Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
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Little b: 24 Jan 1917
r: 18 Dec 1968
d: 9 Aug 2005
31 Dec 1979 (CVO – 2 Jun 1973), CBE – 11 Jun 1960, DFC
6 Jan 1942, Bar – 27 Jul 1943, AE - 1944, MBIM.
xx Apr 1937, Plt Off: 15 Aug 1940, Fg
Off (WS): 14 Jul 1941, Act Flt Lt:
xx xxx 1941, Act Sqn Ldr: xx Apr 1942?, Flt Lt
(WS): 14 Jul 1942, Act Wg Cdr: 21
Dec 1943, Sqn Ldr (WS): 21 Jun 1944,
Sqn Ldr: 26 Mar 1946 [1 Sep 1945], Wg
Cdr: 1 Jan 1953, Act Gp Capt: 1
Aug 1958?, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1959,
A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1963.
Sergeant Pilot, RAFVR (740365)
Staff Pilot, No 1 Armament Training Camp.
Attended No 7 OTU,
Aug 1940: Appointed to a Commission in the RAFVR.
Pilot, No 54 Sqn.
Pilot, No 72 Sqn.
Pilot, No 603 Sqn.
Pilot, No 41 Sqn.
Flight Commmander, No 41 Sqn.
Aug 1941: Evading.
Flight Commander, No 611 Sqn.
Apr 1942: Officer Commanding, No 165 Sqn. (Spitfire
Aug 1942: Officer Commanding, No 222 Sqn. (Spitfire Vb)
Sep 1942: Officer Commanding, No 232 Sqn. (Spitfire Vb/c/IX)
En-route to UK
Instructor, Central Gunnery School (Sutton Bridge)
Chief Instructor, Central Gunnery School (Sutton Bridge/Catfoss)
Attended Army Staff College, Camberley.
Air Staff, Air Ministry.
Mar 1946: Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader
his existing rank under war time rules.) [wef 1 Sep 1945]
Aug 1947: Officer Commanding, No 17 Sqn. (Spitfire FR14E)
Feb 1948: Air Adviser to Belgian Government.
Wing Commander- Operations, HQ Fighter Command.
Scottish Wing Leader, RAF Turnhouse.
xx xxx 1956: Officer Commanding, RAF Turnhouse
xx Jul 1957: Air Staff, HQ 2nd Tactical Air Force.
Aug 1958: Group Captain - Operations, HQ RAF Germany.
Sep 1960: Officer Commanding, RAF Duxford.
Sep 1961: Deputy Director of ?, Department of the Air Secretary.
Feb 1964: Air Attaché, Paris.
Director of Public Relations.
Feb 1968: Captain of the Queen's Flight.
Dec 1968: Captain of the Queen's Flight.
xx xxx xxxx: Extra Equerry to the Queen
Having enlisted in the RAFVR in 1937, he was called
up for service in September 1939, being posted to No 1 Armament Training Camp at
Catfoss. However, the camp was due
to close as the airfield at Catfoss was to be redeveloped, so he maybe operated
from nearby Leconfield. He attended
a conversion course onto fighters in August 1940 and was commissioned, being
posted to No 54 Squadron. However,
he was soon transferred to No’s 72 and 603 Squadrons, until finally being
posted to No 41 Squadron.
Shortly after joining No 41 Squadron, on 14
1941, he was shot down over France whilst escorting a formation of Blenheims to
Lille. During the raid the bombers
were attacked by Bf109’s and he was able to destroy one before being shot down
himself. Baling out, he landed
close by a French farmer, who hid him until he was able to hand him over to the
‘Pat’ escape line who eventually returned him to England, becoming the first
pilot to use the route through Spain and Gibraltar.
However, this experience led to him being banned from leading any of his
units over France, so was given command of No 232 Squadron, being tasked with
taking it to North Africa. On 18
January 1943, he was once again shot down, this time into the sea and he was
able to swim ashore, albeit behind enemy lines, and then make his way back to
the Allied lines on foot, one of the few to have evaded capture twice..
His final total for the war was four confirmed destroyed and two shared,
one probable, one damaged, two destroyed on the ground and one damaged on the
Although he was classed as an Air Adviser on
Belgium, he flew Meteors with 1eWing of the Belgian Air Force.
As Leader of the Scottish Wing based at Turnhouse, his personal aircraft
was Vampire FB5, WB340, ALW. He had
another personal aircraft later whilst CO at Turnhouse, Vampire FB5, WG833, ALW. Whilst Director of Public Relations, he had to prepare a
press release on the crash of a Whirlwind helicopter of The Queen’s Flight, in
which the Captain of the Flight was killed. Shortly afterwards, he was appointed to the post.
Retiring at his own request, he became the second
longest serving Captain of the Queen's Flight and was knighted at a private
audience on 20 Feb 1980. He became
a Extra Equerry to HM The Queen in 1973.
Citation for the award of the
Distinguished Flying Cross. "Acting Flight Lieutenant Archie Little WINSKILL (84702) Royal
Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 41 Squadron. This officer has carried out over 250 hours operational flying
and has destroyed at least 3 enemy aircraft. One day in August, 1941, he
attacked 2 Messerschmitt l09's which attempted to intercept our bombers. He
destroyed one of the enemy fighters and his action certainly saved the bombers
from serious attack."
Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.
"Acting Flight Lieutenant Archie Little WINSKILL (84702) Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 41 Squadron.
This officer has carried out over 250 hours operational flying and has destroyed at least 3 enemy aircraft. One day in August, 1941, he attacked 2 Messerschmitt l09's which attempted to intercept our bombers. He destroyed one of the enemy fighters and his action certainly saved the bombers from serious attack."
(London Gazette - 6 Jan 1942)
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