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Air Commodore P Huskinson


Air Commodore Patrick HuskinsonPatrick                         b: 17 Mar 1897                     r: 25 Jan 1942                      d: 24 Nov 1966

CBE - xx xxx xxxx, MC - xx xxx 1916, Bar - xx xxx 1918, LoM (Off) - 9 Oct 1945.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Army): - 2 Lt: 20 Oct 1915, (T) Capt: 19 Dec 1916, Lt: 1 Jan 1917, Capt: xx xxx xxxx.

(RAF): - Capt: 1 Apr 1918, (G) Maj: 7 May - 17 Jun 1918, (T) Maj: 23 Jun 1918, Act Maj: 1 May 1919, Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1919, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jan 1925, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1933, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1937, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1940, A/Cdre: Retained.

xx xxx xxxx:        Gentleman Cadet, RMC Sandhurst.

20 Oct 1915:         Officer, Sherwood Foresters

xx xxx 1915:           U/T Pilot, Farnborough.

xx xxx xxxx:            U/T Pilot, Dover.

xx xxx xxxx:            Attended Ground Gunnery School, Hythe.

21 Mar 1916:         Flying Officer, RFC.

xx Apr 1916:          Pilot, No 2 Sqn RFC. (BE2c – Western Front)

19 Dec 1916:          Flight Commander, No 2 Sqn RFC.

xx xxx xxxx:            Attended School of Special Flying, Gosport.

xx xxx 1917:           Flight Commander, No 19 Sqn RFC/RAF. (Spad S VII/Dolphin – Western Front)

 7 May 1918:          Instructor, Central Flying School (graded as a Major)

17 Jun 1918:           ?

 1 Jul 1918:            Officer Commanding, No ? Sqn

xx xxx xxxx:            Instructor, CFS?

10 Dec 1918:          Officer Commanding, No 204 Sqn.

 1 Jan 1919:            Officer Commanding, No 70 Sqn. ( Snipe – Germany/Spittlegate)

 1 Aug 1919:           Resigned his Commission in the Sherwood Foresters

 1 Aug 1919:           Awarded Permanent Commission as a Captain

8 Nov 1919:           Staff, No 2 School of Technical Training (Boys).

15 Mar - 31 Mar 1921:    Placed on half pay list, scale B

 1 Apr 1921:           Staff, Boys Wing, RAF Cranwell.

 9 Oct 1922:           Instructor, Flying Wing, RAF (Cadet) College, Cranwell.

26 Feb 1923:          Attended Armament and Gunnery School.

19 May 1924:         Armament Staff, HQ No 10 Group.

20 Oct 1924:          Armament Staff, HQ Coastal Area.

21 Sep 1925:          Staff, Directorate of Training.

 1 Feb 1930:           Officer Commanding, No 41 Sqn. (Siskin IIIA – Northolt)

24 Oct 1931:          Armament Staff, HQ Iraq Command.  

10 - 31 Aug 1932:    Placed on half pay list, Scale B.

27 - 31 Mar 1933:    Placed on half pay list, scale A.

 1 Apr 1933:           Armament Officer, HQ Wessex Bombing/Western Area.

15 May 1935:         Armament Officer, Air Armament School.

13 Jan 1936:           Officer Commanding, RAF North Coates Fittes.

26 Jul 1937:            Officer Commanding, RAF Leconfield.

14 Mar 1938:          RAF Member, Ordnance Committee.

xx xxx 1940:            Director of Armament Development.

15 Apr 1941:           Sick/Convalescing.

25 Jan 1942 – xx xxx 1945:            President, Air Armament Board.

Whilst serving with No 19 Squadron he was awarded a Bar to his MC for shooting down twelve enemy (11 confirmed) aircraft in four months, his original MC having been awarded for his work during the Battle of the Somme.  In the Directorate of Training he was mainly involved in the provision of bombing and firing ranges for use in RAF training.  He encountered many problems and obstacles but during his four years in post, he managed to set up ranges at Leuchars, Skipsea (Yorkshire), North Coates Fitties and Holbeach (both in Lincolnshire).  As Director of Armament Production he was responsible for the construction and provision of realistic testing targets for bombs and the like.

The raid on London on the night of 14/15th April 1941 is one he was never to forget.  Unable to sleep and preferring not to take to the shelters, he was watching the raid from his bedroom window.  Realising the danger of watching the raid from a window he and his wife moved into the sitting room, where she read a book and he undertook some work on files from his office.  The next thing he remembered was being cradled in his wife’s arms and informed that he was badly injured and their flat was on fire.  Taken to hospital, it soon became obvious that he had been blinded and following treatment and convalescence, he was eventually invalided out of the RAF in January 1942. 

However, his obvious talents and experience were not to be wasted as he was almost immediately approached and offered the post of President of the Air Armament Board.  He spent the rest of WW2 dealing with a wide range of armament issues.  These included the development of rockets, medium capacity blast bombs (4,000lb – 12,000lb ‘Cookies’), Barnes Wallis’ 12,000lb and 22,000lb ‘Earthquake’ bombs (code-named ‘Tallboy’ and ‘Grand Slam), the provision of improved gun turrets with bigger guns for Bomber Command as well as being responsible for arranging the full scale rehearsals for D-Day.

Citation for the award of the Military Cross

"2nd Lt. Patrick Huskinson, Notts. Derby. R. and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and skill. When attacking the enemy's communications, alone and without an observer, he descended to 800 feet in order to release his bombs on a train and station. He was under continuous fire and his engine and machine were seriously damaged, but he succeeded in flying back at a low altitude and safely landing within our lines. He was again heavily fired at as he crossed the lines."

(London Gazette - 27 July 1916)

Citation for the award of the Bar to the Military Cross

"Lt. (T./Capt.) Patrick Huskinson, M.C. Notts, and Derby. R., and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During a period of six months he has destroyed two hostile machines and driven down seven others out of control. He has also, during an attack, carried out a ground patrol, flying at a very low altitude, during which he engaged, a company of the enemy with machine-gun fire. On a later occasion, when firing at roads from a low altitude, he received a direct hit from a shell, which carried away a portion of his machine. He, however, regained control and, landing upside down-in a shell hole full of water, was suspended in the water until nearly drowned. After his rescue, he remained all day working under shell fire until he had salved the engine. He has at all times proved himself to be a very gallant, keen and able pilot.

(M.C. gazetted -27th July, 1916.)"

(London Gazette - 22 April 1918)

Further reading: - Vision Ahead , Huskinson, A/Cdre P - Werner Laurie (1949)

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