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Air Vice Marshal H J Kirkpatrick (05230)

Herbert James              b: 30 Oct 1910            r: 5 Feb 1963                     d: 28 Aug 1977

CB - 13 Jun 1957, CBE - 1 Jan 1945, DFC - 23 Nov 1941, MiD - 8 Jun 1944, MA.

Plt Off: 27 Feb 1933 [27 Feb 1932], Fg Off: 27 Aug 1933, Flt Lt: 27 Aug 1936, Sqn Ldr: 1 Apr 1939, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Mar 1941, Act Gp Capt: 29 Jun 1942?, Wg Cdr (WS): 29 Dec 1942, Act A/Cdre:  27 Apr 1943?, Gp Capt (WS): 27 Oct 1943, 1 Oct 1946 - 1 Nov 1947, (T) Gp Capt: 3 Dec 1946 [1 Jul 1944], Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1948, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1954, Act AVM: 1 Feb 1957, AVM: 1 Jul 1957.

xx xxx 1929:            Member, Oxford University Air Sqn.

27 Feb 1932:           Granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Pilot Officer.

27 Feb 1933:           U/T Pilot, No 2 FTS.

20 Aug 1933:           Pilot, No 26 Sqn (Audax - RAF Catterick)

15 Feb 1934:           Pilot, No 5 Sqn.

xx xxx 1935:            Personal Assistant to AOC, RAF India.

24 Apr 1936:           Attended Instructors' Course, Central Flying School (graded B).

xx Jul 1936:            Adjutant/QFI, Oxford University Air Sqn.

11 Apr 1939:          Air Staff, HQ Fighter Command.

xx xxx 1940:            Staff, Directorate of Ground Defence.

xx xxx 1940:            CFI, Cambridge University Air Squadron.

16 Feb 1941:           Attended Operational Training Course, No 15 OTU

xx xxx 1941:            Staff, HQ No 3 (Bomber) Group

10 Apr 1941:          Attached, No 9 Sqn

22 Apr 1941:          Officer Commanding, No 218 Sqn.

 5 Jan 1942:            Air Staff, HQ No 3 Group.

16 Jun 1942:           Officer Commanding, RAF Wyton.

 5 Mar 1943:           SASO, HQ No 3 (Bomber) Group.

xx xxx 1946:            Served in Transport Command.

17 Jun 1948:            Senior Personnel Staff Officer, HQ Flying Training Command.

xx xxx 1949:            Directing Staff, RAF Staff College.

xx xxx 1951:            CFI, RAF Flying College.

xx Jan 1954:            Attended Imperial Defence College.

29 Nov 1954:          Director of Operational Requirements (A).

 1 Feb 1957:            Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operational Requirements).

24 Jul 1957:             SASO, HQ 2 TAF.

xx xxx 1959:            Chief of Staff, HQ 2 ATAF.

 1 Feb 1961:            AOC, No 25 Group.

He died suddenly whilst on holiday.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

"KIRKPATRICK, Herbert James, W/C (05230, Royal Air Force) - No.218 Squadron 

This officer has commanded the squadron for some time, except for a period of a few weeks due to an injury whilst trying to save members of his squadron when an aircraft crashed and a bomb exploded.  He has displayed great coolness, leadership and courage during operational missions, many of which have been carried out  at low altitudes; he has done much to instil confidence and fighting spirit in the young crews with whom he has flown.  Wing Commander Kirkpatrick has also exhibited a high standard of initiative and resource when his station has been subjected to enemy air attack."

(Source: Royal Air Force Quarterly, Volume XIII, No.2 (March 1942) )

Citation for the award of Commander of the Order of the British Empire.

"KIRKPATRICK, Herbert James, A/A/C, DFC (05230, Royal Air Force) - No.3 Group Headquarters 

This officer has commanded the squadron and a station in No.3 Group with distinction ... 18 months he has filled the post of Senior Air Staff Officer at Group Headquarters, carrying out his duties with unflagging zeal and energy.  He has never ... placing the interest of the Service first at all times.  His experience ... operational pilot and his personal influence have been of great benefit ... and he has rendered invaluable services in connection with the bomber ..."

(Source: Air 2/9017) The sheet available to the transcriber is corrupt and some words are obscure (denoted by "?") or missing altogether (denoted by "...").

Recommendation for the award of the Commander of the Order of the British Empire.. (Earlier CBE recommendation, intended for June 1944 Honours List)

Since being posted to Bomber Command, Air Commodore Kirkpatrick has rendered distinguished service in command of a Bomber Squadron, in an appointment as an Air Staff Officer at Group Headquarters, as the Commander of a Pathfinder Station, and for the past ten months, in the appointment of Senior Air Staff Officer at No.3 Group.  During this time he has acquired a practical, up-to-date knowledge of bomber operations, having taken part in 22 sorties during the period April 1941 to August 1943.  Air Commodore Kirkpatrick is a staff officer whose ability and experience have been invaluable.  His readiness to (carry) out a plan for overcoming difficulties has been one of his most remarkable features and he has proved to be a source of inspiration to all with whom he has come in contact.

(Source: Air 2/9003)               

This page was last updated on 31/01/23

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