Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Commodore E W Wootten (42667)

Ernest Waite (Bertie)    b:   5 Nov 1918                       r:  5 Nov 1973             d:  30 Apr 1999

CBE – 1 Jan 1971, DFC – 29 Aug 1941, Bar – 4 Jun 1943, AFC – 2 Jan 1950, AFC (V) – xx xxx xxxx, ADC, MBIM.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

Act Plt Off (P): 2 Sep 1939, Plt Off (P):  2 Mar 1940, Plt Off:  10 Jul 1940, Fg Off (WS):  2 Mar 1941, Flt Lt (WS):  2 Mar 1942, Act Sqn Ldr:  xx Jun 1942?, Act Wg Cdr: 1 Mar 1943?,  Sqn Ldr (WS):  1 Sep 1943,  Sqn Ldr:  1 Aug 1948, Wg Cdr:  1 Jan 1957, Act Gp Capt:  25 Nov 1959, Gp Capt:  1 Jan 1964, Act A/Cdre:  30 Apr 1968?, A/Cdre:  1 Jul 1968.

 2 Sep 1939:    Granted Short Service Commission

xx Sep 1939:    U/T Pilot.

xx Feb 1940:    Staff Pilot, No 9 Air Observers School, Penrhos

xx May 1940:   Pilot, No 4 Continental Ferry Pilots’ Pool.

19 Aug 1940:    Pilot, No 234 Sqn.

xx Aug 1941:    Flight Commander, No 234 Sqn.

xx Nov 1941:   Officer Commanding, No 2 Deliver Flight, RAF Colerne.

14 Jan 1942:    Squadron Leader - Tactics, HQ No 10 Group.

xx Jun 1942:     Officer Commanding, No 118 Sqn. (Spitfire Vb)

 1 Mar 1943:    Wing Leader, Coltishall Wing

xx Jun 1943:     Wing Leader, Fairwood Common.

xx Jan 1944:     Wing Commander – Tactics, HQ Mediterranean Allied Air Forces.

29 Jan 1944:    Air Staff, Advanced HQ, MAAF

xx Jun 1944:     Supernumerary, No 244 Wing, DAF.

xx Jul 1944:      Wing Leader, No 322 Wing

 6 Nov 1944:    Wing Leader, No 324 Wing.

17 Nov 1944:   Supernumerary, Rear HQ Desert Air Force, pending repatriation

xx Dec 1944:    En-route to UK.

xx Jan 1945:     RAF Liaison Officer to the Pentagon, Washington.

xx xxx 1945:     Wing Commander – Flying, RAF Dorval

xx Jan 1946: 

12 Feb 1946 [1 Sep 1945]:      Appointed to an Extended Service Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant. (4 yaers on the active list)

13 Feb 1947:        Officer Commanding, RAF Newton.

 1 Jun 1948:     Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

xx xxx xxxx:    

29 Oct 1956:    Staff Officer, Directorate of Organisation (Establishments)

xx xxx 1958:      Officer Commanding, No 245 Sqn.

25 Nov 1959:   Air Attache, Caracus.

20 May 1963:  Officer Commanding, RAF Middleton St George.

 6 Apr 1964:    Officer Commanding, RAF Leconfield.

 7 Feb 1966:    Assistant Chief of Staff - Offensive Operations, HQ 2nd ATAF.

30 Apr 1968:   SASO, HQ No 11 Group.

18 Jan 1971:    AOC, HQ Military Air Traffic Organisation.

 1 Jul 1971 – 5 Nov 1972:        ADC to The Queen.

Was leading the Coltishall Wing during the mission 3 May 1943, when Leonard Trent won the VC.  Following retirement, he joined Hawker Siddeley Dynamics in the Space Division.  This later became British Aerospace and following retirement from there in 1984, he became an aerospace consultant.

 Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

“Flying Officer Ernest Waite WOOTTEN (42667), No.234 Squadron.

This officer has displayed great dash, enthusiasm and flying ability throughout all the operations in which he has participated. He has destroyed at least five enemy aircraft, of which two were shot down in one engagement.”

(London Gazette – 29 August 1941)

Citation for the award of the Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross.

“Acting Squadron Leader Ernest Waite WOOTTEN, D.F.C. "(42667), No. 118 Squadron.

This officer, who has taken part in very many sorties, has led the squadron and, occasionally the wing, with great skill and dash. His fine example and outstanding devotion to duty have been inspiring.”

(London Gazette – 4 June 1943)

Citation for the award of the Air Force Cross

"WOOTTEN, Ernest Waite, S/L, DFC (42667) - No.245/266 Squadron, Horsham St. Faith

Squadron Leader Wootten has been Squadron Commander of No.245/266 Meteor Squadron since September 1947.  During this period he has raised the standard of his squadron’s flying to the very highest level.  It was under his command that the Meteor aerobatic team was first formed and trained, and this team remains the only Meteor IV aerobatic team in the Royal Air Force at the present time.  He has consistently flown in the team and worked it up to the highest pitch of efficiency.  Realising that the number two position was perhaps the most difficult in the team, he undertook to fly in this position himself from the start, and has flown at least 100 sorties either in practice or in actual performance.  Under his command this aerobatic team has performed before the King and Queen, the British and Belgian Press, the Swedish Air Force and the Italian Air Force.  It has also performed at the Federation of British Industries Exhibition at Copenhagen and at the thirtieth anniversary of the Belgian Air Force in Brussels.  The performance of this team has been acclaimed as a feat of exceptional flying skill wherever it has been seen, and moreover the standard set by it has been  an inspiration to the whole of the Eastern Fighter Wing.  Squadron Leader Wootten, by his leadership in command and by his outstanding flying skill in a most difficult position in this Meteor Fighter Team, has shown that he is a fighter pilot of the very highest standard.  The performance of the team, as representative of Fighter Command and the Royal Air Force, before Western Union representatives both in their own countries and in the United Kingdom, have materially enhanced the confidence of the air forces of those countries in Meteor aircraft."

(Source - Air 2/10307 drafted when he had flown 4,060 hours, 53.5 on current duties, 23.3 in previous six months)

This page was last updated on 17/09/23©

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