Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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Air Marshal Sir Hugh Walmsley (05008)


Hugh Sidney Porter               b: 6 Jun 1898           r: 1 Aug 1952                     d: 2 Sep 1985

KCB - 5 Jun 1952 (CB - 15 Aug 1944), KCIE - 1 Jan 1948, CBE - 1 Jan 1943 (OBE - 11 May 1937), MC - 16 Sep 1918, DFC - 10 Oct 1922, MiD - 11 Jul 1940, MiD - 17 Mar 1941, MiD - 24 Sep 1941, MiD - 11 Jun 1942, MiD 1 Jan 1946.  

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Army):- 2 Lt: 15 Jan 1916, (T) Lt: 1 Sep 1917.

(RAF):- Lt: 1 Apr 1918, Fg Off: 1 Aug 1919, Flt Lt: 30 Jun 1922, Sqn Ldr: 30 Jun 1931, Wg Cdr: 1 Apr 1937, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Mar 1940, Act A/Cdre: 16 Mar 1941, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jun 1942, Gp Capt: 20 Nov 1942 [1 Oct 1941], Act AVM: 25 Jun 1943, (T) AVM: 1 Dec 1943, A/Cdre: 1 Dec 1944, AVM: 1 Apr 1946, Act AM: 22 Oct 1946, AM: 1 Jan 1949.

xx xxx xxxx:         Private, Royal North Lancashire Regiment.

15 Jan 1916:         Officer, Royal North Lancashire Regiment.

xx xxx1916:            Seconded to the RFC.

10 Jun 1917:           Pilot, No 55 Sqn RFC

 1 Sep 1917:           Flight Commander, No 55 Sqn RFC.

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

 2 Feb 1920:           Instructor, No 1 School of Technical Training (Boys)            

11 Feb 1921:          Pilot, No 55 Sqn (Iraq).

14 Jan 1923:           Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

13 Apr 1923:           Instructor/Staff, Inland Area Aircraft Depot, Henlow.

14 Feb 1924:           Adjutant, Boy's/No 4 (Apprentices) Wing - RAF Cranwell.

19 Aug 1926:           Staff, No 4 (Apprentices) Wing, No 1 SoTT (Apprentices)

20 Dec 1927:           Flight Commander, No 503 (County of Lincoln) Sqn

13 Aug 1928:           Adjutant/QFI, No 603 (City of Edinburgh) Sqn Aux AF.

 4 Oct 1931:            PA to the Chief of the Air Staff.

 9 Nov 1933:           Officer Commanding, No 33 Sqn.

 9 Feb 1935:            Officer Commanding, No 8 Sqn.

28 Jun 1937:            Officer Commanding, RAF Abingdon.

 2 Sep 1939:            Officer Commanding, No 71 Wing - Advanced Air Striking Force.

xx xxx 1940:            Officer Commanding, RAF Scampton.

12 Mar 1941:          Group Captain - ?, HQ Bomber Command.

16 Mar 1942:          AOC, No 6 (Bomber) Group.

11 May 1942:          AOC, No 91 Group.

 8 Feb 1944:            SASO (Night Bombing), HQ Bomber Command.

18 May 1945:          AOC, No 4 Group.

 1 Apr 1946:            Air Officer, Transport Command, South East Asia.  

 1 Jun 1946:             AOA, AHQ India

22 Nov 1946:          AOC in C, RAF India.

 4 Feb 1948:            Deputy Chief of the Air Staff.

 1 Mar 1950:           AOC in C, Flying Training Command.

Hugh Walmsley was educated at Old College, Windermere and then Dover College.  Joining the 4th Battalion Loyal North Lancashire Regiment in 1915, he transferred to the RFC in 1916.  Posted to No 55 Squadron flying the DH4.  Initially involved in operations over the Western Front, he moved with the squadron to Ochey in October 1917 when the unit was transferred to the 41st Wing.  Here the squadron was to carry out  raids on strategic targets such as  Mannheim, Mainz, Coblenz and Frankfurt.

The day before war was declared No 1 (Bomber) Group was redesignated the Advanced Air Striking Force and it's squadrons formed into mobile Wings.  The units under Walmsley's command at Abingdon, No's XV and 40 Squadrons became No 71 Wing with Group Capt Walmsley as it's CO.  He was a representative of the RAF at the funeral of King George VI.  

He maintained the connection with flying training on his retirement from the RAF by becoming Managing Director of Air Service Training at Hamble and then in 1960 the Principal of the College of Air Training, also at Hamble. However, before the end of the year he had resigned from this post.

Citation for Military Cross

"Lt. Hugh Sidney Porter Walmsley, N. Lan. R., and R.A.F.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on long-distance bomb raids.  In four of these he acted as leader, and displayed great skill and tenacity in getting the better of the enemy.  He has carried out twelve raids into the enemy's country,  and his work throughout has been consistently of a high order."

(London Gazette - 18 September 1918)

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