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Air Vice Marshal H B Russell (04203)


H B Russell - 1915Herbert Bainbrigge        b: 6 May 1895               r: 9 May 1949                    d: 15 Jun 1963

CB - 14 Jun 1945, DFC - xx xxx xxxx, AFC - 3 Jun 1919, MiD - 17 Mar 1941, MiD - 11 Jun 1942, MiD 1 Jan 1945.

(Army):- 2 Lt: xx Aug 1914, Lt: 9 Jun 1915.

(RAF):- Lt: 1 Apr 1918, Act Capt: 1 Nov 1918 - 30 Apr 1919, (H) Capt: 1 May - 31 Jul 1919, Fg Off: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Flt Lt: 1 Jan 1921, Sqn Ldr: 13 Nov 1929, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1936, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1940, Act A/Cdre: xx xxx xxxx, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jun 1941, Gp Capt: 14 Apr 1942 [1 Jan 1940], Act AVM: 23 Jul 1945 - 15 Oct 1946; 1 Nov 1946, A/Cdre: 1 Oct 1946, AVM: 8 May 1949.

xx xxx xxxx:           Attended RMA Woolwich.

xx Aug 1914:          Officer, Royal Field Artillery.

21 Oct 1915:           Flying Officer (Observer), No 2 Sqn RFC.

 9 Feb 1916:            Flying Officer, No 23 Sqn RFC.

xx Jul 1916:              Prisoner of War.

 1 Nov 1918:            Employed as Captain (Aeroplane)

30 Apr 1919:

 1 May - 31 Jul 1919:             Employed as Captain (A)

 1 Aug 1919:          Awarded Permanent Commission as a Lieutenant.

27 Oct 1919:           Pilot, No 100 Sqn.

 1 Feb 1921:            Flight Commander, No 2 Sqn.

xx xxx xxxx:             Flight Commander, No 39 Sqn.

 7 Mar 1922:           Awaiting disposal, HQ RAF Iraq.

 1 Oct 1922:            Adjutant, Rest Camp, Iraq.

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 1 Sep 1924:            Air Staff, RAF (Cadet) College.

14 Oct 1928:           Adjutant/Instructor, No  600 (City of London) Sqn AuxAF.

16 Jan 1930:            Air Staff, HQ No 1 Air Defence Group.

18 Jan 1932:           Attended RAF Staff College.

13 Jan 1933:           Officer Commanding, No 8 Sqn.

13 Mar 1935:         Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

24 Jun 1935:           Staff, Deputy Directorate of Operations (Overseas).

23 Jan 1939:           Senior Air Staff Officer, HQ No 21 (Training) Group.

22 Dec 1940:         Group Captain - ?, HQ Fighter Command

21 Oct 1941:          AOA, AHQ Western Desert.

xx xxx xxxx:            Served in Persian Gulf.

12 Jul 1943:            AOC, No 70 Group.

23 Jul 1945:           Head of Plans and Co-ordination, Air Disarmament Staff, HQ BAFO.

 1 Nov 1946:          AOA, HQ Flying Training Command.

A New Zealander he was commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery having attended the Royal Military Academy, he transferred to the RFC in 1915, initially as an Observer with No 2 Squadron.  However, at the end of 1915 he began pilot training and was awarded his Royal Aero Club Certificate (No.2168) on 12 December

Joining No 23 Squadron he flew on numerous operations until 26 June 1916.  On this day he was a member of a bombing raid that left the ground at 08:50 am, during this raid Russell and his observer were shot down in flames following a combat with enemy aircraft over Fampoux, east of Arras, in FE2b serial 6348. Russell was badly injured but survived, after a lengthy stay in various German hospitals, his observer,however,  Lt J. R. Dennistoun, died of his injuries on 9 August 1916. After a stay in various prison camps, Russell was sent to Switzerland on 9 December 1917, as part of an exchange of severely wounded POW's, and was repatriated to the UK on 24 March 1918.*

He was placed on the retired list at his own request.

*Many thanks to Peter Chapman of Auckland, New Zealand for this section of narrative.

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