                  r: 15 Nov 1929                        d: 7 Feb 1963

CMG - 1 Jan 1919, DSO - 22 Jun 1916, Leo,C -22 Feb 1918

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(RM): - 2 Lt:  1 Sep 1900, Lt: 1 Jul 1901, Capt: 1 Sep 1911, (T) Maj: 1 Apr 1912, (B) Maj: 3 Jan 1914, Sqn Cdr: 1 Jul 1914, Wg Cdr: 31 Dec 1914, (T) Lt Col: 31 Dec 1914, Wg Capt: 30 Jun 1916.

(RAF): - (T) Brig-Gen [Lt Col]: 1 Apr 1918, Col: 1 Apr 1918, Act  Brig-Gen: 1 May 1919, Gp Capt: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1923 [1 Aug 1918].

1 Sep 1900:              Appointed to a Commission in the RMLI.

xx xxx xxxx:            Marine Officer, HMS Hermione

23 Jan 1904:            Officer, HMS Defiance

xx xxx xxxx:            Officer, HMS Spartiate

 6 Feb 1905:             Officer, HMS Dido

xx xxx xxxx:             Officer, HMS Prince of Wales. (1908)

18 Mar 1910:            Officer, HMS Vindictive.

xx xxx 1911:               U/T Pilot

 1 Apr 1912:               Squadron Commander, RFC.

15 May 1912:             Flight Commander, 'C' Flight, Central Flying School.

20 Nov 1912:             Absorbed into the Establishment of RMLI

 1 Jul 1914:                 Squadron Commander, Central Flying School.

 1 Sep 1914:               Officer Commanding, No 1 Sqn RNAS.

17 Oct 1914:              Officer Commanding, No 2 Sqn/Wing RNAS.

21 Jun 1915:                ?

xx Jun 1916:                Officer Commanding, RNAS Eastbourne

30 Jan 1917:               Officer Commanding, ?, Coudekerque

 3 Apr 1917:               Officer Commanding, South-West Group RNAS.

 1 Apr 1918:                GOC, No ? Group.

 1 Aug 1919:               Commission in the RMLI terminated.

 1 Aug 1919:               Awarded Permanent Commission as a Colonel.

 2 Jun 1920:                Officer Commanding, Mediterranean Group.

21 Aug 1921:              Attended RN Staff College, Greenwich.

 27 Feb 1922:             Officer Commanding, No 1 Group.

29 Feb 1924:              AOC, Palestine Command.

 8 Feb 1927:               Placed on half pay list, Scale A.

 9 Aug 1927:               AOC, No 1 Air Defence Group.

xx xxx 1938:              Commandant, Leicester District, RAFVR.

1939                           Commandant, No 7 E & RFTS.

In 1911 he was one of the first four officers selected by the Admiralty to undertake flying lessons and having obtained his RAeC Certificate (No 76 on 2 May 1911), he soon became involved in the early developments in the use of aviation for military and naval purposes.  Posted to the newly opened Central Flying School, he almost immediately attempted to set a new altitude record, for carrying a passenger, in the prototype RE7 with none other than Major Hugh Trenchard as his passenger.  On this attempt he set a record of 10,000ft and on a subsequent attempt set a record of 8,400ft whilst carrying two passengers.   

On 1 September 1914, he carried out an attack against the Dusseldorf Airship Sheds in BE2a, '50'.  Retired at his own request.

Citation for the award of the DSO: -

"Captain and Brevet Major Eugene Louis Gerrard (temporary Lieutenant-Colonel), R.M. (Wing Commander, R.N.A.S.).

In recognition of his services in command of a Wing of the R.N.A.S. in the Eastern Mediterranean.  The present efficiency of this Wing is due very largely to Wing Commander Gerrard, whose personal example and the manner in which he has encouraged the younger officers under his command are all that can be desired."

(London Gazette - 22 Jun 1916)  

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