Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
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Leslie Howard b: 3 Dec 1915 r: 15 Mar 1971 d: 8 May 2006
CB –1 Jan 1971, DFC – 4 Nov 1941, CEng, FIEE, FCMI.
(RAF): - AC App: xx xxx 1932, LAC: xx xxx 1935, Cpl: xx xxx xxxx, Sgt: xx xxx xxxx, Plt Off (P): 26 Apr 1941, Fg Off (WS): 22 Apr 1942, Flt Lt (WS): 26 Apr 1943, (T) Flt Lt: 28 Jan 1947 [26 Apr 1943], Sqn Ldr: 1 Jan 1950, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1955, Act Gp Capt: xx Oct 1958, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1959, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1964, AVM: 1 Jan 1969.
xx xxx 1932: Aircraft Apprentice, 25the Entry, RAF Cranwell.
xx xxx 1935: Electrical Technician, No 99 Sqn. (565919)
xx xxx 1938: U/T Pilot, No 4 Flying Training School
xx xxx xxxx: Sergeant Pilot, No 14 Sqn
26 Apr 1941: Appointed to a Commission for the duration.
xx Sep 1941: Instructor, Kenya
xx xxx 1942: Attended Instructors’ Course.
xx xxx xxxx: Instructor, RAF Cranwell
xx xxx xxxx: Instructor, Canada
1 Sep 1945: Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant.
1 Sep 1945: Transferred to the Technical Branch.
xx xxx 1946: Signals Officer, HQ No 46 Group
xx xxx xxxx: Signals Officer, Berlin Airlift
xx xxx 1950: Attended RAF Staff College
xx xxx 1951: Signals Staff Officer, HQ Fighter Command.
xx xxx 1954: Exchange posting?, Strategic Air Command, USAF (Nebraska)
xx xxx 1956: Signals Staff Officer, HQ Bomber Command
xx Oct 1958: Deputy Director of Signals
30 Oct 1961: Commandant, No 2 School of Technical Training, Cosford.
xx xxx 1963: Chief Signals Officer, HQ Fighter Command.
xx xxx 1965: Staff Officer, Ministry of Technology
xx xxx 1969: AOC, No 90 (Signals) Group.
Entering the RAF as an apprentice in 1932, he qualified as an electrical technician and was posted to No 99 Squadron, which at that time was flying the RAF’s last biplane heavy bomber, the Handley Page Heyford. (Did 99 go to Iraq as a result of the Abyssinian crisis?) Three years later he applied for pilot training and following completion of his course at No 4 FTS, he as posted to No 14 Squadron in Amman, to fly the Vickers Wellesley. When Italy declared war on 10 June 1940, the squadron moved to Port Said in Egypt and he began operations the next day when he took part in a raid on the airfield at Massawa in northern Eritrea, in which 350,000 gallons of fuel were destroyed and damage inflicted on aircraft and hangars. The Wellesleys were replaced by Blenheims in ? Shortly after this the squadron moved to Heliopolis and began operations over the Western Desert. The squadron also took part in operations over Crete and in Syria, it was around this time the Moulton was commissioned. He was eventually rested from operations in September 1941 after completing over 80 operations and at that time he and the squadron commander were the only two surviving members of original squadron that had left Amman.
His next posting was to Kenya as an instructor, after which he returned to the UK for the first time in six years. He undertook an Instructors’ course and was than posted to RAF Cranwell and later Canada, eventually achieving the highest A1 category. At the end of the war he felt that a flying career for an officer of his age would be severely limited so he decided to revert back to his early training and transferred to the Technical Branch as a Signals Officer.
Initially serving at HQ 46 Group, he was responsible for radio and homing facilities at various overseas staging posts and during the Berlin Airlift he organised the fitting of homing devices and other radar aids to the transport aircraft involved. Attendance at the Staff College was followed by a tour at HQ Fighter Command. Here he was involved in the upgrading of the air defence command and control system.
In 1954 he moved to Nebraska in the USA on a two year appointment and worked on the radar and communication equipment of the B-47s was were then entering service. Returning to the UK he joined HQ Bomber Command and was no doubt able to utilise his experience from America in the introduction of the V-bombers to the RAF. A spell at the Air Ministry was following by command of No 2 School of Technical Training at Cosford. He returned to Fighter Command at the time of the introduction of new weapons systems such as the Lightning and the Bloodhound. His final appointment in the RAF being as AOC, No 90 (Signals) Group. After leaving the RAF he joined Plessey Radar, where he lead the development of Linesman Project, he eventually retired from Plessey in 1982.
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