Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Commodore Sir James Easton

James Alfred                b: 11 Feb 1908                     r: 12 Feb 1949                     d: 19 Oct 1990

KCMG - 31 May 1956, CB - 1 Jan 1952, CBE - 1 Jan 1945.

Plt Off: 6 Dec 1928, Fg Off: 6 Jun 1930, Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1934, Sqn Ldr: 1 Dec 1937, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Sep 1940, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Sep 1942, Act A/Cdre: 30 Sep 1943,  Wg Cdr: 1 Dec 1943, Gp Capt (WS): 30 Mar 1944, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1947, A/Cdre: Retained.

 2 Sep 1926:            Flight Cadet, 'A' Sqn, RAF College.

 6 Dec 1928:            Pilot, No 101 Sqn.

 2 Sep 1929:           Attended No 5 Squadron Armament Course, Armament and Gunnery School

 7 Mar 1930:           Pilot, No 31 Sqn.

21 Sep 1931:          Attended School of Artillery, Kakul

15 Apr 1932:           Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

xx xxx 1932:            Attended Specialist Armament Officers' Course

30 Jan 1933:            Armament Officer, RAF Training Base, Leuchars.

10 Dec 1934:           Armament Officer, M.A.E.E.

xx xxx 1935:             Served in Egypt.

24 Apr 1937:            Armament Liaison Officer, Canadian National Ministry of Defence

15 May 1939:           Officer Commanding, 'B' Flight, No 139 Sqn

 9 Oct 1939:             Head of AI 1 (g), Directorate of Intelligence (1)/Directorate of Intelligence (Operations).

xx xxx xxxx:              Deputy Director of Intelligence (2).

xx xxx 1940:             Air Armament Adviser to Department of National Defence.

 1 Jan 1941:            Gazetted for rendering valuable services in connection with the war

30 Sep 1943:            Director of Intelligence (Research).

xx xxx xxxx:              Deputy Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Intelligence)

xx xxx 1945:             Member, RAF Delegation - Washington.

Graduating from Cranwell, where he had represented the College at Soccer and attained the rank of Flt Cdt Cpl, he joined No 101 Squadron flying DH9A's.  The squadron soon re-equipped with the new Boulton Paul Sidestrand before he moved to India and 31 Squadron equipped with Bristol F2B's and later Wapiti's.  Returning to Britain, he attended the Armament Officer's course which was followed by a series of appointments as an Armament officer.  In 1937, he was posted to Canada as Armament Liaison Officer and three years later acted as an adviser to the Department of National Defence.

1943 saw his appointment as Director of Intelligence (Research) and it was here that he began to make a name for himself in intelligence circles.  This post brought him into close contact with people such as Dr R V Jones and external agencies including SOE and MI6.  He was heavily involved in the analysis of German technical developments, including the V1 and V2 as well as clandestine operations by RAF aircraft in support of SOE.

Deciding against continuing his RAF career he retired from the RAF, and joined MI6 in 1949.  Two years later he was appointed Deputy Director to the newly appointed Director, Major-General Sir John Sinclair with the promise that he would replace Sir John in due course.  However, in 1956, Sir John was succeeded by Sir Dick White from MI5 and Easton was informed that he would not succeed Sir Dick.  He remained as Deputy Director for a further two years before retiring from the post in 1958. 

He accepted the post of HM Consul-General in Detroit, which carried with it the advantage that his wife, a Canadian he had met during his tour before the war, had many friends in the area.  Remaining Consul-General for ten years he retired in 1968, decided to remain in the USA and subsequently held a number of business  positions.  

This page was last updated on 25/10/23

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