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Air Marshal Sir Robert Craven (39859)

Sir Robert Edward CravenRobert Edward             b: 16 Jan 1916                      r: 28 Apr 1972                     d: 20 Feb 2003

KBE – 1 Jan 1970 (OBE – 31 May 1956), CB – 10 Jun 1966, DFC – 17 May 1940, MiD - 1 Jan 1942, MiD - 8 Jun 1944, MBIM, OM (E) - xx xxx 1955.  

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

Act Plt Off: 5 Jul 1937, Plt Off: 10 May 1938, Act Flt Lt: 17 Apr – 9 May 1939; 4 Aug 1939 - xx xxx xxxx, Fg Off: 10 Nov 1939, Flt Lt: 10 Nov 1940, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Dec 1941 , Sqn Ldr (WS): 30 Nov 1942, Act Wg Cdr: xx xxx xxxx, Act Gp Capt: 16 Nov 1944, Wg Cdr (WS): 16 May 1945 - 1 Nov 1947, Sqn Ldr: 10 Dec 1946 [1 Sep 1945], Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1951, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1957, Act A/Cdre: 1 May 1961, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1961, Act AVM: 4 May 1964, AVM: 1 Jan 1965, 28 Nov 1969, AM: 1 Jan 1970.

Sir Robert Edward Craven

by Walter Bird
bromide print, 5 October 1966
NPG x166812

© National Portrait Gallery, London


 5 Jul 1937:            Appointed to a Short Service Commission.

xx xxx 1937:           U/T Pilot, No ? FTS

xx xxx xxxx:            Attended Flying Boat Pilot's Course.

xx xxx 1937:           Pilot, No 201 Sqn.

21 Oct 1938:          Pilot, No 210 Sqn. (arrived 23 Oct 1938)

18 Feb 1939:         Attended Link Trainer Course, RAF Gosport

 8 May 1939:          Pilot, No 228 Sqn.

16 Oct 1939:          Attended Short Astro-Navigation Course, RAF St Athan

10 May 1941:        Transferred to the RAFO and called up for air force service.

xx xxx 1942:           Attended RAF Staff College.

13 Jul 1942:            Air Staff , HQ No 17 (Operational Training) Group.

xx xxx 1944:            Directing Staff, RAF Staff College.

xx xxx 1945:            Staff, HQ Mediterranean and Middle East Command.

xx xxx 1946:            Officer Commanding, RAF Eastleigh - Kenya.

10 Dec 1946:           Appointed to Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader (retaining rank current at the time) [wef 1 Sep 1945]

xx xxx 1948:            Attended RN Staff College.

xx xxx 1949:            Directing Staff, Joint Service Staff College.

xx xxx 1951:            Member, NATO Standing Group, Washington.

xx Mar 1954:            Wing Commander - Flying, RAF St Eval.

xx xxx 1957:            Directing Staff, RAF Staff College.

xx xxx 1959:            Officer Commanding, RAF Lyneham.

 1 May 1961:           Director of Personal Services (A).

 4 May 1964:           AOA, HQ Transport Command.

16 Jan 1967:            Senior Air Staff Officer, HQ Flying Training Command

 1 Jun 1968:             SASO, HQ Training Command.

28 Nov 1969:          AOC, No 18 Group/Commander Maritime Air, Eastern Atlantic Area and Channel Command.

After leaving Scarborough College in 1932, he joined the Merchant Navy for five years before leaving to join the RAF.  His pervious career may well have had something to do with his first flying appointments, which were in Flying Boat squadrons.  In April 1940, he was the pilot of the Sunderland which took Sqn Ldr 'Bing' Cross (OC, No 46 Sqn - later ACM) to Norway to carry out a recce of the Andalsnes area in order to assess it's suitability for operating Hurricanes.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

 “Acting Flight Lieutenant Robert Edward CRAVEN (39859).

This officer was captain and pilot of a flying-boat which proceeded on a special journey to Norway, in very bad weather, in April, 1940. On arrival at his destination, he handled his aircraft with great skill and gallantry, and disembarked his passengers in the face of persistent enemy bombing attacks. The return journey was successfully accomplished on the following day in spite of adverse weather conditions. Flight Lieutenant Craven displayed great determination, courage and perseverance in carrying out this hazardous mission.”

(London Gazette –17 May 1940)

This page was last updated on 30/06/21

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