Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Chief Marshal Sir Thomas Prickett (40427)

Sir Thomas PrickettThomas Other              b: 31 Jul 1913              r: 1 Oct 1970               d: 23 Jan 2010

KCB – 12 Jun 1965 (CB – 13 Jun 1957), DSO – 24 Sep 1943, DFC – 6 Oct 1942.

Act Plt Off (P): 9 Jan 1938, Plt Off: 25 Oct 1938, Act Flt Lt: 27 Aug – 21 Nov 1939, Fg Off: 25 Apr 1940, Flt Lt (WS): 25 Apr 1941, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Jun 1942, Act Wg Cdr: 21 May 1942, Sqn Ldr (WS): 21 Nov 1942, Sqn Ldr: 26 Mar 1946 [1 Jan 1945], Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1947 [1 Oct 1946], Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1952, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1958, AVM: 1 Jul 1960, Act AM: 25 Sep 1964, AM: 1 Jan 1966, ACM: 1 May 1969.

Sir Thomas Prickett

by Walter Bird
bromide print, 6 December 1963
NPG x159744

© National Portrait Gallery, London

 9 Jan 1938:             Granted a Short Service Commission.

22 Jan 1938:            U/T Pilot, No 6 FTS, Netheravon

23 Oct 1938:           Attended Instructors Course, CFS.

23 Dec 1938:           QFI, No 5 Flying Training School.

27 Aug 1939:           Acting Flight Commander, No 5 FTS?

xx xxx xxxx:             Flight Commander, No ? FTS (Rhodesia)

19 Oct 1941:            Attached, No 148 Sqn.

25 Oct 1941:            Officer Commanding, Advance Landing Base, No 148 Sqn

xx xxx xxxx:              Pilot, No 70 Sqn

xx Jul 1942              Senior Flying Instructor, No 5 BFTS, Clewiston, Florida

xx xxx 1943:             Attended No 1656 HCU.

 5 Apr 1943:            Flight Commander, No 103 Sqn (Lancasters - Elsham Wolds)

xx Oct 1943:            Staff Officer, RAF Delegation Washington.

xx xxx xxxx:              QFI, ?

xx xxx xxxx:              Jet Conversion course.

26 Mar 1946:           Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader (retaining rank current at the time) wef 1 Sep 1945 antedated to 1 Jan 1944 on 25 Feb 1947]

27 May 1946:           Air Staff Officer, HQ Reserve Command

xx xxx 1949:             Officer Commanding, RAF Tangmere.

 8 Dec 1951:            Air Staff - Operations & Training, HQ Middle East Air Force.

xx Jun 1954:             Officer Commanding, RAF Jever.

xx xxx 1956:             Attended Imperial Defence College.

xx xxx 1956:            Chief of Staff, Air Task Force - Operation 'Musketeer'

23 Dec 1956:           Director of Air Staff Briefing

xx xxx 1958:             Director of Policy.

 8 May  1958:          SASO, HQ No 1 Group.

 7 Dec 1960:            Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations)

 4 Feb 1963:            Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Policy & Planning)

25 Sep 1964:           C in C, Near East Air Force/Commander, British Forces Cyprus/The Administrator, Sovereign Base Areas - Cyprus

27 Jan 1967:            AOC in C, Transport Command

1 Aug 1967:             AOC in C, Air Support Command

14 Sep 1968:           Air Member for Supply & Organisation

Another ex-Haileybarian, Sir Thomas travelled to India in 1932 taking a post with Begg Sutherland Ltd as Assistant manager on one of their sugar estates, eventually rising to Manager.  Whilst in India, he served as an auxiliary with the Bihar Light Horse.  However, in 1937 he joined the RAF and was posted Netheravon to undertake his pilot training at No 6 FTS.

His course at the Imperial Defence College was cut short when he was appointed Chief of Staff for the Air Task Force of Operation 'Musketeer'.  He became one of the first officers to arrive in Cyprus establishing the advanced HQ on 21 October 1956.  He retired at his own request to become a Director of Goodwood Estates and Managing Director of Goodwood Terrena Ltd, post he held from 1970 to 1978.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

“Squadron Leader Thomas Other PRICKETT, D.F.C., (40427) Reserve of Air Force Officers, No.103 Squadron.

Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, this officer has completed many sorties involving attacks on targets-in the Ruhr area and objectives at Spezia, Milan and Turin hi Italy.  Squadron Leader Prickett has executed his missions with outstanding determination and his fine record of achievement is a worthy tribute to his superbskill and fine fighting qualities.  He is a first class leader whose example has proved inspiring.”

 (London Gazette – 24 September 1943)

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

PRICKETT, Thomas Oliver, S/L (40427) - No.148 Squadron 

"In the course of his sorties, Squadron Leader Prickett has attacked targets in the Western Desert, Greece, Crete and Sicily.  He went with a detachment to Malta when the island was receiving its heaviest air attacks.  On two successive nights he carried out sorties against Venice; he has also made ten sorties against Benghazi.  This officer has displayed high powers of leadership."

(Source - Air Ministry Bulletin 8219)

This page was last updated on 20/11/23

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