Air Commodore E J Morris (40132)

Edward James Morris as a Wing CommanderEdward James             b: 6 Apr 1915             r: 16 Jul 1968        d: 18 Jan 1999

CB – 11 Jun 1966, CBE - 1 Jan 1959, DSO – 7 Apr 1942, DFC – 14 Nov 1944, DFC (US) – 30 Sep 1947, MBIM.

Act Plt Off: 5 Sep 1937, Plt Off: 12 Jul 1938, Fg Off: 12 Jan 1940, Flt Lt (WS): 12 Apr 1941, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Mar 1942, Act Wg Cdr: 8 Apr 1942, Sqn Ldr (WS): 8 Jul 1942, Sqn Ldr: xx xxx xxxx [1 Sep 1945], Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1947 [1 Oct 1946], Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1956, Act A/Cdre: 18 Dec 1959, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1962.

 5 Sep 1937:                Appointed to a Short Service Commission.

 5 Sep 1937:                Initial Officer Training, RAF Depot.

18 Sep 1937:               U/T Pilot, No 6 FTS.

 7 May 1938:               Staff Pilot, Parachute Test Flight, Home Aircraft Depot.

24 Apr 1939:               Pilot, No 79 Sqn.

31 Aug - xxx 1940:              Hospitalised and recuperating.

xx Jan 1941:                Flight Commander, No 238 Sqn.

xx Jun 1941:                Flight Commander, No 274 Sqn

xx Sep 1941:               Officer Commanding, No 250 Sqn. (Tomahawk IIb/Hurricane I/IIC)         

xx Apr 1942:               Air Staff, HQ Western Desert Air Force.

xx May 1942:              Group Training Inspector (Fighters), WDAF.

xx xxx 1942:               Air Adviser to the 2nd New Zealand Division during the advance on Tripoli

xx Jan 1943:                Officer Commanding, RAF Castel Benito

xx Jun 1943:               CFI, No 71 OTU.

xx xxx 1943:               ?, RAF Ismailia

13 Mar 1944:             Wing Commander - Flying, HQ No 251 Wing

17 Sep 1944:              Wing Commander – Air Plans, HQ MATAF.

xx May 1945:             Attended RAF Staff College.

xx xxx 1945:               Staff, Directorate of Staff Duties.

xx xxx xxxx:                Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader (retaining rank current at the time) [wef 1 Sep 1945]

16 Apr 1946:              Air Staff – Intelligence, HQ BAFO.

28 Jul 1947:                Air Staff, HQ No 84 Group

15 Dec 1947:             Air Staff, HQ BAFO.

xx xxx 1949:               Attended Senior Officer’s Administration Course.

xx xxx 1949:               Officer Commanding, RAF Old Sarum.

xx xxx 1952:               Wing Commander - Operations, Caledonian Sector.

xx xxx 1953:               Attended RAF Flying College (No 4 Course).

xx xxx 1954:               Exchange posting with USAF – Proving Ground, Eglin AFB, Florida.

12 Dec 1956:               SASO, HQ No 12 (Fighter) Group.

xx xxx 1958::              Officer Commanding, RAF Wattisham.

13 Dec 1959:               Air Commodore - Operations, HQ Fighter Command.

19 Dec 1960:               Director of Operations - Air Defence.

26 May 1964:              Chief of Staff, HQ Middle East Command (Aden).

23 Jun 1966:                AOC, Air Cadets/Commandant, Air Training Corps.

The brother of AM Sir Douglas Morris, he was born in the Transvaal of Welsh parents who had emigrated to South Africa after the birth of his brother.  He flew with No 79 Squadron during the Battle of Britain claiming two victories, the first of which was a He111, which he collided with on 30 August, resulting in him having to abandon his Hurricane.  The next day he claimed his second victory, but was wounded in the melee and after crash landing he was admitted to hospital and it was January 1941 before he was able to resume operations.  He added to his total after returning to operations and ended the war with a score of a further 5 shared destroyed, one probable and three damaged.

Whilst commanding the ATC, he undertook a major review of it's organisation and training syllabus, producing the 'Morris' Report in 1967.  After retirement from the RAF he returned to South Africa and entered the Sugar industry, before setting up his own farm and running it for eight years before finally retiring in Natal.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

"MORRIS, Edward James, S/L (40132, Royal Air Force) - No.250 Squadron 

This officer has been almost continuously employed on operational flying since the outbreak of war. Squadron Leader Morris's superb leadership has often enabled him to place his squadron in an advantageous position at the commencement of a battle, thus being largely responsible for the successes achieved. The squadron has destroyed 34 enemy aircraft. Squadron Leader Morris has personally destroyed two and probably destroyed or damaged five others. This officer's cheerfulness under all circumstances and his keenness to engage the enemy whatever the odds have made him invaluable to the squadron."

(Source: Royal Air Force Quarterly, September 1942.)

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