Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
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Air Vice-Marshal F V Holt
b: 23 Feb 1886
d: 23 Apr 1931
1 Jan 1919,
DSO - 18 Feb 1915,
MiD - 31 Dec 1918,
- 11 Jul 1919.
- 2 Lt: 16 Aug 1905, Lt:
11 Jan 1908, (T) Capt:
1 May 1914, Capt: 25 Jul 1914, (T)
Maj: 8 Feb 1915, (T) Lt Col: 20 Mar
(B) Maj: 1 Jan 1917.
(RAF): - Lt Col: 1 Apr 1918, (T) Brig-Gen: 26 Apr 1918, Act Brig-Gen: 3 May 1918 [1 Apr 1918], Wg Cdr: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Gp Capt: 1 Nov 1919, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1925, AVM: 1 Jan 1931.
Photograph (Left) © Crown Copyright
Attended RMC Sandhurst.
Aug 1905: Officer, Oxfordshire Light Infantry.
Officer, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry.
17 Apr 1913: Flying Officer, RFC.
17 Apr 1913: Flying Officer, No 4 Sqn RFC.
1 May 1914: Flight Commander, No ? Sqn RFC.
Officer Commanding, No 16 Sqn RFC. (Various types – Western Front)
Sep 1915: Officer Commanding, No 25 Sqn RFC. (FE2b – Western Front)
Mar 1916: Officer Commanding,
No ? Wing RFC.
June 1916: Officer Commanding,
16th/Home Defence Wing RFC.
xx Feb 1917 Officer Commanding, 22nd (Army) Wing RFC.
26 Apr 1918: GOC, No ? Group.
1 Aug 1919: Awarded Permanent Commission as a Lieutenant Colonel
26 Feb 1920: Aeronautical Instructor to Chinese Republic
1 Sep 1922: Supernumerary, RAF Depot (on ceasing to be seconded to Chinese Government)
Commandant, Central Flying School.
Attended RN Staff College.
20-30 Mar 1926: Placed on half pay list, Scale B.
Chief Staff Officer, HQ ADGB.
Dec 1928: Director of Technical Development.
AOC, Fighting Area.
Learning to fly in 1912 he
gained his RAeC Certificate (No 312) on 1 Oct 1912 and became one of the earliest
recruits to the RFC. On taking
command of 18 Wing, he became responsible for the air defence of Britain,
previously invested in the RNAS. Having
carried out an inspection of RAF Tangmere, he had taken off in his De Havilland
Moth, with his PA flying another Moth when a formation of Siskins, seeing his
PA’s aircraft decided to pay him an aerial salute.
Unfortunately, the formation dived directly at the AVM, whom they could
not see and the Siskin on the left
of the formation caught the wing of his Moth.
Going into a spin, the pilot recovered and the AVM took to his parachute,
but they were too low, the AVM being killed when he hit the ground without a
fully deployed parachute and his pilot when the aircraft hit the ground.
The inquest brought a verdict of accidental death.
Citation for the award of the Distinguished ServiceOrder
"Captain Felton Vesey Holt, The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry and Royal Flying Corps.
For gallantry on 22nd January, 1915, in engaging- single-handed a group of twelve German aeroplanes which were attacking the town of Dunkirk. He was subsequently joined by two of our own biplanes, which ; resulted in one of the German machines being brought down, and its pilot and observer being captured."
(London Gazette - 18 February 1915)
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F L Hopps
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