Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Commodore D F H Grocott (153754)

Douglas Frederick Harvey ('Pinky')     b:   8 Feb 1923                        r:  29 Sep 1977                         d: 27 Oct 2019

CBE – 1 Jan 1969 (OBE – 12 Jun 1965), AFC – 2 Jan 1950, Johnston Memorial Trophy - 1962.

Plt Off:  15 Oct 1943, Fg Off (WS):  15 Apr 1944, Fg Off :  15 May 1947 [15 Apr 1944], Flt Lt:  16 May 1947 [15 Apr 1947], Sqn Ldr:  1 Jul 1954, Wg Cdr:  1 Jan 1960, Gp Capt:  1 Jul 1966, A/Cdre:  25 Sep 1976.

xx xxx 1942:        U/T Navigator

xx xxx 1943:        Navigator, No 231 Sqn.

xx Feb 1946:       Navigator, No 242 Sqn

15 May 1947:      Granted a Extended Service Commission in the rank of Flying Officer.

xx xxx 1947:        Attended Empire Air Navigation School

xx Jan 1948:         Navigation Leader, No 24 Sqn

 1 Jun 1948:         Appointed to Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant

xx xxx xxxx:         Member, Transport Command Examination Unit

 xx xxx 1951:       Attended Postgraduate Course No 2, RAF Flying College

xx xxx 1952:

xx xxx 1957:        Chief Experimental Navigation Officer, Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment

 1 Jan 1962:         Senior Director, Specialist Navigation Course, RAF College of Air Warfare, RAF Manby.

xx xxx xxxx:         Air Staff - Training, HQ Far East Air Force

xx xxx xxxx:         Attended Victor Conversion Course, No 232 OCU

20 Sep 1965:       Officer Commanding, Operations Wing, RAF Marham.

xx xxx 1966:        Staff Officer, HQ Near East Air Force

26 Jan 1970:        DORS (Air), MOD

12 Jun 1972:        Air Adviser, Ottawa.

xx Jan 1975:        Senior Service Representative (RAF), DOAE, West Byfleet

24 Sep 1976:       Director of Quartering.

During the year-long Flying College course he navigated “Aries III”, the College's modified Lincoln bomber to carry out experiments and trials on polar flights, including over flying the North Pole to Alaska.  Other long-range trial flights he flew on included one to Ascension Island as  well as some to the Far East, including Tokyo. During such a trip to Korea he flew in a USAF B-50 Superfortress during an attack on the Sinanju bridges.

Navigator.  In 1970, he was appointed a vice-President of the Institute of Navigation and he won the Johnston Memorial Trophy for notable contributions to Air Navigation.  Retired at his own request. 

Citation for the award of the Air Force Cross

"GROCOTT, Douglas Frederick Harvey, F/L (153754) - No.24 (Commonwealth) Squadron, Waterbeach.

Flight Lieutenant Grocott has been employed as the Navigation Leader in No.24 (Commonwealth) Squadron for three years.  During the whole of this period this officer has maintained an exceptional standard of knowledge of all aspects of navigation, but the continuous study and investigation of all new theories, developments and procedures in this science.  His exceptional knowledge, combined with his brilliant instructional and lecture technique and his efficient tuition, have been entirely responsible for the fact that the squadron navigators have attained and maintained category “A” standard, the highest degree of efficiency.  Flight Lieutenant Grocott is untiring in his efforts to bring each individual squadron navigator up to the highest possible standard.  He gives his off duty hours unreservedly for the individual tuition of any navigator who may require further instruction.  His professional enthusiasm is remarkable and he has submitted numerous papers on navigational techniques during the past three years.  He is a member of the American Geographical Society and a fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society.  Flight Lieutenant Grocott has shown qualities of the highest order whilst serving as the Navigation Leader of No.24 (Commonwealth) Squadron and he has contributed in no small measure to the advancement of navigational standards in the Royal Air Force."

(Source - Air 2/10307.  Drafted when he had flown 2,530 hours, 905 on current duties, 93 in previous six months)

This page was last updated on 11/08/23

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