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Air Chief Marshal Sir William Elliott

William                         b: 3 Jun 1896                      r: 18 Apr 1954                     d: 27 Jun 1971

GCVO - 1 Jun 1953, KCB - 7 Jun 1951 (CB - 1 Jan 1944), KBE - 1 Jan 1946 (CBE -1 Jan 1942), DFC - 8 Feb 1919, Bar - 1 Apr 1920, ADC - 1951-1954, SV4SB - xx xxx xxxx, SG4 - xx xxx xxxx, LoM (Cdr) - 9 Oct 1945, OP(GC) - 6 Sep 1946.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Army):- 2 Lt (P): 17 Mar 1917, (T) 2 Lt: 5 Jan 1918.

(RAF):- Lt: 1 Apr 1918, Fg Off: 1 Aug 1919: Flt Lt: 1 Jan 1923, Act Sqn Ldr: 10 Feb 1929 - 11 Jul 1931. Sqn Ldr: 1 Feb 1932, Wg Cdr: 1 Apr 1937, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Mar 1940, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Dec 1941, (T) AVM: 1 Dec 1943, A/Cdre: 1 Dec 1944, AVM: 1 Apr 1946, AM: 1 Jul 1948, ACM: 1 Apr 1951.

xx xxx 1917:            Cadet, RFC

 5 Jan 1918:             U/T Pilot, RFC.

xx Mar 1918:            Pilot, No 142 Sqn. (Various – Palestine)

 1 Apr 1918:            Flight Commander, No 14 Sqn

1919:                        Pilot, No 47 Sqn. (South Russia)

 1 Aug 1919:           Awarded Permanent Commission as a Lieutenant

20 May 1921:          Pilot, No 14 Sqn. 

xx xxx 1923:            Flight Commander, No 14 Sqn.

13 Oct 1924:            AI 1 (b), Directorate of Operations and Intelligence.

23 Jan 1928:             Flight Commander, No 207 Sqn.

10 Feb 1929:            British Liaison Officer, Beirut (HQ Transjordan and Palestine)

21 Sep 1931:            Attended Refresher Flying Course, No 24 Sqn.

10 Oct 1931:            Attended Refresher Flying Course, CFS

 7 Nov 1931:            Attached to No 12 Sqn from No 101 Sqn

18 Jan 1932:             Attended RAF Staff College.

17 Dec 1932:            Supernumerary, No 501 (County of Gloucester)  Sqn.

17 Jan 1933:            Officer Commanding, No 501 (County of Gloucester)  Sqn.

 1 Apr 1937:             Assistant Secretary to Committee of Imperial Defence.

xx xxx 1939:             Assistant Secretary of War Cabinet Secretariat.

xx xxx 1941:             Officer Commanding, RAF Middle Wallop.

xx xxx 1941:             Air Staff (Night Defences), HQ Fighter Command

27 Apr 1942:           Director of Plans.

22 Feb 1944:            AOC, RAF Gibraltar.

10 Jun 1944:             AOC, RAF Balkan Air Force

xx Mar 1945:            Assistant Chief Executive, Ministry of Aircraft Production

xx Jun 1946:             Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Policy)

17 Nov 1947:           AOC in C, Fighter Command

19 Apr 1949:            Chief Staff Officer to the Minister of Defence

 1 Jan 1950 - 5 Feb 1952:    Appointed Air ADC to The King

 10 Jun 1952:             Appointed Air ADC to The Queen (effective from 6 Feb 1952)

xx xxx 1951:             Chairman, British Joint Services Mission - Washington

Educated in Switzerland and at Tonbridge School, William Elliot joined the Army Service Corps in 1915 and having reached the rank of Acting Captain, he transferred to the RFC, reverting to the rank of Temporary 2nd Lieutenant.

During the Russia campaign  on 30 July 1919, he and his observer were shot down whilst attacking Red cavalry but were rescued by Capt Anderson and Lt Mitchell in their DH9A.

Whilst serving in Palestine, he married the daughter of the High Commissioner.

As a Wing Commander on the staff of the War Cabinet Secretariat, he was present at the meeting between Churchill and Dowding when the latter put forward his case for not sending any more fighters to France in May 1940, a case he ably won.  At Middle Wallop he became very involved with the development of night fighter tactics, which he continued as a Staff Officer at HQ Fighter Command.

Chairman of Council, Royal Institute of International Affairs 1954 - 58.

Citation for the award of the Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross

“Flying Officer William Elliot, D.F.C.,47th  Sqn (R.A.S.C.)

On the 30th July, 1919, whilst on special duty -for the Russian Volunteer Army,  Flying Officer Elliot was shot down about five miles behind the enemy lines.  He then burnt the crashed machine, and kept off the enemy cavalry by machine-gunfire until rescued by another machine which flew to his aid.  This gallant and. highly skilful pilot has carried out forty-five long-distance raids over the enemy lines during a period of four months, and has been continuously on active service since August, 1917, during which period he has taken part in ninety-five raids, and brought down six enemy machines”

(D.F.C. gazetted 8th February,1919.)

(London Gazette – 1 April 1920)

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