Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

Home Page

Main Menu

Quick Menu

Members' Area

What New?

About this site


Help Needed?



Sign Guest Book

View Guest Book

Link to Amazon

Online Store

Contact Me

Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Constantine (26028)

Sir Hugh Alex ConstantineHugh Alex                    b: 23 May 1908                    r: 30 May 1964                    d: 16 Apr 1992

KBE - 1 Jan 1958 (CBE - 8 Jun 1944), CB - 1 Jan 1946, DSO - 22 Sep 1942, MiD - 23 Jul 1937, MiD - 24 Sep 1941, MiD - 11 Jun 1942, MiD – 1 Jan 1945, MiD – xx xxx 194?, PPR3 - 12 Jun 1945, LL.D (Hon) (Warwick) - 1978.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

Plt Off:  17 Dec 1927, Fg Off: 17 Jun 1929, Flt Lt: 1 Dec 1932, Act Sqn Ldr: xx xxx 1936, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jun 1937, Act Wg Cdr: 7 May 1940, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Jun 1940, Act Gp Capt: 29 Jun 1941, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Jun 1942, Act A/Cdre: 27 Apr 1943?, Wg Cdr: 1 Jun 1943, Gp Capt (WS): 27 Oct 1943, Act AVM: 16 Jan 1945 - 17 Oct 1945, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1946, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1948, AVM: 1 Jul 1952, Act AM (unpd): 23 Apr 1956, Act AM (pd): 24 May 1956, AM: 1 Jan 1958, ACM: 1 Sep 1961.

Sir Hugh Alex Constantine

by Walter Bird
bromide print, 19 October 1961
NPG x166716

© National Portrait Gallery, London


14 Jan 1926:            Officer Cadet, 'B' Sqn, RAF College. (Flt Cdt Cpl – Fencing, Rugby)

17 Dec 1927:           Pilot, No 56 Sqn. (Siskin IIIA – North Weald)

xx xxx 1929:            Attended Central Flying School.

18 Dec 1929:           QFI, RAF College - Cranwell.

 7 Sep 1931:            QFI, Central Flying School.

xx xxx 1934:            No 1 Armoured Car Company.

xx xxx 1937:            QFI, Central Flying School.

xx xxx 1938:            Examiner's Pool, Central Flying School.

 2 Jun 1937:             Officer Commanding, 'B' Flight, No 214 Sqn

16 Sep - 29 Oct 1937:           Officer Commanding (Temporary), No 214 Sqn

13 Feb 1939:           Squadron Commander, Central Flying School

xx xxx 1940:            Attended RAF Staff College.

15 Apr 1940:           Air Staff - Operations and Training, HQ No 3 Group

 9 Sep 1940:            Officer Commanding, Training Wing, No 11 OTU

21-25 May 1941:    Officer Commanding, No 11 OTU

29 Jun 1941:            Officer Commanding, RAF Elsham Wolds

20 Sep 1941            Admitted to hospital

xx xxx 1941            Discharged from hospital

 9 Dec 1942:           Supernumerary, HQ No 1 Group.

11 Dec 1942:          SASO, HQ No 1 Group.

 1 Dec 1943:            Deputy SASO, HQ Bomber Command.

16 Jan 1945:            AOC, No 5 Group.

xx xxx 1946:            Chief Intelligence Officer, BAFO & Control Commission in Germany.

xx xxx 1947:            Attended Imperial Defence College.

 4 Oct 1948:            SASO, HQ No 205 Group

xx xxx 1950:            Director of Intelligence.

15 Apr 1951:           Director of Intelligence (Operations).

18 Aug 1952:           AOA, HQ Fighter Command.

17 Aug 1954:           AOC, No 25 (Training) Group.

23 Apr 1956:           Leave/familiarisation for new post?

24 May 1956:          Deputy Chief of Staff - Plans & Policy, HQ SHAPE.

 1 Mar 1959:            AOC in C, Flying Training Command.

xx xxx 1959 -  5 Feb 1960:            Commandant, Air Training Corps

25 Sep 1961:           Commandant, Imperial Defence College.

On 10 December 1928, he was flying off Leysdown, when he crashed into the sea.  Coming down approximately 200 yards off shore, he was rescued by two other RAF personnel, Flying Officer Walter Anderson and Corporal Thomas McTeague, who were both awarded the BEM for their gallantry.

As an instructor at the CFS he led the school’s display team equipped with five Avro Tutors, having been a member of the team the previous year.  As OC at Elsham Wold, he took part in the first '1,000 Bomber' raid against Cologne in May 1942.  Taking command of No 5 Group towards the end of the war in Europe, he would have had the opportunity of leading this well-tried organisation in further action had the Americans not dropped the A-bomb.  5 Group had been earmarked as the first formation to join ‘Tiger Force’, the Commonwealth Bombing Force to be used in the Pacific but the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki brought the war in the Far East to a close before the force could be deployed.

In 1959, Flying Training Command took over control of the Air Training Corps from the recently disbanded Home Command.  As a result Sir Hugh inherited the extra title of Commandant of the ATC, however he only kept this title until the New Year when it was delegated to an Air Commodore post, within FTC.  At the same time FTC also took on responsibility for the 17 University Air Squadrons.  Following retirement he accepted the part-time post of Co-ordinator of Anglo-American community relations.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

CONSTANTINE, Hugh Alex, G/C - awarded as per London Gazette dated 22 September 1942.

 "This officer has commanded his station with great distinction.  Possessing exceptional qualities of leadership and efficiency, he has maintained the keenness and morale of the personnel at a very high level.  The high degree of efficiency of the squadron which operates from his station is in no small measure attributable to his personal example.  Since assuming command he has flown with the squadron on five occasions and on the last three of these sorties he has acted as pilot in a single pilot crew; two of these sorties were on the recent large scale operations.  Group Captain Constantine is a born leader whose inspiring energy and keenness have set an admirable example."

(Source - Air Ministry Bulletin 8119)

This page was last updated on 24/11/22

Back to J Constable-Roberts J Constable-Roberts                       [Top of Page]                                 E Cook Forward to E Cook