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Air Chief Marshal Sir Hubert Patch (16183)


Hubert Leonard            b: 16 Dec 1904                 r: 29 May 1961                    d: 18 Nov 1987

KCB - 1 Jan 1957 (CB - 5 Jun 1952), CBE - 11 Jun 1942, MiD - 1 Jan 1941, MiD - 24 Sep 1941, MiD - 1 Jan 1942, MiD - 14 Jan 1944.

Plt Off: 30 Jul 1925, Fg Off: 12 Apr 1927, Flt Lt: 11 Mar 1931, Sqn Ldr: 1 Apr 1937, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Mar 1940, Act Gp Capt: xx xxx 1942, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Jun 1942, Wg Cdr: 20 Nov 1942 [1 Apr 1942], Act A/Cdre: 7 Dec 1943?, Gp Capt (WS): 7 Jun 1944, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1946, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1946, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1947, Act AVM: 21 Jan 1951, AVM: 1 Jul 1951, Act AM: 1 Jan 1956, AM: 1 Jan 1957, ACM: 1 Apr 1959.

xx xxx 1923:           Flight Cadet, 'A' Sqn, RAF College.

30 Jul 1925:            Pilot, No 58 Sqn.

12 - 23 Mar 1928:    Placed on half pay list, scale B

30 Mar 1928:         Armament officer, No 45 Sqn.

 9 Feb 1930:           Armament duties, Armament & Gunnery School.

 4 Mar 1930:          Attended (Advanced?) Armament Course, Armament & Gunnery School.

 9 Apr 1931:           Armament officer, RAF Bircham Newton.

24 Mar 1934:         Armament Officer, No 2 Armament Training Camp, North Coates Fittes

 5 Mar 1935:          Flight Commander, No 12 Sqn (Andover)

17 Jul 1937:            Deputy OC?, No 6 Armament Training Station, Warmwell

19 Dec 1938:          Armament Officer, HQ Bomber Command

1939 - 45:               ?

xx xxx xxxx:             Director of Armament Requirements.

 8 Feb 1946:           AOC, No 44 (Transport) Group.

xx Jul 1948:             Commandant, Aeroplane & Armament Experimental Establishment.

xx Jan 1950:            Attended Imperial Defence College.

21 Jan 1951:           AOA, Far East Air Force

 6 Aug 1952:           Senior Air Staff Officer, Far East Air Force

 1 Nov 1953:          AOC, No 11 Group.

 1 Jan 1956:            AOC in C, Fighter Command

24 Sep 1956:          C in C, Middle East Air Force

 1 Apr 1959:            Air Member for Personnel

19 Sep 1959:            Commander, British Forces Arabian Peninsula

'Sam' Patch entered the RAF as a Flight Cadet in 'A' Sqn at the RAF College Cranwell in 1923.  He went on to represent the College at Cricket, Hockey and Rugby and attained the rank of Flt Cdt Cpl prior to graduating two years later.

Although C in C, MEAF he was not given command of RAF forces involved in Operation 'Musketeer', the Suez campaign.  This was invested in Air Vice Marshal Denis Barnett who formed his own HQ alongside that of Patch's in Cyprus together with his own staff, most of whom came out with him from the UK.  This left Patch purely with responsibility of conducting the normal running of his command and the air defence of the British bases in Cyprus.

During his tenure as C in C, MEAF, in 1957 he became the first British Air Marshal to visit Iran and was welcomed by the Shah himself.  At the suggestion of the Air Attaché in Tehran the visit was made using a flight of three Canberra bombers from Cyprus.  This helped bring home to the Shah, just how vulnerable his country now was.

British Forces Arabian Peninsula was the first major tri-service command since WW2.  From 1961 to 1963 he was the BAC Representative to NATO Countries.

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