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Air Vice-Marshal F R L Mellersh (105145)

Francis Richard Lee      b: 30 Jul 1922                       r: 31 Mar 1977                     d: 19 Dec 1996

CB – 11 Jun 1977, DFC – 20 Aug 1943, Bar – 3 Oct 1944.

(RAFVR): Sgt: xx xxx xxxx, Plt Off (P): 3 Sep 1941, Fg Off (WS): 3 Sep 1942, Flt Lt (WS): 3 Sep 1943,  

(RAF): Flt Lt: 12 Nov 1946 [1 Sep 1945], Sqn Ldr: 1 Jul 1950, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1956, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1961, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1967, Act AVM: 1 Apr 1972, AVM: 1 Jul 1972.

xx xxx 1940:           U/T Pilot, RAFVR. (1382170)

 3 Sep 1941:           Appointed to a Commission in the RAFVR

xx xxx 1941:           Attended No 51 OTU.

xx Dec 1941:          Pilot, No 29 Sqn. (Blenheim If/Beaufighter)

14 Oct 1942:          Detached, HQ No 3 Group for liaison duties

xx Dec 1942:          Pilot, No 600 Sqn. (Beaufighter)

xx Sep 1943:          Instructor, No 63 OTU.

xx Oct 1943:          Pilot, Fighter Interception Unit.

xx Jun 1944:           Pilot, No 96 Sqn. (Beaufighter/Mosquito)

xx Dec 1944:          Pilot, FIDS, Central Fighter Establishment.

xx Dec 1945:          Instructor, OATS, RAF Digby.

xx May 1946:         Adjutant, No 600 Sqn RAuxAF.

12 Nov 1946:         Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Fight Lieutenant [wef 1 Sep 1945]

xx xxx 1949:           Officer Commanding, Queen's University Air Sqn.

xx xxx 1951:           Attended RAF Staff College, Andover.  

xx Apr 1952:          Air Staff, HQ No 205 Group.

16 Jul 1952:            Staff Officer - Admin Plans, HQ Middle East Air Force.

xx xxx xxxx:            Refresher Course (Meteors)

xx Jul 1955:            Flight Commander, No 29 Sqn.

xx xxx xxxx:            Officer Commanding, No 153 Sqn.

xx xxx 1957:           Directing Staff, RAF Staff College.

 1 Dec 1959:           Staff, Chief of the Defence Staff.

13 Mar 1961:         Deputy Director of Operations (Air Defence and Overseas).

xx xxx xxxx:            Refresher course - Javelin

xx xxx xxxx:            Refresher course - Hunter

23 Oct 1964:          Officer Commanding, RAF West Raynham.

15 Feb 1967:          Chief, Current Policy Branch, SHAPE.

xx Jan 1969:            Attended Royal College of Defence Studies.

10 Jan 1970:           SASO, HQ RAF Germany.

 1 Apr 1972:           Assistant Chief of the Defence Staff (Operations).

19 Oct 1974:          SASO, HQ Training Command.

Known as 'Togs', he was the son of AVM Sir Francis Mellersh.  He was quite a successful night-fighter pilot, ending the war with a tally of eight destroyed and one probable, however, during 1944, he destroyed 39, possibly 42, V-1 flying bombs.  Retired at his own request.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

“Flying Officer Francis Richard Lee MELLERSH (105145), Royal Air Force Volunteer 'Reserve, No.600 Squadron.

This officer is a tenacious and skilful fighter and has destroyed 5 enemy aircraft in combat. On 1 occasion in April,1943, during a patrol off Algiers at dusk, he encountered a large formation of enemy aircraft.  In the ensuing engagement, Flying Officer Mellersh shot down 2 of them.  Although his aircraft was badly damaged he flew it to base.   More recently, in July, 1943, Flying Officer Mellersh destroyed 2 enemy aircraft during 1 sortie.  This officer has set a praiseworthy example.”

(London Gazette – 20 August 1943)

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

“Flight Lieutenant Francis Richard Lee MELLERSH, D.F.C. (1105145), R.A.F.V.R., 96 Sqn.

This officer has proved himself, to be a night fighter pilot of outstanding ability and determination and his skill and keenness have set an excellent example. Flight Lieutenant Mellersh has completed many sorties and has destroyed eight enemy aircraft; he has also destroyed a large number of flying bombs.”

(London Gazette – 3 October 1944)

This page was last updated on 06/03/24

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