Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Commodore F J Manning (34118)

Frederick John             b: 5 May 1912                    r: 22 Sep 1967                     d: 26 Nov 1988

CB – 10 Jun 1954, CBE – 1 Jan 1948.


(RNR):- Mid’n: xx xxx 1929, Act Sub-Lt:  xx xxx 1933.

(RAF):- Act Plt Off (P): 22 Sep 1933, Plt Off: 22 Sep 1934, Fg Off: 22 Jun 1936, Act Flt Lt: 22 Jun 1937 - 16 Aug 1937; 4 Dec 1937?, Flt Lt: 22 Jun 1938, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Jun 1940, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Dec 1941, Act Gp Capt: 27 Aug 1942?, Wg Cdr (WS): 27 Feb 1943, Act A/Cdre: 4 Sep 1944? - 1945, Gp Capt (WS): 4 Mar 1945  - 1 Nov 1947, Wg Cdr: 1 Nov 1947 [1 Oct 1946], Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1952, Act A/Cdre: 25 Jul 1960, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1961.

Air Commodore Manning during an inspection at RAF Aberporth.  Photo Courtesy Paul Sixsmith

Air Commodore Manning during an inspection at RAF Aberporth22 Sep 1933:   RAF Depot Uxbridge.

 7 Oct 1933:   U/T Pilot, No 3 FTS Grantham (suspended from flying training on medical grounds 11 Feb 34).

12 Feb 1934:   RAF Base, Calshot (as Chief Instructor (2nd Mate’s ticket) on marine craft).

17 Jul 1934:     RAF Mount Batten (marine craft duties).

17 Dec 1934:   OC Marine Detachment, RAF Bridlington

10 Aug 1936:   Attended No 7 FTS, Peterborough

21 Feb 1937:   Pilot/Flight Commander, No 269 Sqn.

9 May 1939:    86 Wing c/o GPO London.

26 Sep 1939:   Air Staff, HQ No 201 Group Egypt.

1 Apr 1940:     RAF Station Port Sudan

3 Jun 1940:      Air Staff, HQ RAF Middle East.

5 Jan 1941:      RAF Depot Uxbridge.

1 Feb 1941:     Administrative Staff Officer, HQ Coastal Command.

1 Jan 1942:      Student RAF Staff College.

1 Apr 1942:     Directorate of Organisation (Establishment), Air Ministry London.

27 Aug 1942:   Deputy Director of Organisation (Establishments) (1).

 4 Sep 1944:    Director of Organisation (Establishments).

1 Sep 1945:     Officer Commanding, RAF Shaibah.

22 May 1946:  Officer Commanding, RAF Abu Suier.

1 Aug 1946:     Officer Commanding, RAF Shallufa.

16 Jan 1947:    Group Captain - Organisation, HQ RAF Mediterranean and Middle East.

1 Jun 1948:      No 1 School of Technical Training, RAF Halton.

27 Nov 1949:   Air Advisor, Rangoon (British Services Mission, Burma).

1 Jul 1952:       Admin Staff - Organisation/SOA, HQ Transport Command, RAF Upavon.

23 Feb 1956:   Deputy Director of Work Study.

25 Jul 1960:     Director of Manning.

 1 Jun 1963:     AOA, HQ Near East Air Force, RAF Episkopi.

27 Feb 1965:   AOA, HQ Fighter Command, RAF Bentley Priory.

Manning joined the P & O Steam Navigation Company as a Cadet in 1928.  In 1929 he joined the RN Reserve as a Midshipman and became an Acting Sub-Lieutenant in 1933 but then joined the RAF.  He was withdrawn from pilot training on medical grounds on 11 February 34 and transferred to marine craft duties because he held a 2nd Mate’s ticket.  Whilst at Bridlington he discharged Aircraftsman T E Shaw (Lawrence of Arabia) from the Service and also undertook private flying lessons at Brough.  Having qualified for his private pilot’s licence he applied to be reinstated in the RAF GD Branch and was ultimately awarded his wings in February 1937.  He flew Ansons with 269 Sqn before his outstanding talents as an administrator led to a series of appointments in several theatres of war and promotion culminating in his becoming the youngest Air Commodore at age 32.  Later he became senior air advisor and deputy head of the British Services Mission to Burma which assisted with the formation of the Burmese Air Force.  His work in the Air Ministry included the introduction of the RAF’s new trade-group structure; in Cyprus he was the Deputy Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas and his final appointment was as the last Air Officer i/c Administration at HQ Fighter Command.

Many thanks to Air Commodore Mike Allisstone for updating this entry.

This page was last updated on 07/07/22

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