Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Vice-Marshal J E Smith (501104)

John Edward                b:   8 Jun 1924                         r:   3 Apr 1981        d: 22 Jun 2013

CB 16 Jun 1979, CBE 3 Jun 1972, AFC - 1 Jan 1957.

Fg Off:  6 Mar 1950 [ 16 Dec 1949], Flt Lt:  7 Jun 1951, Sqn Ldr:  1 Jan 1957, Wg Cdr:  1 Jul 1963, Act Gp Capt:  15 Jun 1967, Gp Capt:  1 Jul 1967, Act A/Cdre:  4 Jan 1973, A/Cdre:  1 Jul 1973, Act AVM:  17 Sep 1977, AVM:  1 Jan 1978.

 xx Nov 1941:           Airman?

xx May 1942:           U/T Pilot, Fleet Air Arm

 6 Mar 1950:            Granted Short Service Commission (8 + 4)

xx xxx xxxx:              Pilot, No 50 Sqn. (Canberra)

 1 Oct 1951:            Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant

xx xxx xxxx:              Flight Commander, No 102 Sqn (Canberra - Gutersloh)

xx xxx 1956:              Attended No 232 OCU (Valiant Conversion Course)

xx xxx 1956:              Pilot, No 7 Sqn (Valiants - Honington)

xx xxx 1959:              Flight Commander, No 57 Sqn (Victors)

16 Oct 1961:            Air Staff - Training, HQ No 3 Group.

29 Jul 1963:             Officer Commanding, No 90 Sqn. (Valiants)

xx xxx 1965:            Attended Air Warfare Course

xx xxx 1965:            Senior Administration Officer?, RAF Forces in Zambia

15 Jun 1967:            Admin Staff - Organisation, HQ Far East Air Force.

xx Jan 1970:            Officer Commanding, RAF Marham.

 4 Jan 1973:             Director of RAF Flight Safety.

 2 Aug 1974:            AOA, HQ Near East Air Force.

 1 Apr 1976:            Deputy Commander, AHQ Cyprus

 8 Apr 1977:            Director of Recruiting.

17 Sep 1977:           AOC - DAU/AOA, HQ Strike Command.

He was born at Uckfield, Sussex, and was educated at Tunbridge Wells Technical Institute. Lying about his age he joined the RAF in November 1941 as an airman but the following May he transferred to the Fleet Air Arm training as a pilot in Canada.  He converted to the Seafire and joined No 886 Squadron on board the aircraft carrier Attacker, with whom he supported the landings at Salerno.  Attacker later returned to home waters in preparation for the D-Day landings but he found himself operating from Lee-on-Solent, flying sweeps over northern France against enemy targets, including road and rail transport.  He also later carried out air spotting duties for naval capital ships conducting barrages on D-Day.  He later rejoined HMS Attacker from which he took part in operations in the Indian Ocean and following the Japanese surrender, he became one of the first to land in Singapore.

He re-joined the RAF in 1950 on a short Service Commission and converted to the recently introduced Canberra.

He was withdrawn  from  an Air Warfare course in 1965, to set up and administer a support element in Zambia to control transport aircraft and Javelin fighters following the Unilateral Declaration of Independence in Rhodesia.

This page was last updated on 25/05/17 using FrontPage 2003

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