Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Vice Marshal E J Kingston-McClaughry (17095)

Edgar James            b: 10 Sep 1896                     r: 6 May 1953                    d: 13 Nov 1972

CB - 2 Jan 1950, CBE - 1 Jan 1943, DSO - 3 Dec 1918, DFC - 21 Sep 1918, Bar - 21 Sep 1918, MiD – 31 Dec 1918, MiD - 11 Jul 1919, MiD – 1 Jan 1945, AFReS, 1st Prize, 'RM Groves' Essay Prize – 1927, 3rd Prize, 'RM Groves' Essay Prize – 1925, 1st Prize 'Gordon-Shephard' Prize - 1924 & 1933

(Army):- 2 Lt: xx xxx 1914, Lt: xx xxx xxxx, (T) Capt: xx xxx 1918.

(RAF):- Fg Off: 5 Dec 1922, Flt Lt: 1 Jul 1925, Sqn Ldr: 1 Oct 1934, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1938, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Dec 1940, Act A/Cdre: 23 Aug 1941?, Gp Capt (WS): 23 Aug 1942, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jun 1943, Gp Capt: 1 Dec 1943, Act AVM: 1 Apr 1946, AVM: 1 Jul 1947.

xx xxx xxxx:          Officer, Australian Engineers.

xx xxx 1916:            U/T Pilot.

30 Jul 1917:            Embarked to France

15 Aug 1917:          Pilot, No 23 Sqn RFC.

17 Aug 1917:         Admitted to No 4 Casualty Clearing Station (Concussion)

19 Aug 1917:         Admitted to No 1 BRX Hospital (Concussion and contusions)

21 Aug 1917:          Returned to UK on unknown hospital ship

xx xxx xxxx:             Instructor, RFC.

xx xxx 1918:            Flight Commander, No 4 Sqn AFC.

24 Sep 1918:          Recuperating.

 5 Dec 1922:           Granted a Short Service Commission in the rank of Flying Officer

18 Dec 1922:          Attended Seaplane Pilots' Course, Seaplane Training School/School of Naval Co-operation.

15 Sep 1923:          Staff, School of Naval Co-operation.

23 Sep 1925:          Staff, Directorate of Scientific Research and Technical Development.

 1 Jan 1926:             Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant

19 Sep 1927:          Attended RAF Staff College.

17 Dec 1928:          Supernumerary, RAF Staff College.

12 Apr 1929:          Air Staff, HQ RAF India.

24 Mar 1932:          Flight Commander, No 20 Sqn.

15 Sep 1933:           Flight Commander, No 4 Sqn (Audax - South Farnborough)

17-20 Jan 1934:      Placed on half pay list, scale A

21 Jan 1934:            Attended Army Staff College, Camberley.

16 Jan 1936:            Officer Commanding, No 4 Sqn.

26 Nov 1936:          Non-Effective (Sick)

 4 Mar 1937:           Chief Ground Instructor, RAF College.

 1 Jan 1938:            Assistant Commandant, RAF College.

16 Jan 1939:            Staff, Deputy Directorate of War Organisation.

?                              Staff Officer, South Africa?

 1 Jun 1941:            Officer Commanding, Overseas Air Maintenance Control Unit

15 Aug 1941:          AOC, No 44 Group.

xx Dec 1943:          Head Planner - Air Operations, HQ AEAF.

xx Jun 1944:            Liaison Officer to Field Marshal Montgomery?

24 Oct 1944:           Air Staff, AHQ India.

xx xxx 1945:            Air Member, C in C India Reorganisation Committee of the Armed Forces.

 1 Apr 1946:           SASO, AHQ India.

13 Jan 1947:            AOC, No 18 Group.

 1 Jun 1948:             SASO, HQ Fighter Command.

25 Jan 1950:            AOC, No 38 Group.

xx xxx 1951:          Chief Air Defence Officer, MoD.

The younger brother of AVM W A McClaughry, he was born in Adelaide, Australia and like his brother, qualified as a mining engineer before WW1.  With the outbreak of the war, he joined the Army as an Engineer serving in Egypt and transferring to the RFC in December 1916.  Following training he was posted to No 23 Squadron flying Spads in France but was shot down.  Whilst recovering he became an instructor after which he was posted to No 4 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps, under the command of his brother, as a flight commander.  Between 12 June and 24 September, when he was shot in the thigh and invalided home, he claimed 21 enemy aircraft destroyed although some of his fellow officers considered some of these to be a little over optimistic.

Appointed to the planning staff of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force, he was involved in the preparation of the detailed plans for the employment of air resources for Operation 'Overlord'.  In January 1944, he was became Chairman of the AEAF Bombing Committee and in July, following the actual invasion, he was attached to Montgomery's staff as Leigh-Mallory's representative.    After operation 'Charnwood', the bombing of Caen, in 1944 when heavy bombers were used in a tactical role, he was asked, along with Professor Zuckerman to carry out an inquiry into this attack.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

Lieut. (T./Capt.) Edgar James McClaughry (Australian Flying Corps).

Early one morning this officer left the ground, and, meeting an enemy two-seater ten miles over he lines, he engaged and destroyed it. He was immediately attacked by five scouts; these he out-manoeuvred, destroying one and driving the remainder down, lie is a determined and successful scout leader, who in recent operations has accounted for nine enemy machines, in addition to three others and one balloon when serving with another squadron.

(London Gazette – 21 September 1918)

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

"Lt. (T./Capt.) Edgar James McClaughry, D.F.C. (Australian Flying Corps).

In the short space of one month this officer has destroyed ten enemy aeroplanes and balloons. He has organised and carried out numerous raids on the enemy, frequently at very low altitudes. Altogether he has destroyed fifteen aeroplanes and four balloons.  Early one morning he crossed our lines to attack a balloon which he had previously located. As soon as daylight allowed he dived and opened fire on the balloon, which was on• the ground, descending to within fifty feet of it. The balloon burst into flames. He then attacked some horse transport,  dropping bombs and firing, some 300 rounds at 1,500 feet altitude.

(The award of D.F.C. is also contained in this Gazette.)"

(London Gazette - 21 September 1918)

Citation for the award the of the Distinguished Service Order

“Capt. Edgar James McClaughry, D.F.C. (Australian F.C.). (FRANCE)

A bold and fearless officer, who1 has performed many gallant deeds of daring, notably on 24th September, when, attacking a train at 250 feet altitude, he obtained a direct hit, cutting it in two, the rear portion being derailed. He then fired a number o£ rounds1 at the fore portion, which pulled up. Sighting a hostile two-seater he engaged it and drove it down. Proceeding home he observed seven Fokker- biplanes; although he had expended the greater part of his ammunition, Captain McClaughry never hesitated, but engaged the leader. During the combat that ensued he was severely wounded by fire from a scout that attacked him from behind; turning, he drove this machine off badly damaged. His ammunition being now expended he endeavoured to drive off two hostile scouts by fixing; Very lights at them. Exhausted by his exertions he temporarily lost consciousness, but recovered sufficiently to land his machine, safely. This officer has destroyed fourteen machines and four balloons, and had repeatedly displayed an -utter disregard for danger in attacking ground targets.

(D.F.C. gazetted 21st September, 1918; Bar to D.F.C. same date.)”

(London Gazette – 3 December 1918)

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