Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Beavis (3110153)

Michael Gordon                      b: 13 Aug 1929                       r: 3 Jan 1987                d: 7 Jun 2020

KCB 13 Jun 1981, CBE 11 Jun 1977 (OBE 1 Jan 1969), AFC 1 Jan 1962, CCIM (CBIM, MBIM)

Plt Off: 25 Aug 1949, Fg Off: 25 Aug 1950, Flt Lt: 25 Feb 1953, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jan 1960, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1965, Act Gp Capt: 18 Nov 1968, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1969, Act A/Cdre: 27 Sep 1975, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1976, Act AVM: 24 Oct 1977, AVM: 1 Jul 1978, AM: 1 Jan 1982, ACM: 1 Jul 1984.

xx xxx 1950:   Pilot, No 43 Sqn

xx xxx 1951:   Pilot, No 608 Sqn.

xx xxx 1954:   Exchange posting, No 75 Sqn RNZAF.

xx xxx xxxx:   Pilot, No 101 Sqn

xx xxx 1958:   Flight Commander, No 617 Sqn.

xx xxx 1963:   Attended RAF Staff College.

xx xxx 1964:   Air Staff, MOD.

 1 Jul 1966:      Officer Commanding, No 10 Sqn.

18 Nov 1968:  Officer Commanding, RAF Akrotiri - Cyprus.

17 Dec 1971:   Central Defence Staff.

xx xxx 1974:    Attended Royal College of Defence Studies.

16 Dec 1974:   Group Captain - Operations, HQ RAF Germany.

27 Sep 1975:   Senior Air Staff Officer, HQ RAF Germany.

24 Oct 1977:   Director-General of RAF Training.

27 Feb 1980:   Commandant RAF Staff College/AOC, Command and Staff Training.

27 Apr 1981:   AOC in C, RAF Support Command.

14 Mar 1984:   Deputy C in C, Allied Forces Central Europe.

Entering the RAF College in 1947 after attending Kilburn Grammar School, he graduated as a Pilot Officer in 1949 serving in various squadrons in Fighter Command for the next four years. In 1951 he was a member of 43 Squadron's aerobatic team.  He was sent on an exchange posting with the Royal New Zealand Air Force, where flying with No 75 Squadron he continued his aerobatic career as a member of 75's formation team. 

On 20/21 June 1961 he set a new Britain to Australia record when he flew Vulcan XH481 from Scampton to Sydney non stop, a distance of 11,500 miles in 20 hours 3 minutes at an average speed of 575 mph.  This feat was only made possible by the use of Air-to-Air Refuelling by the Valiants of No 214 Squadron. 

Reformed No 10 Squadron to become first VC10 squadron in the RAF.  He was made a Freeman of the City of London in 1980 and a Liveryman of the Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators in 1983.


This page was last updated on 16/06/20

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