Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation


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Air Commodore W Helmore

William                         b: 1 Mar 1894                     r: 1 Mar 1937                     d: 18 Jan 1984

CBE - 11 Jun 1942, MP - 25 Feb 1943, Ph.D, MS, FCS, FRAeS.  ‘Groves Prize’ for Aeronautical Research - 1931

(Army):- 2 Lt: 3 Jul 1916, Lt: 1 Jul 1917, (T) Capt: 1 Jan 1918.

(RAF):- (T) Capt [Lt]: 1 Apr 1918, Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Sqn Ldr: 10 Oct 1928, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1935, (H) Gp Capt: 21 May 1941, (H) A/Cdre: 1 Nov 1943, A/Cdre: Retained.

xx xxx xxxx:           Attended RMA Woolwich.

xx xxx xxxx:           Officer, Royal Artillery.

3 Jul 1916:               Flying Officer (Observer), RFC.

25 Apr 1917:           Flying Officer, RFC.

 1 Jan 1918:             Flight Commander, RFC.

 1 Aug 1919:            Re-seconded to RAF for further two years (gazetted 27 Apr 1920)

 1 Apr 1920:            Air Staff - Training, Physical, HQ Inland Area.

xx xxx 1920:            Air Staff - Training, Physical & Ground, HQ Inland Area.

 1 Aug 1921:            Re-seconded to RAF for further two years.

31Aug 1922:            Granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

22 Sep 1923:           School of Photography whilst attended Engineering Course at RAE .

10 Oct 1924:           Attended Cambridge University. (1st Class Honours – Mechanical Sciences)

20 Aug 1928:           Supernumerary, School of Photography (Special Duty at RAE).

 1 Feb 1933:            Supernumerary, RAF Farnborough (Special Duty at RAE).

xx xxx 1939:           Assistant Scientific Advisor to CAS.

xx xxx 1941:           Technical Advisor to Ministry of Aircraft Production.

 1 Nov 1943:            Relinquished is Commission in the rank of Honorary Group Captain

 1 Nov 1943:            Appointed to a Commission in the Admin and Special Duties Branch in the rank of Honorary Air Commodore.

30 Jun 1947:            Relinquished his Commission on cessation of duty.

Was something of a composer and one of his songs was a hit in America.  Developed the Helmore Light during WWII, used in the Turbinlite Havoc.  He was responsible for a number of other inventions and was also a broadcaster, having commentated on the Schneider Trophy,  RAF review and an eye-witness account of the D-Day landings from an aircraft flying above the beaches.  From 1943 to 1945 he was MP for Watford.  He was involved in early experiments into in-flight refueling with Alan Cobham.  He retired at his own request in 1937 to concentrate on his  research activities at Cambridge.  From 1942 he was a member of the Brabazon Committee and in 1947 became Chairman of the Civil Aviation Committee to look into the certification of aircraft and the approval of associated equipment.  In 1943 he was elected as MP for Watford in Hertfordshire.  He was Vice-Chairman of the committee which reviewed licencing, recruitment and training of personnel for the civil aviation industry.  He later became Technical Director of  Castrol, scientific advisor to ICI and then Director-General of the Aluminium Association.

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