Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation


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Air Chief Marshal Sir Derek Hodgkinson (39385)


Sir (William) Derek Hodgkinson(William) Derek                        b: 27 Dec 1917            r: 8 May 1976          d: 29 Jan 2010

KCB - 1 Jan 1971 (CB -1 Jan 1969), CBE – 1 Jan 1961, DFC – 17 Jan 1941, AFC – 1 Jan 1943, MiD - 28 Dec 1945.

Act Plt Off (P): 25 Jan 1937, Plt Off: 16 Nov 1937, Fg Off: 16 May 1939, Flt Lt (SSC): 3 Sep 1940, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Dec 1941, Flt Lt (PC): 10 Sep 1946 [1 Dec 1942], Sqn Ldr: 1 Aug 1947, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1952, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1958, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1963, Act AVM: 1 Apr 1966, AVM: 1 Jul 1966, AM: 1 Jul 1970, ACM: 22 Apr 1974.

Sir (William) Derek Hodgkinson

by Walter Bird
bromide print, 2 November 1966
NPG x168350

© National Portrait Gallery, London

25 Jan 1937:        Granted a Short Service Commission.

 6 Feb 1937:        U/T Pilot, No 11 Flying Training School.

 4 Sep 1937:        Pilot, No 220 Sqn.

xx xxx xxxx:          Instructor, Hudson Training Flight

xx xxx xxxx:          Pilot, No 220 Sqn.

xx xxx 1941:         Instructor/Flight Commander, No 1 (C) OTU.

26 Jun 1942:        Prisoner of War.

10 Sep 1946:       Appointed to Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant (retaining rank current at the time).  [wef 1 Sep 1945 antedated to 1 Dec 1942 on 25 Feb 1947]

xx Oct 1947:        Officer Commanding, No 210 Sqn.

xx Apr 1949:

xx xxx xxxx:          Directing Staff, Australian Joint Anti-Submarine School.

xx xxx xxxx:          Attended Joint Services Staff College.

xx xxx 1957:         Attended Shackleton Conversion Course, MOTU

 8 Aug 1957:        Officer Commanding, No 240 Sqn.

xx xxx 1958:         Officer Commanding, RAF St Mawgan.

 8 Mar 1960 – 23 Jul 1963:      ADC to The Queen.

20 Feb 1961:       Personal Staff Officer, Chief of the Defence Staff.

xx xxx 1964:         Attended Imperial Defence College.

 3 Mar 1965:        Commandant, RAF Staff College - Andover.

 1 Apr 1966:        Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operational Requirements)

16 Jul 1969:         SASO, HQ Training Command

 2 Jun 1970:         Commander, British Forces Near East/AOC in C, Near East Air Force/ The Administrator, Sovereign Base Areas - Cyprus.

15 Oct 1973:        Air Secretary

He was shot down by a night fighter whilst flying Hudson I, P5147 on a diversionary raid as part of Bomber Command’s 1,000 Bomber raid against Bremen and taken prisoner.  Spending the rest of the war in Stalag Luft III, he took part on the ‘Long March’ of 1945 when the Germans moved prisoners away from the advancing Russians.

In 1968, he chaired a committee looking into the Officer structure of the RAF which ultimately led to the abolition of the direct entry (Flight Cadet) scheme into Cranwell in favour of the graduate entry scheme.  It also led to the abolition of the Supplementary List.

From 1977 until 1986, he was a member of the Regular Forces Employment Association and held both the Vice-Chairmanship (1977 - 80) and Chairmanship (1980 - 82).

This page was last updated on 18/08/18

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