Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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Air Commodore H M Massey (04128)


Herbert Massey              b: 19 Jan 1898                      r: 22 Jun 1950                      d: xx xxx 1976

CBE - 2 Jan 1950, DSO - 6 Nov 1936, MC - xx xxx 1917, MiD - 23 Jul 1937, MiD - 1 Jan 1941, MiD - 24 Sep 1941, s - 2 Aug 1949.

(Army):- 2 Lt: 7 Apr 1916, Lt: xx xxx xxxx, (T) Capt: 30 Dec 1916.

(RAF):- Capt: 1 Apr 1918, Fg Off: 1 Aug 1919, Flt Lt: 1 Jan 1922 [1 Apr 1918], Sqn Ldr: 5 Nov 1930, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1937, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Mar 1940, Gp Capt: 14 Apr 1942 [1 Mar 1940], (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1946, A/Cdre: 21 Jun 1950.

Photo courtesy - Graham Brett

xx xxx 1915:         Attended RMC, Sandhurst.

 7 Apr 1916:         Officer, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire Regiment.

 7 Jul 1916:            Pilot, No 16 Sqn? RFC.

30 Dec 1916:         Flight Commander, No 16 Sqn RFC.

30 Jun 1918:          Staff Officer 3rd Class, HQ North-Western Area.

 1 Jan 1919:           Staff Officer 3rd Class - Glasgow, HQ North-Western Area.

xx Jun 1919:          Staff Officer 3rd Class, HQ Northern Area.

28 Oct 1919:         Granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flying Officer (Staff Officer) (effective from 1 Aug)

8 Feb 1920:           Air Staff, HQ No 7 Wing.

21 May 1920:        Air Staff, HQ No 3 Group.

xx xxx xxxx:           Pilot, No 39 Sqn.

24 Feb 1922:         Flight Commander, No 8 Sqn.

18 Mar 1923:        Supernumerary - non effective (sick), RAF Depot.

15 Jul 1923:           Pilot, M.A.E.E.

xx xxx xxxx:           Attended Instructors' Course, CFS (graded A1)

 5 Apr 1928:          QFI, RAF College.

11 Mar 1930:         PA to CAS.

 4 Oct 1931:           Attended Flying Boat Pilot's Course, RAF Base Calshot.

2 Apr 1932:            Placed on half pay list, Scale A.

 2 May 1932:          Attended Senior Officer's Tactical Course, Portsmouth..

28 Aug 1932:          Flight Commander, No 209 Sqn. (Iris III/V)

17 - 22 Jan 1933:    Placed on half pay list, scale B

23 Jan 1933:            Attended RAF Staff College.

10 Jan 1934:            Officer Commanding, No 6 Sqn. (Demon)

 5 Feb 1937:            Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

10 Jul 1937:             Air Staff, HQ No 5 (Bomber) Group.

xx Feb 1940:            Officer Commanding, RAF Abingdon.

xx xxx 1942:             Officer Commanding, RAF Oakington

2 Jun 1942:              Prisoner of War.

xx May 1943:           Admitted to Obermassfeld Hospital

xx Apr 1944:            Repatriated on medical grounds.

xx xxx 1945:            Air Commodore - Personnel?, Directorate-General of Personnel (III).

Wounded in WW1, he lost half of his leg but was amongst the small band of amputees who remained in the RAF and continued flying.  In 1936 he was wounded again whilst taking part in operations with 6 Squadron in Palestine.  However, he was able to make a safe landing and recovered successfully.  He was flying aboard Stirling N3750, piloted by Flt Lt N E Winch, during the second of the 'Thousand Plan' raids when it was shot down near the Dutch coast, fortunately the whole crew was able to bale out and were taken prisoner.  Sent to Stalag Luft III at Sagan, he became Senior British Officer, in September 1941, and under his authority plans for a mass escape where instituted.  Taking place in 1943, 'The Great Escape' resulted in over 70 RAF prisoners escaping although most where later recaptured and 50 of them were executed on Hitler's orders.  However. Group Captain Massey was eventually repatriated to Britain through ill health.

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