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Air Marshal Sir John Higgins


John 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, Col: xx xxx xxxx, Act Brig-Gen: 23 Aug 1915, (T) Brig-Gen: 30 Jan 1916, Brig- Gen: 25 Aug 1916.

(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.

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 ? Sqn RFC  

30 May 1913:        Flight Commander, No 3 Sqn RFC. (Various types Larkhill/Netheravon)

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

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

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

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

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

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

29 Apr 1918:         GOC, No 3 Area.

 8 May 1918:         GOC, Midland Area.

 4 Jan 1919?:         GOC, RAF Rhine.

22 Jul 1919:           GOC/AOC North-Western Area?

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

 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

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