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Air Marshal Sir Charles Steele (03227)


Charles Ronald             b: 9 Nov 1897                    r: 26 Feb 1952                     d: 14 Feb 1973

KCB - 1 Jan 1951 (CB - 1 Jan 1944), DFC - 2 Nov 1918, MiD - 1 Jan 1941, DL (Cambridgeshire) - 14 Feb 1962, GI(s)C - 12 Mar 1943, LoH, Cdr - xx xxx 1946, C de G (F) - xx xxx 194?, Cwn-P (Cdr) - 11 Jul 1947, C de G (B) (P) - 11 Jul 1947.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Army):- 2 Lt: 21 Jan 1916, (T) Lt: 26 Jul 1917, (T) Capt: 15 Nov 1917.

(RAF):- (T) Capt [Lt]: 1 Apr 1918, Flt Lt: 1 Jan 1923, Sqn Ldr: 30 Jun 1931, Wg Cdr: 1 Apr 1937, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Mar 1940, Act A/Cdre:  1 Dec 1941?, Gp Capt (WS): 1 Jun 1942, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Nov 1942,  Gp Capt: 20 Nov 1942 [1 Apr 1942], Act AVM: 1 May 1943, A/Cdre (WS): 1 May 1944, (T) AVM: 1 Jun 1944, A/Cdre: 1 Dec 1944, AVM: 1 Oct 1946, Act AM: 1 Jan 1950, AM: 1 Jul 1950.

xx xxx xxxx:           Attended RMC Sandhurst.

21 Jan 1916:           Officer, Green Howards

22 May 1916:          Pilot, No 15 Sqn RFC.

xx Apr 1917:           Instructor, Montrose and Turnberry

xx xxx 1917:            Attended School of Special Flying.

15 Nov 1917:          Instructor, School of Aerial Fighting, Ayr

xx Jan 1918:            Attached, No 20 Sqn RFC.

xx Feb 1918:           Flight Commander, No 48 Sqn.

24 Aug 1918:          Recuperating.

xx xxx 1918:           Instructor, No 59 Wing - Cranwell.

xx xxx xxxx:            ?, Netheravon

28 Oct 1919:          Granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flying Officer (effective from 1 Aug)

 3 Dec 1919:           Pilot, No 28 Sqn.

26 Mar 1923:         Supernumerary, RAF Depot

 3 Sep 1923:           Staff Officer, HQ No 10 Gruop.

27 May 1924:         Air Staff, HQ No 1 Group.

 4 Jun 1926:            Attended RAF Staff College.

30 Jul 1927:            Air Staff, No 1 (Air Defence) Group.

21 Jan 1930:           Flight Commander, No 47 Sqn.

26 Jul 1931:            Air Staff, HQ Transjordan and Palestine.

30 Oct 1933:          Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

17-20 Jan 1934:    Placed on half pay list, scale A

21 Jan 1934:           Attended Army Staff College - Camberley.

 4 Jan 1936:           Officer Commanding, No 18 Sqn.

 6 May 1937:          Air Staff, HQ No 3 Group.

xx xxx 1940:           Staff, HQ BAFF

xx xxx 1941:           SASO?, Rhodesian Air Training Group.

xx xxx 1942:           SASO, HQ No 9 Group.

xx xxx - 9 Nov 1942:    AOC (Temp), No 9 Group

 5 May 1943:          AOC, No 10 Group.

10 Jul 1944:            AOC, No 85 Group.

15 Jul 1945:           SASO, HQ British Air Forces of Occupation.

 6 Jun 1947:            AOC, AHQ Malta.

 1 Jan 1950:            AOC in C, Coastal Command.

Having attended Oundle School and completed his training at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst he was commissioned into the Green Howards and was almost immediately seconded to the RFC, gaining his RAeC Certificate, No 2662 on 31 March 1916.  His first operational posting was to France flying BE2ís with No 15 Squadron where he remained for about a year before retuning to Britain.  After instructional duties he returned to operations with No 20 Squadron but four weeks later was posted to No 48 as a flight commander.   On 24 August 1918 he was seriously injured in a night bombing attack on the airfield at Bertangles and spent the remainder of that war in hospital.  By the time he was invalided home he had achieved a total of seven victories and been awarded the DFC.

On 1 July 1947 his area of responsibility was increased when control of RAF units operating from North African bases was transferred to AHQ Malta from No 205 Group in Egypt.  He was invalided out of the RAF in 1952.  He became Deputy Lieutenant for Cambridge in 1962.

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