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Air Marshal Sir John Higgins


J F A Higgins - 1912Sir John Frederick Andrews HigginsJohn Frederick Andrews        b: 1 Sep  1875              r: 1 Sep 1930                     d: 1 Jun 1948

KCB - 4 Jun 1928 (CB - 3 Jun 1919), KBE - 3 Jun 1925, DSO - 27 Sep 1901, AFC - 3 Jun 1919, MiD - 10 Sep 1901, MiD - 17 Feb 1915, MiD - 1 Jan 1916, MiD - 4 Jan 1917, MiD - 11 Dec 1917, MiD - 20 May 1918, LoH, O - 3 Nov 1914,  

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Army): - 2 Lt:  15 Jun 1895, Lt: 15 Jun 1898, Capt: 15 Mar 1901, Maj: 30 Aug 1911, (T) Lt Col: 9 Nov 1914, (B) Lt Col: 18 Feb 1915, Act Brig-Gen: 23 Aug 1915, (T) Brig-Gen: 30 Jan 1916, Brig- Gen: 25 Aug 1916, (B) Col: 1 Jan 1918.

(RAF): - (T) Brig-Gen [Col]: 1 Apr 1918, (T) Maj-Gen: 29 Apr 1918, AVM: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], AM: 1 Jan 1929.

Photograph (Far left) - taken from his RAeC Certificate

Photograph (left) - Sir John Frederick Andrews Higgins

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 1930
NPG x168301

National Portrait Gallery, London

xx xxx xxxx:        Gentleman Cadet, RMA, Woolwich

15 Jun 1895:        Officer, Royal Field Artillery (South Africa 1899-1902)

22 Mar 1901:        Adjutant, Royal Field Artillery

28 Oct 1912:         Flight Commander, No 3 Sqn RFC. (Various types Larkhill/Netheravon)

30 May 1913:        Officer Commanding, No 5 Sqn RFC. (Various types Farnborough/Western Front)

30 Oct - 17 Nov 1914:        Admitted to hospital (bullet wound)

 9 Nov 1914:         Officer Commanding, 4th Wing RFC. (Netheravon)

17 Apr 1915:         Returned to UK

18 Apr 1915:        ?

 2 Jun 1915:          Re-embarked for France 

2 Jun 1915:           Officer Commanding, 3rd Wing RFC.

25 Aug 1915:         Brigadier-General Commanding, II Brigade RFC.

28 Aug 1915:         Returned to UK

15 Jan 1916:          Brigadier-General Commanding, VI Brigade RFC

18 Jan 1916:           Re-embarked for France 

30 Jan 1916:          Brigadier-General Commanding, III Brigade RFC/RAF.

29 Nov - 1 Dec 1916:        Temporary duty in Paris

18 - 21 Jan 1917:            Temporary duty in Verdun

17 - 18 Oct 1917:            Temporary duty with French Army

29 Apr 1918:         GOC, No 3 Area.

 8 May 1918:         GOC, Midland Area.

25 Feb 1919:         GOC, RAF in the Field

 6-19 Mar 1919:     Attached, HQ 2nd Brigade

 7-9 Apr 1919:      Temporary duty in UK

28-30 Apr 1919:      Temporary duty in UK

 1 Jun 1919:           Posted to HQ 2nd Brigade

 8 Jul 1919:            GOC, RAF Rhine

22-27 Jul 1919:      Temporary duty in UK

 1 Aug 1919:          Awarded Permanent Commission as a Major-General

15-18 Sep 1919:      Temporary duty in UK (followed by leave until 26 Sep 1919)

 3 Oct 1919:          Returned to Home Establishment

 6 Oct 1919:          AOC, Northern Area.

 1 Apr 1920:          Director of Personnel

28 Oct 1920 - 16 Jan 1921:    Placed on half pay list, scale A

17 Jan 1921:          Supernumerary, HQ Inland Area - attached to Air Ministry.

 7 Mar 1922:         Attended Senior Officers' War Course, RN Staff College, Greenwich.

26 Apr 1922:         AOC, Inland Area.

13 Mar 1924:         AOC, Iraq Command.

27 Dec 1926:         Air Member for Supply and Research.

6 Oct 1939:           AOC in C, Air Forces in India.

Having gained his RAeC Certificate (No 264 on 20 July 1912) he became one of the first students of the Central Flying School, gaining a creditable 95% in the his written exam and was immediately seconded to the RFC for four years.  Joining No 3 Squadron he assisted his CO in carrying out some of the earliest (unofficial) experiments into firing guns from an aircraft.  Wounded in the thigh in October 1914 he was repatriated to the UK.  Whilst commanding  the 3rd Wing, a Taube flew over his HQ airfield.  He immediately detailed as crew to " go take his number".  The crew took off giving chase, managing to force it down, they landed nearby, removed the aircraft's serial number and flew back to their base.  Higgins got slightly more then he had expected when the crew reported to him with the trophy and the comment "Number you asked for, Sir!".  Retiring at his own request in 1930, he settled in India, working for an aircraft company there.  With the outbreak of war in 1939, he was recalled and appointed AOC, Air Forces in India until August 1940 when he finally retired to Britain

This page was last updated on 23/07/18

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