Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Vice-Marshal F J St G Braithwaite (05161)

Francis Joseph St George BraithwaiteFrancis Joseph St George                     b: 16 Oct 1907                                         d: 21 Dec 1956

CBE -1 Jan 1946 (OBE 1 Jan 1942), MiD - 2 Jun 1943, MiD - 14 Jun 1945.

(RAFO): Plt Off: 14 Mar 1928,

(RAF): Plt Off: 7 Sep 1929 [7 Sep 1928], Fg Off: 7 Mar 1930, Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1934, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jun 1938, Act Wg Cdr:  2 Jun 1940, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Dec 1940, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Sep 1942, Wg Cdr (WS): 10 Feb 1943, Wg Cdr: 1 Dec 1944, Gp Capt: 1 Oct 1946, Act A/Cdre: 18 Jan 1950, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1952, Act AVM: 3 May 1954, AVM: 1 Jul 1954.

Francis Joseph St George Braithwaite

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 1955
NPG x162658

National Portrait Gallery, London


14 Mar 1928:        Appointed to a Commission in the RAFO (Class AA).

14 Mar 1928:        Member, Cambridge University Air Sqn.

 7 Sep 1929:         Relinquished his RAFO Commission on appointment to a Permanent Commission in the RAF.

xx xxx 1929:          Service Flying training?

12 Feb 1930:         Pilot, No 13 Sqn.

 5 Oct 1931:          PA to AOC, Inland Area.

 2 Jan 1933:           Aircraft Engineering Course, Home Aircraft Depot.

xx xxx 1934:          Attended Specialist Torpedo Course.

 7 Jan 1935:           Flight Commander, No 22 Sqn.

 2 Dec 1935:          Staff, No 1 Gunnery Co-operation Flight/No 2 AA Co-operation Flight.

24 Jan 1938:          Attended RAF Staff College.

31 Dec 1938:         Engineering Staff Officer (RM2), HQ Coastal Command.

 2 Jun 1940:           Officer Commanding, No 22 Sqn.

16 Aug 1941:         Officer Commanding, Torpedo Training Unit, RAF Abbotsinch.

xx xxx 1942:           Officer Commanding, No 7 OTU, RAF Limavady.

 4 Jun 1943:            Deputy Director of Operations (Torpedoes).

 6 Jan 1944:           Supernumerary, RAF North Coates

14 Jan 1944:           Officer Commanding, RAF North Coates.

16-21 Mar 1944:   Attached to RAF Tain

14 Jul 1945:            Deputy SASO (1), HQ Transport Command.

xx Apr 1946:          Air Adviser to Foreign Secretary.

25 Jul 1947:           SOA, AHQ Malta.

xx Jan 1950:           Attended Imperial Defence College.

xx xxx 1951:           RAF Representative, Western Union Air Advisory Committee/NATO  Standardisation Agency.

28 Jan 1952:           Director of Plans.

 3 May 1954:          AOC, No 61 (Eastern) Group.

xx May 1956:          Chief of Staff, Far East Air Force.

Joining the RAFO whilst at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, he later joined the RAF in 1929 and following completion of his flying training joined No 13 Squadron in 1930.   He became a torpedo specialist and for much of his career would be connected with anti-shipping operations.

He had first joined No 22 Squadron as a flight commander in 1935 and in June 1940 returned to lead the squadron, which was the first RAF unit to operate the new Bristol Beaufort.  Based at North Coates in Lincolnshire, on 2 September 1940, he was returning to North Coates in L9879 (OA-C) from a raid on Flushing, when he undershot the runway at 23:20 and crashed into a field 50 yards short, fortunately all the crew were safe.  On 6 April 1941 he led a detachment to St Eval in Cornwall from where they were ordered to carry out an attack on the German Battle-Cruiser 'Scharnhorst' in Brest Harbour.  One of his pilots, Fg Off Kenneth Campbell, carried out an extremely low level attack against the ship resulting in the loss of his crew and aircraft, but for which he was awarded a posthumous Victoria Cross. 

He took off from Changi in a Meteor on 21 December 1956 but in deteriorating weather he became overdue and a search was initiated.  His aircraft was found later that day on the Indonesian Island of Palau Batam, south of Singapore, AVM Braithwaite being found dead.

This page was last updated on 15/12/23

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