Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Commodore S H Hardy (16153)

Stephen Haistwell                      b: 20 Jan 1905                                              d: 8 Apr 1945

CBE - 1 Jan 1944, MiD - 17 Mar 1941, ADC.

Plt Off: 17 Dec 1924, Fg Off: 17 Jun 1926, Flt Lt: 5 Mar 1930, Sqn Ldr: 1 Feb 1937, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Mar 1940, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Mar 1940,  (T) Gp Capt: 1 Mar 1942, Wg Cdr: 14 Apr 1942 [1 Jan 1940], Act A/Cdre: 14 Feb 1944, Gp Capt (WS): 14 Aug 1944.                  

 1 Feb 1923:            Flight Cadet, 'B' Sqn, RAF College.

17 Dec 1924:           Pilot, No 100 Sqn. (Fawn)

16-20 Sep 1926:           Placed on half pay list, Scale B.

21 Sep 1926:           Adjutant/Pilot, No 84 Sqn. (DH9A/Wapiti)


 7 Jun 1929:             Engineering Staff, Home Aircraft Depot.

 1 Aug 1929:            Attended Aircraft Engineering Course, Home Aircraft Depot.


 5 Aug 1932:            Engineering Section, HQ Inland Area.

26 Feb 1934:           Pilot/Flight Commander, No 503 (County of Lincoln) Sqn. (Hinaidi)

19-27 Sep 1934:     Placed on half pay list, Scale A

29 Sep 1934:           Pilot, No 216 Sqn. (Victoria)

21 Jan 1936:            Attended RAF Staff College.

 2 Jan 1937:             Engineering Staff Officer, HQ Fighter Command.

24 Oct 1938:            Supernumerary, HQ No 6 (Auxiliary) Group.

 9 Mar 1939:            Engineering Staff Officer, HQ Fighter Command.

 1 Nov 1939:            Officer Commanding, No 264 Sqn. (Defiant I)

 5 Mar 1940:            Staff, Directorate of Fighter Operations.

 1 Apr 1940:            Supernumerary, HQ No 12 (Fighter) Group

15 May 1940:          Officer Commanding, RAF Kirton Lindsey

25 Feb 1941:            Staff Officer, Air Ministry

xx xxx 1941:             Officer Commanding, RAF Coltishall

10 Dec 1941:           Group Captain - Operations?, HQ No 12 Group.

xx xxx 1943:             Officer Commanding  RAF Middle Wallop

14 Feb 1944:            Commandant, Officer's Advanced Training School, Cranwell (opened 1 Mar 1944).

He represented the RAF College at Cricket, Hockey, Soccer and attained the rank of Flt Cdt Cpl.  As Station Commander at Coltishall, he gave a new junior officer, who he suspected of lacking the necessary desire to fight, the opportunity of either being relegated to training duties or of undergoing an operation to correct a shoulder injury, the young officer was blaming for the loss of feeling in right hand.  The young officer chose to undergo surgery and later went on to become an AVM and the highest scoring British fighter pilot of WW2, 'Johnnie' Johnson.

He died on active service as the result of a long illness, whilst Commandant at Cranwell in Rauceby Hospital.

This page was last updated on 25/10/23

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