Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Marshal Sir Edward Chilton (16218)

Charles Edward                b: 1 Nov 1906                r: 7 Sep 1962                     d: 4 Aug 1992

 KBE - 1 Jan 1959 (CBE - 1 Jan 1945), CB - 1 Jan 1951, FRIN (FIN), FInstD (MInstD), PHN (GC) - xx xxx 1960, PR - xx xxx 1980.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

Plt Off:  30 Jul 1926, Fg Off: 30 Jan 1928, Flt Lt: 1 Feb 1932, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jun 1937, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Jun 1940,  Act Gp Capt: 19 Jan 1942, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Jun 1942, Wg Cdr (WS): 19 Jul 1942, Wg Cdr: 1 Jun 1943, Act A/Cdre: 6 Oct 1944?, Gp Capt (WS): 6 Apr 1945, Gp Capt: 1 Oct 1946, Act A/Cdre: 1 Apr 1949, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1950, Act AVM: 22 Sep 1953, AVM:  1 Jan 1954, Act AM: 29 Oct 1957, AM: 1 Jul 1959.

 4 Sep 1924:           Flight Cadet, 'B' Sqn, RAF College. (Flt Cdt Cpl)

30 Jul 1926:

14 Sep 1926:         Attended Flying Boat Pilots' Course, RAF Base, Calshot

17 May 1927:         Pilot, Flying Boat Development Flight, M.A.E.E.

12 Jan  1931:          Attended No 12 Specialist Navigation Course, RAF Base Calshot.

28 Sep 1931:          Navigation officer, No 209 Sqn.

 6 Feb 1934:           Navigation Officer, Central Flying School

11 Apr 1935:          Exchange posting to South African Air Force. 

25 May 1937:         Navigation Staff Officer, HQ Bomber Command.

15 Jan 1940:           Staff Officer, OR 3, Directorate of Operational Requirements

19 Nov 1941:         Command Navigation Officer, HQ Flying Training Command.

19 Jan 1942:           Air Staff, HQ Flying Training Command.

xx xxx 1943            Officer Commanding, RAF Chivenor?

 2 Mar 1944:          Group Captain - ?, HQ No 19 Group.

28 Feb 1945:          Assistant AOA, ACSEA.

 1 Jan 1946             AOC, AHQ Ceylon

 1 Apr 1949:           Director of Personal Services.

xx xxx 1951:           Attended Imperial Defence College.

 8 Feb 1952:           AOC, RAF Gibraltar.

22 Mar/Sep? 1953:          Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Policy).

 1 Mar 1955:           SASO, HQ Coastal Command/SASO, Eastern Atlantic Area and Channel Command.

28 Oct 1957:           AOC, AHQ Malta/Deputy C in C (Air), Allied Forces Mediterranean.

 1 Jun 1959:            AOC in C, Coastal Command/Air C in C, Eastern Atlantic Area /Air C in C, Channel Command.

Edward Chilton was to become something of a navigation expert at a time when most of the RAF  treated the subject as not wholly relevant.  Most pilot navigation (there were no specialized navigators as such) was by means of basic map reading and the following of roads and railways.   The only part of the service prior to WW2 that studied and used air navigation techniques was the maritime reconnaissance branch.  It was his appointment to the 'Flying Boat Union' on completion of his flying training that led to the development of his skills and ultimately a string of posts centred on navigation duties or in the maritime field.   He became a Founder Fellow of the Royal Institute of Navigation and was it's Vice-President on three occasions (1949 - 51, 1959 - 61 and 1963 - 65).

It was rather appropriate that someone connected with flying over the sea for so long should also be interested in activities on it.  At times he was President of the RAF Rowing Club, Vice-Admiral and Hon Life Member, RAF Sailing Association and Hon Vice-President, RAF Swimming Association.   Following retirement from the RAF, he joined IBM (Rentals) Ltd in 1963 as a Consultant and Director finally retiring in 1978.

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