Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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Air Vice-Marshal F G D Hards


Frederick George Darby      b: 17 Apr 1889                 r: 3 Jun 1943                        d: 10 Jul 1963

CBE - 11 Jul 1940, DSC - 22 Jun 1916, DFC - 3 Jun 1918, MiD - 1 Oct 1917.

(RN): - (T) (P) Flt Sub-Lt: 12 Feb 1915, (T) Flt Sub-Lt:  22 May 1915 [12 Feb 1915], (T) Flt Lt: 1 Jan 1916, Flt Cdr: 30 Jun 1917.

(RAF): - (T) Maj [Lt]: 1 Apr 1918, (T) Lt Col: 27 Jun 1918, Maj: 1 Jan 1919, Sqn Ldr: 1 Aug 1919, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1929, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1934, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1938, Act AVM: 11 May 1940, (T) AVM: 1 Jul 1940, AVM: Retained.

xx Sep 1914:               Soldier, 17th Battalion, Royal Fusiliers.

xx xxx 1915:                Pilot, RNAS Great Yarmouth.

xx xxx xxxx:                 Pilot, RNAS Killingholme.

27 Jun 1918:                Staff Officer 1st Class.

Aug 1919                     Seaplane Branch?

 1 Aug 1919:                Awarded Permanent Commission as a Major

 1 Apr 1920:                Officer Commanding?, No 8 Wing Mobile Disposal Sqn.  

xx May 1920:               Supernumerary, HQ Inland Area (duties in connection with disbandment of No 8 Wing)

21 May 1920:              Officer Commanding, No 230 Sqn. ( Felixstowe F5 - Felixstowe)

27 Sep 1921:               Attended RN Staff College.

14 Sep 1922:               Supernumerary, HQ RAF Iraq.

 1 Oct 1922:                Staff, Station Commandant - RAF Hinaidi

27 Oct 1924:               Attended Senior Officers' War Course.

28 Feb 1925:               Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

20 Apr 1925:               Staff, Deputy Directorate of Organisation

19 Sep 1927:               Directing Staff, RAF Staff College.

18 Jan 1930:                Officer Commanding, RAF Base Malta.

14 Oct 1931:               Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

19 Jan 1932:                Attended Imperial Defence College.

 1 Feb 1933:                Fleet Aviation Officer to C in C, Mediterranean Fleet.

27 Feb 1935:               SESO, HQ Fighting Area.

14 Jul 1936:                 SESO, HQ Fighter Command

 3 Sep 1936:                SESO, No 11 (Fighter) Group. ?

24 Jan 1938:                SASO, HQ Coastal Command.  

 8 Jan 1940:                 AOA, HQ Coastal Command

11 May 1940:              AOA, HQ British Forces Aden

10 Sep 1941:               AOC, British Forces Aden.

He studied Engineering between 1906 and 1911, but plans for a career as an Engineer ended with the outbreak of WW1.  He gained his RAeC Certificate (No 1142) on 31March 1915.  Whilst at Killingholme, he swam 70 yards into the Humber to rescue two airmen who had been knocked into the  water and washed away, for which he was awarded the Royal Humane Society Medal in March 1917.  

During his tenure at Malta, he led a Mediterranean Cruise beginning 14 July 1931.  

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Cross

“Flight Lieutenant Vincent Nicholl, R.N.A.S.

Flight Lieutenant Frederick George Darby Hards, R.N.A.S

In recognition of their services on the morning of the 25th April, 1916, when they pursued a Zeppelin (L9) 65 miles out to sea, dived to within a few hundred feet of it, and attacked it with bombs and darts.”

(London Gazette – 22 June 1916)

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