Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Chief Marshal Sir Roderic Hill

Roderic Maxwell                   b: 1 Mar 1894                     r: 1 Jul 1948                d: 6 Oct 1954

KCB - 1 Jan 1944 (CB - 1 Jul 1941), MC - 14 Nov 1916, AFC - 3 Aug 1918, Bar - 2 Jan 1922 [31 Dec 1921], MiD - 1 Jan 1916, MiD - 31 Oct 1938, MID - 23 Dec 1938, MiD - 25 Apr 1939, LoM (Cdr) - 9 Oct 1945, WL1 - 15 Mar 1946, LeoP (Cdr) - 25 Jun 1948, CdeG (P) (B) - 25 Jun 1948, MA (Oxford) - 1931, Hon LL.D (Glasgow), FRAeS, 'RM Groves Aeronautical Research Prize' - xx Aug 1922 

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(Army): - (T) 2 Lt:  xx Dec 1914, (T) Capt: 11 Dec 1916, (T) Maj: 1 Apr 1917.  

(RAF): - (H) Maj [Capt]: 1 Apr 1918, Sqn Ldr: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1925, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1932, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1936, AVM: 1 Apr 1939, Act AM: 29 Nov 1940 - 20 Sep 1942, Act AM: 15 Nov 1943,  (T) AM: 16 Aug 1944, AM: 6 Jun 1945, ACM: 16 Jan 1947.

xx Aug 1914:           Private, 18th Royal Fusiliers.

xx Dec 1914:           Officer, 12th Northumberland Fusiliers.

20 Jun 1916:             Flying Officer, RFC.

xx Aug 1916:            Pilot, No 60 Sqn RFC. (Nieuport Scout Western Front)

11 Dec 1916:            Flight Commander, No 60 Sqn RFC.

xx Jan 1917:

 1 Apr 1917:            Officer Commanding, Experimental Flying Department.

 1 Aug 1919:            Awarded Permanent Commission as a Major (gazetted 22 Aug 1919)

31 Jan 1920:            Officer Commanding, Experimental Section - RAE Farnborough.

1 May 1923:            Attended RAF Staff College.

23 Apr 1924:            (Temporary) Air Staff Duties, HQ Inland Area.

18 Sep 1924:            Officer Commanding (designate?), No 45 Sqn.

14 Oct 1924:            Officer Commanding, No 45 Sqn. (Vernon Egypt/Iraq)

30 Nov 1925:           Technical Staff, HQ RAF Middle East.

15 Jun 1927:             Directing Staff, RAF Staff College.

23 - 30 Jul 1927:      Attached to HQ No 22 (Arm y Co-operation) Group

xx xxx 1930:             CFI/Officer Commanding, , Oxford University Air Squadron.

 1 Sep 1932:             Deputy Director of Repair and Maintenance.

 1 Jan 1934 - xx xx xxxx:             Air ADC to The King.

xx Aug 1936:            AOC, Palestine & Transjordan Command.

 1 Aug 1938:             Director of Technical Development.

29 Nov 1940:            Director-General of Research and Development.

xx xxx 1941:              Controller of Technical Development, British Air Mission - Washington. (Act AM)

20 Sep 1942:             Commandant, RAF Staff College.

26 Jul 1943:               AOC, No 12 Group.

15 Nov 1943:            AOC in C, Air Defence of Great Britain.

15 Oct 1944:             AOC in C, Fighter Command.

14 May 1945:            Air Member for Training.

 4 May 1946 - xx xxx xxxx:            Principal Air ADC to The King.

12 Dec 1946:             Air Member for Technical Services.

Educated at Bradfield College, he went on to study Fine Arts at University College, London with the intention of becoming an architect, but his interest was turning to flying and with his brother, built and flew a glider of his own design in 1913.  This academic background and practical experience was to prove useful to him in his future career as he progressed from technical posts to operational commands and back again.  One of his fellow officers on 60 whilst he was serving with unit was the famous Albert Ball, later to be awarded the VC.   Whilst commanding 45, he took part in the Cairo - Baghdad Mail Run and the Baghdad Airlift.   Retiring form the RAF, he entered the academic field as Rector of Imperial College of Science and Technology, a post he held until his death.  He had also been vice-chancellor of the University of London, having been elected in 1953 but which he had resigned in June 1954 due to his ill-health.  He was also a Fellow of University College.  

Tempest V - personal aircraft of AM Hill, 1946

Air Marshal Hill's personal Tempest V during 1946

Citation for the award of the Military Cross

"Temp. 2nd Lt. Roderic Maxwell Hill, North'd Fus. and R.F.C.

For conspicuous skill and gallantry.  Under very heavy fire he dived at an enemy balloon, and brought it down in flames. On the day before he had dived at a balloon under heavy fire at a low altitude, but had just missed his mark."

(London Gazette - 14 November 1916)

Citation for the award of the Bar to the Air Force Cross

"HILL, Roderick Maxwell, S/L, MC, AFC

As Officer Commanding Experimental Section, Royal Aircraft Establishment, Squadron Leader Hill has performed duties of a specially trying and difficult nature. He invariably carries out the preliminary tests on dangerous experiments himself and by his pluck and perseverance and keenness has been an example and an encouragement to his staff."

(Source - Air 30/46)

Citation for the award of Mention in Despatches

HILL, Roderick Maxwell, G/C, MC,

"brought to notice by the General Officer Commanding the British Forces in Palestine and Transjordan in recognition of distinguished services rendered in connection with operations in Palestine during the period September 12, 1937 to March 31, 1938".

(Source - Aeroplane of 4 January 1939)

Citation for the award of Mention in Despatches

HILL, Roderick Maxwell, A/C, MC, AFC

"brought to notice in recognition of distinguished services rendered in connection with operations in Palestine during the period between April 10 and October 31, 1938."

(Source - Aeroplane of 3 May 1939)

This page was last updated on 19/08/23

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