Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Vice-Marshal E Plumtree (83716)

Eric                              b: 9 Mar 1919                     r: 30 Mar 1974                     d: 11 Jun 1990

CB -1 Jan 1974, OBE - 1 Jan 1946, DFC12 Nov 1940, MiD - 14 Jun 1945.

(RAFVR): Sgt: xx xxx xxxx, Plt Off (P): 27 Jul 1940 [21 Jul 1940], Plt Off: 27 Jul 1941 [21 Jul 1941], Fg Off (WS): 27 Jul 1941 [21 Jul 1941], Flt Lt (WS): 27 Jul 1942 [21 Jul 1942], Act Sqn Ldr: xx xxx xxxx,  Act Wg Cdr: 1 Feb 1944?, Sqn Ldr (WS): 1 Aug 1944,  

(RAF): Flt Lt: 24 Dec 1946 [1 Sep 1945], Sqn Ldr: 1 Aug 1947, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1954, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1959, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1966, Act AVM: 1 Jan 1970, AVM: 1 Jan 1971.

xx xxx xxxx:            U/T Pilot, No ? FTS.

xx xxx xxxx:            Sergeant Pilot, RAFVR (742853)

27 Jul 1940:            Appointed to a Commission in the RAFVR for the duration of hostilities.

xx xxx 1940:            Attended No 2 School of Army Co-operation

23 Sep 1940:           Pilot, No 53 Sqn. (Blenheim IV)

xx xxx 1942:           Flight Commander, No 241 Sqn. (Mustang I/Hurricane IIC)

xx Jun 1943:           Officer Commanding, No 169 Sqn. (Mustang I)

1 Oct 1943:

 1 Feb 1944?:         CFI, No 41 OTU.

26 Jun 1945:           Air Staff - Training, HQ Fighter Command.

xx Nov 1945:          Officer Commanding, RAF Church Fenton.

24 Dec 1946:          Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant (retaining rank current at the time) [wef 1 Sep 1945]

 9 Apr 1946:           Attended Course No 16, RAF Staff College (Overseas), Haifa.

 5 Oct 1946:           Air Staff, HQ, RAF Mediterranean and Middle East.

xx Oct 1949:           Officer Commanding, No 54 Sqn. (Vampire F3/FB5)

19 Nov 1951:         Staff Officer, Directorate of Operational Requirements (B)

xx xxx xxxx:            PSO to the Chief of the Air Staff.

xx xxx 1957:           OC Flying, RAF Oldenburg.


xx Dec 1957:           Officer Commanding, Administration Wing, RAF Jever.

xx Jan 1959:           Attended Joint Services Staff College.

16 Dec 1959:         Officer Commanding, RAF Leuchars.

 2 Oct 1961:           Deputy Director, Joint Plans.

xx Jan 1964:           Attended Imperial Defence College.

xx xxx xxxx:            Served on the Templar Committee (Rationalisation of Air Power)

 6 Nov 1965:          Senior Air Liaison Officer, Canada.

22 Jan 1968:           Director of Air Staff Plans and Programmes.

 1 Jan 1970:            AOC, No 22 Group.

13 Dec 1971:          Commander, HQ Southern Maritime Air Region.

14 Apr 1973:          Economy Project Officer (RAF)

Retiring from the RAF, he joined the Council of Ardingly College and Economy Project Officer remaining in both posts until 1974.  In 1977 he was appointed Co-ordinator of Anglo-American Relations at the Ministry of Defence.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross ( & DFM)

“Pilot Officer Eric PLUMTREE (83716), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve—No. 53 Squadron.

(75574) Sergeant Peter Merridith KINSEY, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve—No. 53 Squadron.

Pilot Officer Plumtree was the pilot and Sergeant Kinsey the air gunner of an aircraft detailed to test a new type of bomb sight during a patrol over the North Sea. At the far end of the patrol, sixteen enemy vessels were sighted, eight within the harbour of an enemy port and eight outside. Pilot Officer Plumtree dived from 3,000 to 800 feet to attack the vessels in the harbour in the face of intense anti-aircraft fire. Whilst making his escape he attacked an army camp with machine-gun fire at almost ground level, and then climbed to seek cloud cover out at sea. At this point an attack was made by three Messerschmitts, which riddled the aircraft with bullets and shells and wounded all members of the crew. Sergeant Kinsey

held off the enemy and forced one to break off the engagement. Keeping his pilot informed of the position, he operated his gun until the other two were lost in the clouds.  In spite of injuries, Pilot Officer Plumtree then brought the aircraft safely back to an aerodrome in England.”

(London Gazette – 12 Nov 1940)

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