Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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Air Marshal Sir Kenneth Hayr (607636)


Kenneth William                         b:  13 Apr 1935                     r:  5 Apr 1993                     d:  2 Jun 2001

KCB 11 Jun 1988 (CB - 11 Oct 1982), KBE - 29 Jun 1991 (CBE 12 Jun 1976), AFC - 1 Jan 1963, Bar 1 Jan 1972, KLO1 - xx xxx 1991.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

Plt Off:  9 Apr 1957, Fg Off: 9 Apr 1958 [9 Apr 1957], Flt Lt: 21 Oct 1959, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jan 1965, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1970, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1974, Act A/Cdre: 20 Nov 1976, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1977,  Act AVM: 20 Dec 1980, AVM: 1 Jan 1982, AM: 27 May 1988.

RAFVR(T): Fg Off: xx xxx 1993

xx Apr 1954:            Flight Cadet, 'A' Sqn, RAF College.

 9 Apr 1957:            Granted a Permanent Commission.

xx xxx 1957:            Pilot, No 66 Sqn. (Hunters - Acklington)

xx xxx xxxx:             Pilot, No ? Sqn. (Hunters, Lightnings Middle East)

xx xxx 1964:            Staff, Central Fighter Establishment/Fighter Command Trials Unit.

xx xxx 1968:            Instructor?, No 228 OCU. (Phantom - Coningsby)

xx Jan 1970:            Officer Commanding, No 1 Sqn. (Harrier Wittering)

xx xxx 1972:            Attended RAF Staff College.

10 Jan 1973:            Wing Commander - Harriers, HQ No 38 Group.

 4 Jan 1974:            Officer Commanding, RAF Binbrook.

20 Nov 1976:          Inspector of RAF Flight Safety.

xx xxx xxxx:          Attended No 10 AD Short Course, No 228 OCU

 8 Jan 1980:            Attended Royal College of Defence Studies.

20 Dec 1980:           Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations).

11 Aug 1982:           AOC, No 11 Group.

24 Oct 1985:           Commander, British Forces Cyprus/AOC, AHQ Cyprus/The Administrator, Sovereign Base Areas - Cyprus.

17 Jun 1988:            Deputy C in C, Strike Command/Chief of Staff, UK Air Forces

 8 Dec 1989:            Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Commitments).

xx xxx 1993:           Staff Pilot, No 6 AEF

Originating from Auckland in New Zealand Kenneth Hayr, where he was a member of No 3 (City of Auckland) Squadron, ATC, rising to the rank of Cadet Warrant Officer.  He joined the RNZAF and was sent to Britain to attend the RAF College, Cranwell, which he represented at Tennis.  He also attained the rank of Senior Flight Cadet and was awarded the 'R M Groves' and 'Hicks' Memorial Trophies.  Graduating from Cranwell in 1957, he was posted to No ? Sqn, flying Hunters.  In 196?, he converted to the RAF's latest interceptor, the Lightning and joined No ? Sqn.  Following a spell at the CFE, which later became the Fighter Command Trials Units, he converted onto yet another type when he was given command of the Phantom OCU.  Having been a fighter pilot for the most part of his career to date, his next command found him converting onto both a new type, the Harrier, and new role, ground attack.  

Having led an eventful flying career to this point, he was eventually forced to attend the RAF Staff College in 1972.  Following a short spell on the air staff of No 38 Group, he returned to the operational side when he assumed command of RAF Binbrook in Lincolnshire, home to the Lightnings of No 5 and 11 Squadrons.  Promoted to Air Commodore, he was appointed Inspector of RAF Flight Safety, but at the end of this tour, he attended the Royal College of Defence Studies, after which he took up the post of ACAS (Operations).  During this period he was responsible for much of the planning of the RAF's part in the re-capture of the Falklands Islands.  In 1982, he was appointed AOC of No 11 Group and was now responsible for the air defence of the entire UK. In this post he presented the first two Fighter Controller brevets to Flt Lt Hamish Montgomerie and Flt Sgt Roger Steggal on 29 November 1983.

In 1985, he moved to Cyprus, where he assumed the post of Commander, British Forces Cyprus and as such he also held the appointment of The Administrator of the the British Sovereign Base Areas.  Returning to Britain he was Deputy C-in-C Strike Command until being appointed DCAS (Commitments) at the Ministry of Defence.

On retirement he returned to New Zealand and took up the Chairmanship of the New Zealand Aviation Heritage Trust Board, but he continued to split his time between Britain and New Zealand in order to continue his love for flying by performing displays in various vintage aircraft.  It was in such an aircraft, a Vampire, that he was killed during the 2001 Biggin Hill air display. 

In 1996, the Inspectorate of Flight Safety moved into new purpose-built accommodation at Bentley Priory and the facilities new lecture theatre was named 'The Hayr Theatre' in honour of Sir Kenneth who was the first Inspector in 1976 (prior to that date the post had been that of Director).  

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