Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Longmore

A M Longmore - 1911Sir Arthur Murray LongmoreArthur Murray              b: 8 Oct 1885                     r: 1 Mar 1942                     d: 10 Dec 1970

GCB - 4 Mar 1941 (KCB - 3 Jun 1935, CB - 1 Jan 1925), DSO - 1 Jan 1919, MiD - 1 Jan 1919, Cwn, O - xx xxx 1915, LoH, C - xx xxx 1916, CdeG (F) - xx xxx 191?, SMSL, O - 8 Feb 1919, C de G (I) - 5 Apr 1919, GI-GC - 29 Sep 1944, GWC - xx xxx 194?, DL (Lincolnshire) - 24 Mar 1938 & 16 Sep  1945.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(RN): - Midín: 30 Oct 1901, Sub-Lt:  30 Dec 1904, Lt: 30 Dec 1906, Act Lt Cdr: 24 Jun 1914, Sqn Cdr: 1 Jul 1914, Lt Cdr: 30 Dec 1917, Wg Cdr: 30 Dec 1914, Wg Capt: 31 Dec 1917

(RAF): - Lt Col: 1 Apr 1918, (T) Col: xx Apr 1918, Act Col: 1 May 1919, Gp Capt: 5 Aug 1919, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1924, AVM: 1 Jan 1930, AM: 1 Jan 1935, (T) ACM: 1 Nov 1939, ACM: Retained, AVM: 1 Aug 1943.

Photo (left) - taken from his RAeC Certificate

Photo (right) - Sir Arthur Murray Longmore

by Bassano Ltd
bromide print, 10 October 1946
NPG x85186

© National Portrait Gallery, London

15 May 1900:         Attended HMS Britannia.

15 Sep 1901:         Midshipman, HMS Juno.

 3 Dec 1902:          Midshipman, HMS Goliath

23 Jun 1903:          Midshipman, HMS Glory

19 Nov 1904:         Midshipman, HMS Nimbus?

15 Mar 1905:         Attended RN College

23 May 1906:         HMS Sapphire for Wear?

29 Sep 1906:          Officer Commanding, HM Torpedo Boat 74

16 Jul 1907:           1st Lieutenant, HMS Good Hope

xx Apr 1909:         Officer Commanding, HM Torpedo Boat 76

19 Oct 1909:          Officer Commanding, HM Torpedo Boat 111

21 Nov 1910:         Officer Commanding, HM Torpedo Boat 24

 1 Mar 1911:           U/T Pilot, Eastchurch

21 Sep 1911:           HMS Acteon for aviation duties

 1 Apr 1912:            Officer Commanding, No 1 Aeroplane Sqn

15 May 1912:          Instructor, Central Flying School.

16 Apr 1913:           'B' Flight Commander, Central Flying School.

 7 May 1913:           Officer Commanding, Fort George (Cromarty) Naval Air Station

15 Jan 1914:            Officer Commanding, Calshot Naval Air Station

xx xxx 1914:            Officer Commanding, No 3 Sqn RNAS.

16 Oct 1914:           Officer Commanding, No 1 Sqn RNAS. (renamed No 1Wing)

21 Jun 1915:            Officer Commanding No 1 Wing RNAS

16 Jan 1916:            Officer, HMS Tiger.

 7 Jun 1916:             Staff Officer, Admiralty Air Board.

15 Jun 1916:            Officer Commanding, Killingholme Air Station

 7 Sep 1916:            Officer Commanding, Eastchurch Air Station

 3 Feb 1917:            Superintendent for Design, Air Department

 3 Oct 1917:             HMS President for Special Service

12 Feb 1918            Senior Air Service Officer, Mediterranean.

xx Apr 1918:           Officer Commanding, Adriatic/Malta Group.

 5 May 1919:           Officer Commanding, No ? Group.

 1 Aug 1919:            Awarded Permanent Commission as a Lieutenant Colonel

22 Jan 1920:            Removed from the Navy Lists on being awarded Permanent Commission in RAF

 5 Feb 1920:            Officer Commanding, Aeronautical Commission of Control (Bulgaria)

23 Nov 1920:           Officer Commanding, No 3 Group.

15 Sep 1921:            Supernumerary, RAF Depot

23 Jan 1922:             Attended Army Staff College, Camberley. 

23 Feb 1923:           Air Staff, HQ Iraq Command.

26 Nov 1924:          AOC, No 7 Group.

 1 Apr 1925:            Director of Equipment.

15 Mar 1929:          Chief Staff Officer, HQ Inland Area.

15 Oct 1929:           Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

16 Dec 1929:          AOC, RAF Cranwell/Commandant, RAF College.

 1 Feb 1933:           AOC, Inland Area.

 1 Oct 1934:            AOC, Coastal Area.

14 Jul 1936:            AOC in C, Coastal Command.

 1 Sep 1936:           Commandant, Imperial Defence College.

 1 Jul 1939:             AOC in C, Training Command.

xx xxx 1939:           Member of British Air Mission to Australia and New Zealand.

 2 Apr 1940:         AOC in C, Air HQ Middle East/Middle East Command

 1 Jul 1941:            Inspector-General of the RAF.

 1Aug 1943:            Relinquished rank of Air Chief Marshal  to be re-employed as Air Vice-Marshal

 1 Aug 1943:           Staff, Post-Hostilities Planning

 1 Jun 1944:            Reverted to Retired List as Air Marshal retaining Air Chief Marshal

Born in St Leonards, New South Wales and educated at Benges School, Hertford and Foster's Academy, Stubbington before entering Dartmouth, he had been interested in flying from its very earliest days.  Therefore when the opportunity arose he applied for and was accepted as one of the first four officers to undergo pilot training by the Admiralty, gaining  RAeC Certificate  No 72 on 25 April 1911. Shortly after this in November 1911, he became the first man to fly an aircraft from land onto water in England, a feat he carried out in a Short biplane in Sheerness Harbour.  One of his first tasks at the CFS was to teach Captain Paine, the school's first Commandant, to fly in order that he could take up his new post.  He also taught Major Hugh Trenchard to be a military pilot after he had gained his RAeC Certificate.  He commanded 'E' Flight of three (should have been four, but one did not fly) aircraft during the Royal Flypast at Spithead on 18 July 1914.  On 28 July 1914, he successfully launched the first torpedo from an aircraft, whilst flying Short Type 81, '121'.

In 1916, he returned to normal naval duties (Lt Cdr) aboard the battle-cruiser Tiger.   As a result he was directly involved in the Battle of Jutland, during which he acted as air adviser to the Flag Officer, Battle Cruisers.  His appointment to the staff of C in C, Mediterranean put him in overall control of all RNAS units in the area, including Malta, Italy, The Aegean, Egypt and later Gibraltar.

During his tour as the Commandant of the RAF College, the exquisite College Hall Officer's Mess was completed.  On 28 January 1936 he was a mourner at the funeral of HM King George V.  Appointed AOC, Middle East, he was involved in the early campaigns against the Italians. Amongst these was the Italian and German assault on Greece.  Here he took the unilateral decision to send RAF units from the Middle East in order to support the Greeks, a decision, which received the full backing and support of Winston Churchill.  However, when the expected reinforcements from Britain, to replace those units sent to Greece, did not arrive he found his command becoming seriously under equipped.  He soon started making complaints about this lack of reinforcements, which failed to improve dramatically, even after the opening of the 'Takoradi Route'.   This soon made him an 'enemy' of Churchill with a consequent loss of confidence.  Recalled to London in May 1941 to discuss the supply problem, he was actually relieved of his command and his deputy, Arthur Tedder was appointed in his place.  After finally retiring he stood for Parliament as Conservative candidate for Grantham, but was defeated by the Independent candidate.  He then joined a voluntary organisation, 'Yachtsmen's Emergency Service' and was involved in providing transport for the invasion fleet building up off the South coast in 1944.   In 1943, he was recalled to service to undertake a planning review for post-war activities.  From 1954 to 1957 he was Vice-Chairman of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission and he continued to sail as a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron.  

This page was last updated on 17/10/22

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