Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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Air Chief Marshal Sir Walter Merton (16200)


Walter Hugh                 b: 29 Aug 1905                     r: 29 Aug 1963                     d: 23 Mar 1986

GBE - 1 Jan 1963 (OBE - 24 Sep 1941), KCB - 1 Jan 1959 (CB - 1 Jun 1953), Air ADC - 1962-63, GI-GC - xx xxx 1951 (GI(s)O - 29 Dec 1942), GC: ROSG (cs) - 1951, OP(GC) - xx xxx 1963.  MiD - 1 Jan 1941, MiD - 1 Jan 1943, MiD - 14 Jan 1944.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

Plt Off: 16 Dec 1925, Fg Off: 16 Jun 1927, Flt Lt: 11 Mar 1931, Sqn Ldr: 1 Apr 1937, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Mar 1940, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Jun 1942, Wg Cdr: 20 Nov 1942 [1 Apr 1942], Act A/Cdre: 24 Apr 1944, Gp Capt (WS): 24 Oct 1944, Gp Capt: 1 Oct 1946, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1949, Act AVM: 25 Aug 1952, AVM: 1 Jan 1953, AM: 1 Jan 1959, ACM: 1 Jun 1961.

xx Jan 1924:            Flight Cadet, 'A' Sqn, RAF College.

16 Jan 1926:            Pilot, No 7 Sqn.

 6 Jan 1930:             Photographic Course, School of Photography.

15 Aug 1930:           Instructor, School of Photography.

13 Mar 1931:           Photographic officer, No 2 (Indian Wing) Station, Risalpur

 8 Jan 1934:             Viceroy's Pilot, Aircraft Park, Lahore.

 2 May 1936:           Flight Commander, No 38 Sqn.

29 Jun 1937:            Officer Commanding, No 38 Sqn.

23 Jan 1939:            Attended RAF Staff College.

 5 Sep 1939:            Organisation Staff, HQ Bomber Command.

 2 Apr 1940:            Officer Commanding, No 218 Sqn. (Honington)

28 May 1940:           Officer Commanding, No 37 Sqn. (Feltwell and Egypt) 

17 Jan 1941:             SASO, HQ No 257 Wing.

 1 Aug 1941:             Operations Officer, HQ Middle East Command

 6 Oct 1941:             SASO, HQ RAF in Palestine and Trans-Jordan.

 1 Dec 1941:            SAO, AHQ Levant.

22 Jan 1943:            Officer Commanding?, RAF Luqa.

11 Nov 1943:          Directing Staff, RAF War Staff College.

24 Apr 1944:           Assistant Commandant, RAF War Staff College.

 1 Aug 1944:            Director of Organisation.

 1 Mar 1946:            Officer Commanding, RAF Mildenhall.

11 Jul 1946:             Officer Commanding, RAF Upwood. 

 1 Dec 1947:            Air Attaché Prague.

21 Nov 1948:           Deputy Director Air Force Liaison.

21 Nov 1949:          AOC & Head of RAF Delegation - Greece.

16 Feb 1951:           AOC, No 63 Group.

25 Aug 1952:           AOC, No 22 Group.

23 Feb 1954:           Chief of Staff, Royal New Zealand Air Force

10 Sep 1956:           AOA, HQ Bomber Command

 2 Feb 1959:            Chief of Staff, HQ Allied Air Forces Central Europe

 8 Apr 1960:            Air Member for Supply and Organisation

19 Nov 1962 - 29 Aug 1963:         Air ADC to The Queen.

Graduating from the RAF College at Cranwell in 1925, which he had represented at Rugby and where he attained the rank of Flight Cadet Sergeant, he joined No 7 Squadron at Worthy Down.  At this time 7 Squadron was under the command of Wg Cdr Charles Portal  and flew Virginia night bombers.  Moving to No 38 Sqn at Marham as a Flight Commander he was now flying the RAF's first monoplane night bomber, the Fairey Hendon.  He would not ask his crews to do anything he would not do, being a great believer in leading from the front.

As Air Attache in Praque, he found himself declared 'Persona non-gratia' having to return to Britain where he was appointed Deputy Director Air Force Liaison!

Retiring from the RAF, he took on the post of Inspector-General of Civil Defence from 1964 until 1968.

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