Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Vice-Marshal F S Stapleton (36059)

Frederick Snowden                    b: 4 Feb 1912                  r: 9 Apr 1966                     d: 19 Apr 1974

CB – 10 Jun 1961, DSO – 2 Dec 1941, DFC – 15 Jul 1941, BA - 1933, FAIM - 1967.

Sgt: xx xxx 1933, Plt Off: 3 Mar 1936 [3 Dec 1934], Fg Off: 3 Sep 1936 [3 Jun 1936], Act Flt Lt: 3 Mar 1938,  Flt Lt: 3 Sep 1938 [3 Jun 1938], Sqn Ldr: 1 Jun 1939, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Jun 1941, Act Gp Capt: 22 Oct 1943?, Wg Cdr (WS): 22 Apr 1944, Wg Cdr: 1 Oct 1946, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1951, Act A/Cdre: 12 Jan 1956, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1957, Act AVM: 1 Feb 1959, AVM: 1 Jul 1959.

xx xxx 1933:            Sergeant Pilot, RAFVR

 3 Mar 1936:           Granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Pilot Officer.

 3 Mar 1936:           U/T Pilot, No 5 FTS.?

xx xxx xxxx:             Pilot, No 3 Sqn.

 8 Oct 1937:            Pilot, No 87 Sqn.

 3 Jun 1938:            Flight Commander, No 87 Sqn.

xx xxx 1939:           Attended School of Air Navigation (Specialist Navigation Course).

xx xxx 1940:            Staff, HQ No 50 Group.

23 Mar 1941:          Attended Refresher Flying Course, No 58 OTU. 

17 Apr 1941:           Supernumerary Sqn Ldr, No 54 Sqn

xx May 1941:          Officer Commanding, No 611 (West Lancashire) Sqn. (Spitfire Vb)

27 Jun 1941:           Wing Commander - Flying (Wing Leader), Hornchurch Wing.

23 Feb 1942:          Chief Instructor, No 42 Air School. (South End, Port Elizabeth, South Africa)  

22 Oct 1943:          Officer Commanding, No 42 Air School. (South Africa)

15 May 1945:         Deputy Director of Operational Requirements.

xx xxx 1945:           Deputy Director of Operational Requirements (II).

xx Jan 1947:           Attended RAF Staff College.

xx xxx 1948:           Group Captain - Operations, HQ Fighter Command.

xx Oct 1949:           Officer Commanding, RAF Linton-on-Ouse.

xx xxx 1951:            Officer Commanding, RAF Wunsdorf.

xx xxx 1953:            CFI, RAF College.

xx Jan 1955:            Attended Imperial Defence College.

12 Jan 1956:            Commander, Northern Sector.

 1 Oct 1957:            SASO, HQ No 13 Group.

10 Feb 1959:           Head of Joint UK Liaison Staff, Australia.

15 May 1961:          SASO, HQ Transport Command.

14 Mar 1964:           Director-General of Manning.

Awarded a University Commission whilst at Downing College, Cambridge, he joined the RAF in 1936 and following flying training, he was posted to No 3 Squadron and shortly afterwards to No 87 Squadron flying Hurricanes at Debden.   Despite his short operational career, he still managed to amass a total of seven destroyed, four probable and one shared and three damaged.  Retired to Australia where he became a Management Consultant in Melbourne.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

“Wing Commander Frederick Snowden STAPLETON (36059), No.54 Squadron.

This officer has led his squadron on almost every operational flight during its recent activities over enemy territory, in which the squadron has .destroyed at least twelve enemy aircraft.  Two of these were destroyed by Wing Commander Stapleton himself.  He has always displayed the utmost  enthusiasm to seek out and destroy the enemy and has undoubtedly contributed materially to the successes obtained.”

(London Gazette – 15 Jul 1941)

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

“Wing Commander Frederick Snowden STAPLETON, D.F.C. (36059).

Since June, 1941, this officer has participated in 47 operational sorties.  Leading the wing with the utmost coolness and determination he has taken every opportunity to support the formations and to inflict damage on the enemy.  Since being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross he has destroyed 4 enemy aircraft, and has probably destroyed or damaged several others.”

(London Gazette – 2 Dec 1941)

This page was last updated on 17/02/19

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