Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
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Charles Gilbert b: 3 Feb 1923 r: 3 Mar 1978 d: 1 Dec 2009
CB – 12 Jun 1976, CBE – 1 Jan 1970, AFC – 1 Jan 1961.
(RN): Flt Sub-Lt (A): xx xxx 1943,
(RAF): Fg Off: 16 Mar 1947, Flt Lt: 15 Dec 1949, Sqn Ldr: 30 Mar 1956, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1960, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1964, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1970, Act AVM: 9 Mar 1974, AVM: 1 Jan 1975.
xx xxx 1942: U/T Pilot, Fleet Air Arm
xx xxx 1943: Pilot, No 836 Sqn FAA (Swordfish - Empire MacCallum)
xx xxx xxxx: Pilot, No 801 Sqn FAA (Seafires)
xx xxx 1946: Worked for the Control Commission in Germany
14 Mar 1949: Appointed to a Short Service Commission (8 + 4) in the rank of Flying Officer.
xx xxx 1949: Pilot, No 263 Sqn (Meteors)
1 Oct 1950: Granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant.
xx xxx xxxx: Pilot, ? Sqn (Vampires)
xx xxx xxxx: Pilot, ? Sqn (Venoms)
xx Apr 1959: Officer Commanding, No 65 Sqn.
11 Jul 1960: Staff Officer to Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations).
31 Mar 1964: Officer Commanding, No 9 Sqn. (Vulcans)
12 Oct 1964: Officer Commanding, RAF Honington.
5 Dec 1965: Officer Commanding, RAF Waddington.
30 Apr 1968: Group Captain - Operations, HQ Strike Command.
26 Jul 1970: Air Attache, Bonn.
6 Jan 1973: SASO, HQ No 1 Group.
9 Mar 1974: AOA/AOC Directly Administered Units, HQ Strike Command.
20 Sep 1975: SASO, HQ Strike Command.
Educated at Sir George Monoux Grammar School and Harrow County School he was called up in 1942 and joined the Fleet Air Arm. During his Navy service he flew Swordfish torpedo bombers and Seafires, often operating from escort carriers in the Atlantic Ocean. On leaving the Royal Navy in 1946 he worked for the GPO but soon felt a desire to return to flying so he joined the RAF in 1949. He flew Meteors, Vampires and Venom in Britain and Germany before taking command of No 65 Squadron, flying Hunter F6's from RAF Duxford. On 22 July 1959, he won the 'Daily Mail' Arch to Arc Air Race from Marble Arch to the Arc de Triomphe in a time of 40 minutes 44 seconds.
From 1983 until 1993, he was an Independent Panel Inspector for the Department of the Environment and from 1978 to 1983 General Secretary of the Royal British Legion.
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