Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
Lindsay b: 12 Nov 1910
r: 26 Feb 1963
d: 7 May 2004
-1 Jan 1963, CBE - 13 Jun 1946, DFC – 26 Oct 1945, MiD
- 17 Sep 1943, MiD – 29 Jun 1948, BA.
– Class AA2): Plt Off (P):
6 Jul 1931,
6 Jul 1932, Fg Off: 6 Jan 1933,
(RAF): Act Plt Off (P):
6 Feb 1934, Plt Off (P): 2 Sep
1934, Plt Off: 6 Feb 1935, Fg
Off: 2 Apr 1936, Flt Lt: 2 Apr
1938, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Jun 1940, (T)
Wg Cdr: 1 Dec 1941, Act Gp Capt: xx
xxx 1945, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1946?,
Sqn Ldr: 1 May 1947 [1 Jan 1941], Act
Wg Cdr: xx xxx xxxx, Gp Capt: 1
Jan 1953, A/Cdre: N/A?,
Act AVM: 30 Oct 1959, AVM:
Officer, RAF Reserve of Officers (Class AA2).
Granted a Short Service Commission.
Relinquished his RAFO commission on appointment to a Short Service
U/T Pilot, No 3 FTS.
Pilot, No 26 Sqn.
Flight Commander, No 26 Sqn.
Chief Instructor, School of Army Co-operation.
xx Aug 1941: Officer Commanding, No 241 Sqn.
Staff, War Cabinet Plans
Officer Commanding, No 625 Sqn.
26 Mar 1945: Officer Commanding, No 625 Sqn/RAF Kelstern
Officer Commanding, ‘Shield Force’, Far East.
Appointed to extended Commission (4 years on the active list) as a
Squadron Leader (retaining rank current at the time)
Senior Personnel Staff Officer, AHQ Levant.
Appointed to Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader
SOA, HQ No 63 (Western and Welsh) Group.
Officer Commanding, RAF Ismailia.
SASO, HQ No 64 (Northern) Group.
Air Attaché, Rome.
AOC, Royal Ceylon Air Force.
son a doctor, he was born in Hull and attended Trent
College, Nottingham before going to Brasenose College in Oxford, where he read
Law. Whilst there he was a member
of the University Air Squadron and was commissioned into the Reserve of Air
first squadron was No 26 (Army Co-operation) Squadron, with whom he flew the
Avro Atlas, Hawker Audax and Hector before converting to the Lysander in
February 1939. Having been
appointed a Flight Commander in 1938, he was tasked with writing the
squadron’s mobilisation plan and in September 1939 he had to implement
it and lead his flight to France. He
returned to the UK before the German invasion of the West to take up the post of
Chief Instructor at the School of Army Co-operation at Old Sarum in Wiltshire.
took command of 241 at Bottisham equipped with Lysanders for PR work and
Tomahawks for army co-operation. However,
the Tomahawks were grounded in 1942 prior to complete re-equipment with
Mustangs. Moving to Ayr in
May 1942, the squadron re-equipped yet again, this time with Hurricanes,
eventually relocating overseas shortly after the Allied landing in North Africa.
The squadron changed aircraft once again in February 1943 when Spitfires
arrived but operations did not stop and for a while sorties were flown on both
types. The squadron was involved in
Tac/R, ground attack and bombing missions in support of the ground forces in
North Africa and later Sicily. At
one point he incurred the wrath of General George Patton when he refused to
attack a target with his fighter bombers as the it was too heavily defended and
that the task should be allocated to medium bombers.
His decision was fully supported by the Allied Air Commander, Sir Arthur
his return from North Africa joined War Cabinet Plans and became involved with
the planning of the forthcoming invasion of Normandy. Following this planning task he asked to return to
operational and unusually he requested to join a bomber squadron, being given
command of No 625 Squadron at Kelstern in Lincolnshire.
Following a one-hour familiarisation flight he flew on the next operation
over Germany and thereafter flew on most of the most dangerous raids, enduring
him to his crews. Prior to
the end of the war in Europe, he was promoted to take command of ‘Shield
Force’, which was formed as the advance element of ‘Tiger Force’ and set
sail to the Pacific in command of 3,000 men. However, as the ship approached the Admiralty Islands,
he received new instructions to proceed to Hong Kong. Commandeering a USAAF Dakota to the Philippines and from
there an Anson. The surrender of
the Japanese in Hong Kong was taken by Rear Admiral C
H J Harcourt on 29 August and he sent Barker to Kowloon to accept the surrender
of the Japanese there and to re-establish RAF Kai Tak.
returned to the UK in February 1946 and was called to the Bar (Middle Temple) in
1947. At the beginning of 1947 he
moved to Palestine and as Senior Personnel Staff Officer, became heavily
involved in the preparations for the withdrawal of British forces from the
region. Moving west to Egypt
he assumed command of RAF Ismailia and again had to deal with difficulties
brought about by local conditions,
briefly returned to the UK to become SASO at HQ No 64 (Northern) Group, before
heading overseas again as Air Attaché in Rome.
His final appointment was to command the recently formed Royal Ceylon Air
Force. During his tenure,
he helped prevent a coup d'état by two Army officers, who he and his former ADC
arrested. Asked to extend his
command of the RCeyAF by the Prime Minister, Mrs Bandaranaike, he declined and
returned to Britain, where he worked in the City, finally retiring to Dartmouth.
During his early career John Barker had represented the RAF in both Rugby
and Cricket as well as playing Rugby for Oxford Greyhounds and Leicester Tigers and in
retirement he took up golf and sailed his own boat.
He was also President of the No 26 Squadron Association.
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