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Air Marshal Sir Edward Gordon Jones (37357)


Edward            b: 31 Aug 1914                        r: 22 Aug 1969            d: 20 Feb 2007           

KCB – 10 Jun 1967 (CB - 1 Jan 1960), CBE – 31 May 1956 (OBE - 1 Jan 1945), DSO – 25 Jul 1941, DFC – 14 Mar 1941, MiD – 1 Jan 1942, DFC (G) – 29 Dec 1942, ON (C) – 31 Oct 1947.  BSc (Liverpool), Dip Ed.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

Act Plt Off (P): 7 Oct 1935, Plt Off: 7 Oct 1936, Fg Off: 7 Apr 1938, Flt Lt: 7 Apr 1940, Act Sqn Ldr: xx xxx xxxx, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Jun 1941, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Jun 1942, Sqn Ldr (WS): 1 Sep 1942, Act Gp Capt: 24 May 1943, Wg Cdr (WS): 24 Nov 1943, Sqn Ldr: 26 Mar 1946 [1 Sep 1945], Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1947, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1954, Act A/Cdre: xx Jan 1959, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1959, Act AVM: 30 Mar 1961, AVM: 1 Jul 1961, Act AM: 21 Nov 1966, AM: 1 Jul 1967.

 7 Oct 1935:                 Appointed to a Short Service Commission.

 7 Oct 1935:                 U/T Pilot.

xx xxx xxxx:                  Pilot, No 17 Sqn.

 8 Mar 1937:                Pilot, No 80 Sqn.

xx May 1937:               Adjutant, No 80 Sqn.

xx xxx 1940:                 ‘A’ Flight Commander, No 80 Sqn.

19 Aug 1940:               Acting Officer Commanding, No 80 Sqn.

xx Sep 1940:                ‘A’ Flight Commander, No 80 Sqn.

28 Nov 1940:               Recuperating.

21 Dec 1940:               Flight Commander, No 80 Sqn.

27 Dec 1940:               Officer Commanding, No 80 Sqn

xx Apr – xx Apr 1941:            Acting Wing Commander, Eleusis

xx Sep 1941:                Staff/Instructor, Rhodesian Air Training Group.

7 Oct 1941:                  Transferred to the reserve and recalled for air force service

25 Sep 1942:               Officer Commanding, RAF Hawkinge.

24 May 1943:              Group Captain – Operations, HQ No 83 (Composite) Group.

xx Dec 1944;               Officer Commanding, No 121 Wing, RAF Volkel.

xx xxx 1945:                 Disarmament Staff

26 Mar 1946:          Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader (retaining rank current at the time) [wef 1 Sep 1945]

xx xxx xxxx:                  Staff, School of Land/Air Warfare

 1 Apr 1951:                Officer Commanding, RAF Valley.

xx xxx xxxx:                  Operations Staff, HQ 2nd Tactical Air Force

xx xxx 1956:                 Staff Officer, HQ Air Task Force (Suez)

xx Mar 1957:               Officer Commanding, RAF Wyton.

xx Jan 1959:                 Commandant, Central Reconnaissance Establishment

xx xxx 1960:                 Assistant Chief of Staff (Intelligence), HQ AAFCE.

30 Mar 1961:               AOC, RAF Germany

31 Jul 1963:                 Senior Directing Staff, Imperial Defence College.

 1 Nov 1965:                AOC, RAF Malta/Deputy C in C(Air), Allied Forces Mediterranean.

21 Nov 1966:               AOC in C, Near East Air Force/Administrator, Sovereign Base Areas - Cyprus.

xx xxx 1967 -  4 May 1969:    Commander, British Forces Near East.

Born Edward G Jones in Widnes, the third son of  Lt-Col Dr Albert Jones DSO, MC, he spent his early life in India, where he acquired the nick-name ‘Tap’ from the vernacular expression "Doolally Tap", a meaning "slightly mad".  After Widnes Grammar School he attended Liverpool University to study Medicine, later deciding to become a vet, although his real desire was to fly in the RAF.  His mother eventually gave in to his wishes and he joined the RAF in 1935.

Posted to No 17 Squadron, he flew Gauntlets at Kenley before his flight was used to form the nucleus of a new No 80 Squadron, which in May 1938 was sent to the Middle East equipped with Gladiators.  Shortly after arrival, the squadron found itself in action in Palestine.  When the Italians declared war in June 1940, the squadron moved to Egypt, by which time he was the flight commander of ‘A’ Flight.  In November he took his flight to Greece and they were soon in action against the Italian fighters.  He shot down his first Fiat CR 42 on the 27th.  The following day he shot down another two but during the fight he was injured in the neck and spent a month recovering.

He returned to the squadron only to have to take command when his CO was killed by an Italian fighter whilst he was descending by parachute.  On 28 February 1941 he shot down another two Fiats and was awarded an immediate DFC.  The squadron began re-equipping with Hurricanes around this time but on April 6, the Germans invaded and the Greek and British forces were soon in retreat.  Initially the survivors of the Greek campaign moved across to Crete but on April 29, 80 Squadron returned to Egypt and then to Aqir in Palestine to re-equip, after which the unit took part in operations in Syria.

After four years with No 80 Squadron Gordon Jones left and moved to Rhodesia where he joined the Rhodesian Air training Group, where he remained for a year before returning to the UK to command RAF Hawkinge.  Promoted to group captain he joined the staff of No 83 Group and moved with the Group to the continent following the invasion in June 1944.  A return to operation flying came in December 1944, when he took command of the Typhoon equipped No 121 Wing and with the end of the war he joined the disarmament staff.

Around the time of his promotion to AVM, he changed his surname to Gordon Jones.  Whilst AOC in C, NEAF, he was the reviewing officer at the combined disbandments of No's 6, 32, 73 and 249 Squadrons.  These four Canberra squadrons had formed the NEAF Strike Wing at Akrotiri and were disbanded to  make way for a nuclear capable Strike Wing comprising two Vulcan squadrons.  This is probably the only time in the RAF's history that four squadrons have been disbanded simultaneously.  

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

“Acting Squadron Leader Edward Gordon JONES (37357) No.80 Squadron.

In February, 1941, this officer was the leader of a formation of 27 aircraft which encountered an enemy force of 19 heavy .bombers escorted by at least 30 fighters, in the neighbourhood of Himara.  Squadron Leader Jones deployed his formation with great skill and, in the ensuing engagement, at least 27 of the enemy's force were shot down.  He has led his squadron with great skill and success on most of the patrols carried out over the Greek front, displaying courage and determination throughout.  He has personally destroyed six enemy aircraft. and gallantry on all occasions.”

(London Gazette – 14  March 1941)

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