Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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Air Chief Marshal Sir Anthony Heward (39044)


Anthony Wilkinson             b: 1 Jul 1918                r: 30 Jun 1976                      d: 27 Oct 1995

KCB -1 Jan  1972 (CB 1 Jan 1968), OBE 5 Jun 1952, DFC 18 Apr 1944, Bar 30 Mar 1945, AFC 31 Mar 1942, MiD - 1 Jan 1941.

Act Plt Off (P): 24 Aug 1936, Plt Off: 29 Jun 1937, Fg Off: 28 Feb 1939, Flt Lt: 3 Sep 1940, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Jun 1944, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1945, Sqn Ldr: 25 Feb 1947 [1 Jun 1944], Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1951 [1 Jul 1950], Act Gp Capt: 5 Jan 1957, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1957, Act A/Cdre: 21 Dec 1962, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1963, Act AVM: 31 Mar 1966, AVM: 1 Jan 1967, Act AM: 27 Feb 1970, AM: 1 Jul 1971, ACM: 29 Apr 1974.

24 Aug 1936:           Granted a Short Service Commission.

xx xxx 1937:            Pilot, No 216 Sqn.

20 Dec 1937:           Pilot, No 149 Sqn.

xx xxx 1940:            Staff, HQ Air Component, BEF.

xx xxx 1940:            QFI, No 5 FTS.

xx xxx 1942:             Instructor, Turkish Air Force.

21 Feb 1943:           

xx xxx 1943:             Flight Commander, No 83 Sqn.

xx Jan 1944:             Officer Commanding, No 50 Sqn.

xx Jun 1944:             Officer Commanding, No 97 Sqn.

24 Mar 1945:           Attended Course No 14, RAF Staff College (Overseas), Haifa.

27 Jul 1945:              PSO to Air C in C, RAF Mediterranean and Middle East.

10 Dec 1946:            Appointed to Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader (retaining rank current at the time) [wef 1 Sep 1945 antedated to 1 Jun 1944 on 28 Feb 1947]

xx xxx xxxx:              Directing Staff, RAF Staff College - Bracknell.

xx xxx 1952:             Officer Commanding, University of London Air Squadron.

xx xxx xxxx:              Air Staff, HQ No 3 Group.

 5 Jan 1957:             Air & Special Operations, HQ SHAPE.

28 Sep 1959:           Officer Commanding, RAF Finningley.

xx xxx 1962:             Attended Imperial Defence College.

21 Dec 1962:            Director of Operations - Bomber & Reconnaissance

31 Mar 1966:           SASO, HQ RAF Germany.

 1 Jul 1966:               Deputy C in C, RAF Germany

14 Mar 1969:            AOA, HQ Air Support Command.

27 Feb 1970:            Chief of Staff, Strike Command

19 Feb 1972:            AOC,  No 18 Group/Commander Maritime Air Eastern Atlantic Area/Commander Maritime Air Channel Command

27 Mar 1973 -  3 Jun 1976:            Air Member for Supply and Organisation

Anthony Heward joined the RAF on a Short Service Commission shortly after his 18th Birthday and following his basic flying was posted to Egypt to complete his training as a multi-engined pilot with No 216 Sqn.  Qualifying as a multi-engined pilot, he returned to Britain and was posted to No 149 Sqn at Mildenhall.  Initially flying the biplane Handley Page Heyford, the squadron began to convert to the new monoplane Vickers Wellington in January 1939 and by March the Heyford at been completed replaced.  However, by the outbreak of war, he had left the squadron and was assigned to the staff of the Air Component of the BEF based in France.  The German invasion of France caused major upheavals and the HQ staff gradually withdrew back towards to the coast and Anthony Heward was eventually evacuated back to Britain by sea.

Back in Britain, he was posted as a flying instructor to RAF Sealand in Cheshire.  It was here that he first met the WAAF cipher clerk who four years later would become his wife.  He remained on instructional duties in the UK until 1942, when he was seconded to the Turkish Air Force, still as a flying instructor but ironically teaching Turkish pilots how to fly the GERMAN Heinkel 111 bomber.  Disenchanted with instructing by this time and desperate to join an operational squadron, he accepted an offer from an American pilot visiting Turkey to fly with him back to the USA for a break.  Unfortunately he fell ill in the States and was unable to get back to his post on time and was hence reported AWOL.  Eventually managing to gain passage back to Britain by sea, he was arrested on arrival at Liverpool by the RAF Police.  As an alternative to Court Martial he was offered a posting to an operational bomber squadron, an offer he jumped at with enthusiasm.

Posted as a Flight Commander to No 83 Sqn, a Lancaster squadron, then based at Wyton as part of the Pathfinder Force, but shortly afterwards he was promoted to Wing Commander and given command of No 50 Sqn, also equipped with Lancasters, but in No 5 Group.  He soon earned the sobriquet 'Smiler' as a result of his coolness and highly disciplined attitude.  So when No 97 Sqn was transferred from 8 Group to No 5 and AVM Cochrane (AOC, No 5 Group) considered the discipline in the squadron to be lax he appointed Anthony Heward, as their new CO in order to overcome this problem, a move which was entirely successful.

Having completed a staff course at the Staff College in Haifa, he stayed in the Middle East as Personal Staff Officer to the AOC in C, ACM Sir Charles Medhurst.  From 1981 to 1989 he sat as a Councillor on Wiltshire County Council.

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