Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Commodore R L Topp (166654)

Roger Leslie                b:   15 May 1923                    r:  31 Mar 1978            d: 6 Mar 2020

AFC 8 Jun 1950, Bar 1 Jan 1955, Bar - 1 Jan 1958, tp xx xxx 1951.

Plt Off:  22 Sep 1944, Fg Off (WS):  22 Mar 1945, Flt Lt:  22 Mar 1948, Sqn Ldr:  1 Jan 1955, Wg Cdr:  1 Jul 1959, Act Gp Capt:  1 Dec 1963, Gp Capt:  1 Jan 1964, A/Cdre:  1 Jul 1970.

xx xxx 1939:           Aircraft Apprentice, No 1 School of Technical Training, RAF Halton.

xx xxx 1943:           U/T Pilot, Canada.

1945                       Pilot, 'E' Sqn, Glider Pilot's Regiment.

xx xxx 1947:           Pilot, No 107 Sqn. (Mosquito)

xx xxx xxxx:            Pilot, No 98 Sqn. (Mosquito)

xx xxx 1951:           Attended Empire Test Pilots' School.

xx xxx 1952:           Test pilot, RAE Farnborough.

 1 Oct 1952:           Granted a Permanent commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant

23 Jan 1955:           Officer Commanding, No 111 Sqn. (Meteor F8/Hunter 6)

18 Jan 1959:           Staff Officer - Atomic Plans and Policy, HQ Allied Air Forces Central Europe.

xx xxx 1959:           Controller?, Sector Operations Centre, Brockzetel.

xx xxx 1961:           Attended Joint Services Staff College.

 1 May 1962:          Officer Commanding, Fighter Test Sqn. A. & A.E.E.

 1 Dec 1963:           Officer Commanding, RAF Coltishall.

xx xxx 1966:           Attended National Defence College, Canada.

18 Sep 1967:          Deputy Director of Operational Requirements (3).

xx xxx 1969:           Attached Multi-Role Combat Aircraft Project, Munich.

20 Mar 1970:          Group Captain Operations, HQ No 38 Group.

15 Sep 1970:          Commandant, A. & A.E.E.

16 Sep 1972:          Deputy General Manager, NATO, MRCA Development and Production Agency.

He originally entered the RAF as an Apprentice in the 39th Entry at Cranwell, after which he was selected for pilot training which then unusually, took him onto gliders as a pilot in the Glider Pilots' Regiment, with whom he took part in the Rhine crossing, 'Operation Varsity', of 1945.

Whilst CO of No 111, he formed a four Hunter aerobatic team and the following year was named the 'Black Arrows'.  In 1958 he led the 'Black Arrows' in their World record setting loop of 22 aircraft, which required aircraft and pilots borrowed from other units.  Also in 1958, he made a commemorative flight from London to Edinburgh to mark the 20th Anniversary of the flight made by one of his predecessors, Squadron Leader Gillan, as CO of 111 shortly after the squadron had re-equipped with Hurricanes.  His flight of 335 miles took 27 minutes 46 seconds (Average speed 717 mph).

Retiring from the RAF at his own request, he was a Consultant to Ferranti Defence Systems for ten years, after which he became an independent aviation and defence consultant.


This page was last updated on 20/03/20

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