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Air Commodore C D North-Lewis (45073)

Christopher David (Kit)                   b: 13 Mar 1918           r: 1 Feb 1971              d: 25 Mar 2008

DSO 1 May 1945, DFC – 2 Mar 1943, Bar – 26 Feb 1944, Efficiency Medal – 23 May 1947, BL – 1 Jan 1946, DFC (N) – 11 Jul 1947.

(Army): 2 Lt: 21 Jun 1939, Lt (WS): xx xxx xxxx.

(RAF): Plt Off: 4 Dec 1940, Fg Off (WS): 4 Dec 1941, Flt Lt (WS): 4 Dec 1942, Act Sqn Ldr: 15 May 1944, Act Wg Cdr: 15 Aug 1944, Sqn Ldr (WS): 15 Nov 1944, Sqn Ldr: 12 Nov 1946 [1 Sep 1945], Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1952, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1959, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1964.

xx xxx xxxx:               Officer, 2nd Battalion the Queen Victoria's Rifles, KRRC (TA)

xx xxx 1940:                 U/T pilot.

xx xxx xxxx:                  Pilot, No 13 Sqn.

xx xxx xxxx:                 

xx xxx 1942:                 Flight Commander, No 26 Sqn.

15 May 1944:              Officer Commanding, No 181 Sqn. (Typhoon)

15 Aug 1944:               Wing Commander - Flying  (Wing Leader), No 124 Wing.

23 Mar 1945:               Prisoner of War (1 day only)

24 Mar 1945:               Wing Commander - Flying  (Wing Leader), No 124 Wing.

12 Nov 1946:               Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader [wef 1 Sep 1945]

31 Dec 1946:               Relinquished his commission in the KRRC (TA) [wef 1 Sep 1945]

1947                            Officer Commanding, RAF Odiham.

19 May 1950:               Air Staff -Intelligence, HQ Rhodesian Air Training Group

21 Jan 1952:                SOA, HQ Rhodesian Air Training Group.

4 Nov 1952:                

27 May 1954:               Staff Officer - War Plans Division, HQ AAFCE

xx xxx 1956:                 Planning Staff, Operation Muskateer

xx Dec 1956:               

xx Aug 1957                Valiant Conversion Course

17 Oct 1957:                Officer Commanding, No 7 Sqn. (Valiant B1)

17 Nov 1958:               Officer Commanding RAF Wyton

29 May 1961:              Deputy Director of Operations - Bomber and Reconnaissance.

xx xxx 1965:                 AOC, RAF Akrotiri.

15 Dec 1967:               Air Commodore - Intelligence.

Having been a member of the OTC whilst at school at Marlborough, he joined the 2nd Battalion the Queen Victoria's Rifles as a 2nd Lieutenant.   However, fed up with the inactivity of army life in England at that time he volunteered for the RAF.  Initially flying Blenheims, he undertook intruder operations against German airfields during the first ‘1,000 Bomber’ raid on Cologne.  He then undertook evaluation of the Tomahawk and Mustang as potential Army Co-operation aircraft and in late 1942 he joined No 26 Squadron as a flight commander, flying the Mustang on operations.

On 23 March 1945, he was shot down, crash landed and was captured.  However, within hours of capture, his captors surrendered to him and Wing Commander North Lewis was back at his unit the next day, however his AOC instructed him not to fly anymore.

Appointed to command RAF Odiham, he became the first commander of a jet fighter wing.  He sanctioned the unofficial formation of a jet aerobatic team by 54 Squadron in 1947, with practices having to be conducted in secret above cloud until official sanction was received.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

NORTH-LEWIS, Christopher David, F/L (45073, Royal Air Force) - No.26 Squadron - awarded as per London Gazette dated 2 March 1943.

"Since August 1942, Flight Lieutenant North-Lewis has led his flight  with great determination.  One day in January 1943 he was the pilot of the leading aircraft in a formation of three which, despite intense opposition, penetrated deep into northern France and inflicted severe damage on enemy rail and river transport and a number of casualties among infantry in a field.  Previous to this sortie he had reconnoitred the route, flying alone, and during the reconnaissance damaged one tug and five railway engines.  Throughout, this officer has shown great tenacity of purpose and this spirit is reflected in the pilots under his command."

(Source - Air Ministry Bulletin 9432)

Citation for the award of the Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross

“Acting Squadron Leader Christopher David NORTH-LEWIS, D.F.C. (45073), R.A.F., 181 Sqn.

As squadron commander, this officer has at all times led his squadron with great coolness, courage and tenacity. During August, 1944, when on an armed reconnaissance over an area in Northern France, he sighted an enemy tank force and immediately led his squadron in to the attack. His aircraft was repeatedly hit by anti-aircraft fire.  Undeterred, Squadron Leader North-Lewis pressed home his attack with skill and determination. His splendid example and leadership are an inspiration to all in his squadron.”

(London Gazette – 26 September 1944)

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

“Acting Wing Commander Christopher David NORTH-LEWIS, D.F.C. (45073.), R.A.F. (Lieutenant, The King's Royal Rifle Corps).

Since being awarded a Bar .to the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has participated in a large number of sorties, involving attacks on a wide range of targets in-various battle zones.  Much success has been achieved. By his skilful leadership, great tactical ability and iron determination, Wing Commander North-Lewis has played a good part in the results obtained. On one occasion hi December, 1944, this officer flew with great distinction in a successful attack on'an enemy, tank force which was greatly threatening our ground forces in an area in the Ardennes. Wing Commander North-Lewis has accomplished much brilliant work.”

 (London Gazette – 1 May 1945)

Citation for the award of the Netherlands Bronze Lion

NORTH-LEWIS, Christopher David, A/W/C, DFC (45073, Royal Air Force) - No.124 Wing - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1946.

"During the airborne invasion of Holland, Wing Commander North-Lewis led a fighter wing in support of the Guards Armoured Division which was advancing along the main Eindhoven highway in an effort to link up with the airborne troops.  During these operations Wing Commander North-Lewis led many successful sorties against enemy strong points, gun positions, tanks and barges and other transport.  Throughout this officer displayed brilliant leadership, courage and determination which inspired all under his command."

(Source - Air 2/9642)

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