Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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Air Vice Marshal Sir Edward Rice


AVM E A B RiceEdward Arthur Beckton        

b: 19 Dec 1893            r: 1 Mar 1946                d: 14 Apr 1948

KBE - 1 Jan 1946 (CBE - 1 Jan 1941),  CB - 1 Jan 1944, MC - 18 Jul 1917, MiD - 10 Oct 1922, MiD - 17 Mar 1941, MiD - 8 Jun 1944, PR2 - 12 Jun 1945.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Army):- 2 Lt (P): 8 Jun 1915, (T) Lt: 1 Nov 1916, (T) Capt: 1 Dec 1916, Maj: 1 Jan 1918

(RAF):- (T) Maj [Capt]: 1 Apr 1918, (T) Maj: xx Mar 1919, Sqn Ldr: 1 Aug 1919, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1928, Gp Capt: 1 Nov 1938, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jun 1941, Act AVM: 24 Feb 1943, (T) AVM: 1 Dec 1943, AVM: Retained.

Photograph Crown Copyright

xx xxx 1915:            U/T pilot, RFC

23 Aug 1916:          Pilot, No 55 Sqn RFC.

 1 Dec 1916:           Flight Commander, No 31 Sqn RFC.?

xx Sep 1917:           Flight Commander, No 114 Sqn RFC.?

14 Dec 1917:           Officer Commanding No 98 Sqn

19 Dec 1917:            ?

18 Jan 1918:             Officer Commanding, No 98 Sqn RFC.

xx May 1918:           Officer Commanding, No 106 Sqn.

22 Nov 1918:           Officer Commanding, No 108 Sqn.

18 Mar 1919:           Officer Commanding, No 11 Sqn. (Bristol F2B)

 1 Aug 1919:            Awarded Permanent Commission as a Major

xx xxx 1920:            Officer i/c, Care and Maintenance Party, RAF Scopwick.

 6 Apr 1920:            Awaiting disposal, HQ Mesopotamian Wing.

28 May 1920:          Officer Commanding, No 6 Sqn.

21 Apr 1922:           Supernumerary, RAF Depot (non-effective).

16 Dec 1922:           Officer Commanding, Air Pilotage School.

15 Jan 1923:            Officer Commanding, No 11 Sqn.

26 Jan 1928:            Officer Commanding, RAF Andover.

 9 Nov 1929:           Officer Commanding, No 216 Sqn.

26 Jun 1933:            Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

 5 Sep - 14 Oct 1933:    Placed on half pay list, scale A.

15 Oct 1933:           Attended RN Senior Officer's War Course.

23 Feb 1934:           Navigation Officer, RAF Base, Calshot.

xx xxx xxxx - 11 Jun 1937:             Acting Officer Commanding, RAF Calshot.

11 Jan 1939:            Officer Commanding, RAF Hemswell

xx xxx 1940:            Officer Commanding, RAF ?. (No 5 Group)

xx Oct 1940:            Officer Commanding, RAF St Athan/No 4 School of Technical Training (Men).

21 Sep 1941:           AOC, AHQ West Africa.

24 Feb 1943:           AOC, No 1 (Bomber) Group.

23 Feb 1945:           AOC, No 7 (Operational Training) Group.

Sir Edward Rice originally served with the South African Forces before entering Sandhurst at the beginning of WW1.  On commissioning, in 1915, he joined the RFC Special Reserve, having gained his RAeC Certificate, No 1308 on 8 June 1915.  Initially posted to France and No 55 Squadron, he soon found himself in India with No 31 Squadron and from September 1917, No 114 Squadron,, when that unit was formed from No 31.  Before returning to take command of No 11 Squadron, he served in Egypt and Palestine.  With No 11 he joined the Army of  Occupation in Germany but six months later he brought it back to Scopwick (Digby) where it disbanded three months later, he remained at Scopwick, however, to command the Care and Maintenance party.

Whilst he was AOC, No 1 Group, he developed an association with Rose Brothers in Grantham, which ultimately led to the development of a rear turret for fitting to the Lancaster equipped with two 0.5" Brownings in place of the standard four 0.303" guns.  From 1946 until his death he was Director-General of Civil Aviation.

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