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Air Commodore G S Oddie (08021)

Air Commodore G S OddieGerard Stephen           

b: 6 Jan 1896                      r: 26 Apr 1944                     d: 3 May 1984

DFC -12 Jul 1920, AFC - 3 Jun 1927.

(Army):- (T) 2 Lt: 26 Sep 1917.

(RAF):- Lt (O): 1 Apr 1918, Lt (A): 30 Nov 1918, Fg Off: 1 Aug 1919, Flt Lt: 30 Jun 1922, Sqn Ldr: 30 Jun 1931, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1937, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Mar 1940, Gp Capt: 14 Apr 1942 [1 Mar 1940], (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jun 1942, A/Cdre: Retained.

Photograph © Crown Copyright

xx xxx xxxx:        Soldier, East Surrey Regiment.

26 Sep 1917:        Officer, Liverpool Regiment.

26 Sep 1917:        U/T Observer, No 114 Sqn, RFC

23 Feb 1918:        Transferred to RFC General List

23 Feb 1918:         Flying Officer (Observer)

xx xxx 1918:          Observer, No 31 Sqn (until 27 Jun 1918)

xx Jun 1918:          U/T Pilot, Egypt

30 Nov 1918:        Transferred to Aeroplane Branch

11 Feb 1919:          Qualified as Flying Officer

24 Mar 1919:         Pilot, No 31 Sqn.

12 Dec 1919:          Granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flying Officer (Aeroplane).

23 Mar 1920:         Attended Flying Instructor's School/Central Flying School.

xx xxx 1920:           Pilot, No 31 Sqn.

 1 Apr 1922:           Pilot, Experimental Section, RAE.


 2 Dec 1927:           Flight Commander, No 6 Sqn.


24 Nov 1929:         Pilot, Experimental Section, RAE.

 1 Nov 1931:          CFI, No 3 FTS.

 1 May 1936:          Air Staff, HQ Training Command.

10 Jul 1936:            Air Staff, HQ No 23 (Training) Group.

29 Nov 1937:         Supernumerary, RAF Turnhouse.

 4 Dec 1937:          Officer Commanding, RAF Turnhouse.

15 Apr 1938:          Supernumerary, RAF Boscombe Down.

29 Apr 1938:          Officer Commanding, RAF Boscombe Down.

 9 Oct 1938:           ?

20 Oct 1938:          Fleet Aviation Officer to C-in-C, Home Fleet in HMS Nelson

xx xxx 1939:           Air Staff, HQ Coastal Command

22 May 1940:         Officer Commanding, RAF Invergordon

 5 Jun 1941:            Deputy Director of Flying Training.

xx xxx 1942:           Commandant, Empire Central Flying School

In 1922 he was a member of a five man aerobatic team from the RAE flying SE5a's.

Recommendation for the award of the Air Force Cross.

ODDIE, Gerard Stephen, F/L, DFC - Air Force Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 3 June 1927 in Birthday Honours List.  Invested with decoration 21 June 1927.

"This officer has been engaged in experimental flying since April 1922, and has shewn exceptional courage and devotion to duty in the air, being quite undeterred by the dangers and difficulties of his work.  He has been responsible for many valuable experiments in connection with night flying, directional wireless and telephonic communication between aircraft, and the useful development of night flying and wireless equipment is in a large measure due to his outstanding zeal and energy.  He has displayed the utmost skill and determination in carrying out long flights under adverse weather conditions, and his splendid example has been of great value to the experimental work of the Royal Aircraft Establishment."

The AFC recommendation, drafted 28 March 1927, includes a listing under heading “Dates and number of reports in which full particulars of the meritorious services are given:” These are as follows:

This is supplemented by a memo dated 28 March 1927 from the Officer Commanding, Experimental Section, Royal Aeronautical Establishment, which reads:

 "I wish to recommend the above named Officer very strongly for an award of the Air Force Cross of the following reasons:

 (a)          As reported in recommendation O/249/210/1 dated 23 October 1924  and O/249/210/1A dated 30 March 1925, this officer is almost entirely responsible for the very valuable flying expedients that have been carried out in connection with night flying, directional wireless, and telephonic communication between aircraft.

 (b)          As reported in recommendation P1/2/1/103 dated 23 October 1925, P1/2/2/103 dated 31 March 1926 and P1/2/2/103A dated 3 November  1926, the continued development of wireless and aircraft night flying equipment is in a very marked degree due to the exceptional zeal, energy and courage displayed by this officer.

Throughout the five years of his experimental flying Flight Lieutenant Oddie has shown a courage and devotion to duty in the air which has been utterly undeterred by the dangers and difficulties in his work.  He has carried out long flights in conditions of such poor visibility that landing was only just possible and called for the utmost courage and flying skill.

 His splendid example has undoubtedly been of great value to the experimental work of the RAE and I cannot too strongly recommend him for this award."

(Source - Air 2/306)

Recommendation for the award the Bar to the Air Force Cross.

Recommended for a Bar to AFC, 13 October 1930.  Not approved but recorded here for historical record.

 "Re:  F/L Gerard Stephen Oddie, Experimental Section, R.A.E., Inland

 F/L Oddie has been carrying out a considerable amount of flying at R.A.F. in connection with experiments for landing an aircraft in fog.  He has exhibited extreme keenness and devotion to duty throughout the trials, and on the morning of 18.6.30, he made five take-offs and landings in fog.  He is the first pilot deliberately to take-off and land an aircraft in a fog.  This was a dangerous experiment and I consider that he showed devotion to duty and bravery in carrying out what was an abnormal duty.  In addition, he has been doing consistent good work in development of instruments and certain experiments in connection with refuelling aircraft in the air.

"Recognition recommended:  Bar to Air Force Cross

                (Signed by S/L ?????, Experimental Section, R.A.F., 13.10.30)"

Covering remarks by A.H. Hall, Chief Superintendent, R.A.F.: 

“I can endorse the above and would add that it is believed that F/L Oddie’s landings in fog are the first that have ever been accomplished"

(Source - AIR 2/1027)

This page was last updated on 11/12/22

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