Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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Air Commodore R Gordon


Robert                   b: 22 Jan 1882                        r: 26 Aug 1925                        d: 25 Sep 1954

CB - 12 Jul 1920, CMG - 1 Jan 1919, DSO - xx xxx 1915, MiD - 1 Jan 1919, MiD - 31 Mar 1920, R, D - xx xxx 1918.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(RMLI): - 2 Lt: 1 Jan 1900, Lt: 1 Jan 1901, Capt: 1 Jan 1911, (T) Maj: 31 Dec 1912 Sqn Cdr: 1 Jul 1914, (T) Lt Col: 1 Jan 1916, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1916, Maj: xx xxx 1917, Act Wg Capt: xx xxx 1918.

(RAF): - Lt Col: 1 Apr 1918, (T) Col: xx xxx 1918, Wg Cdr: 1 Aug 1919, Act Gp Capt: 25 Oct 1919, Gp Capt: 1 Nov 1919, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1925.

 1 Jan 1900:             Officer, Royal Marine Light Infantry

xx xxx xxxx:             Officer, HMS Sutlej

xx xxx xxxx:             Officer, HMS London

xx xxx xxxx:             Officer, HMS King Edward VII

 8 Oct 1909:               Officer, HMS Ganges (Training Establishment for Boys)

xx xxx xxxx:              Supernumerary Captain

 2 Oct 1911:               Absorbed into establishment of RMLI

xx xxx xxxx:                Pilot, Fort George NAS

1912:                          Pilot, Temporary Seaplane Stations Carlingnose (Port Laing)/Leven

31 Dec 1912:             Officer Commanding, Dundee NAS (graded as Sqn Cdr)

15 Aug 1913:            

 1 Jul 1914:                Officer Commanding, Naval Flying School, Eastchurch.

xx xxx 1915:               Officer Commanding, RNAS East Indies Naval Air Station.

xx Sep 1915:              Officer Commanding, RNAS units in Mesopotamia.

20 Nov - 24 Nov 1915:    Officer Commanding, No 30 Sqn RFC (Temporary)

28 Feb 1916:              Officer Commanding, RFC & RNAS units in Mesopotamia

xx xxx 1916:               Officer Commanding, RNAS Otranto?.

30 Jan 1917:               Officer Commanding, No 2 Wing RNAS.

xx xxx 1918:               Officer Commanding, RNAS Mudros.  

 1 Apr 1918:               Officer Commanding, Aegean Group (Mudros)

xx xxx 1918:               Officer Commanding, No 15? Group.

xx Mar/Apr 1919:       Served in Southern Russia.

 1 Aug 1919:               Commission in the RMLI terminated.

 1 Aug 1919:               Awarded Permanent Commission as a Lieutenant Colonel

25 Oct 1919:               Officer Commanding, 'Z' Force.  

xx Apr 1920:              ?

27 Sep 1920:              Officer Commanding, No 3 Group.

26 Nov 1920:             Placed on half pay list, scale B.

 1 Apr 1922:               Officer Commanding, RAF Trans-Jordania.

 5 May 1923:              Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

xx xxx - 25 Sep 1923:    Placed on half pay list, scale ?

25 Sep 1923:              Attended Senior Officers' Course, RN College, Greenwich.

16 Feb 1924:              Placed on half pay list, scale ?

21 Jul 1924:                Officer Commanding, No 1 Group.

 2 Jan 1925:                AOC, No 3 Group.

xx xxx 1939:              Scottish Deputy Area Commandant, Observer Corps.

He gained RAeC Certificate No 166 on 6 December 1911.  On 4 October 1912, he was flying  Short Tractor Biplane, '5' when the aircraft capsized resulting in it being written off.  He commanded 'B' Flight of four aircraft during the Royal Flypast at Spithead on 18 July 1914.

In East Africa he took part in air operations against the German naval vessel Konigsberg, for which he received his DSO.   He then joined General Townshend's Force in Mesopotamia and was involved in the relief of the Kut.  In 1917, he moved into the Aegean Sea serving there until the following year when he joined the forces operating in support of the White Russians in South Russia until 1919.  His travels did not end there however, as in 1920 he was appointed to command what was known as 'Z' Force.  This force consisted of 12 DH9's and was tasked with bringing 'The Mad Mullah' under control in Somaliland.   This rebel leader had been a problem to the British in East Africa for a number of years and had cost the British taxpayer large sums of money in the allocation of troops in attempts to quell his various uprisings.  Following Trenchard's suggestion that air power might work where ground troops had failed and at a considerably reduced cost, prompted the experiment.  In just three weeks 'Z' Force had defeated 'The Mad Mullah' and driven him into exile at a cost of 77,000.  The success of this operation resulted in the award of his CB and eventually led to Air Control being used in Iraq and Palestine with command of all forces in those areas coming under the command of the RAF.   Retired at his own request.

Citation for the award of the DSO: -

"Was in command of the Air Squadron.  Was indefatigable in his work, and ran great risks in spotting and reconnoitring."

(London Gazette - 8 Dec 1915)

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