Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
Vice-Marshal W E Oulton (26209)
27 Jul 1911
r: 1 Jan 1961
d: xx Oct 1997
CB – 1 Jan 1958, CBE – 1
Jun 1953, DSO – 12 Nov 1943, DFC - 4 Jun
1943, MiD - 20 Feb 1940, MiD
- 8 Jun 1944, FEng,
25 Jul 1931, Fg Off: 25 Jan 1933,
Flt Lt: 1 Apr 1936, Sqn Ldr: 1
Dec 1938, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Mar 1941, Act
Gp Capt: xx xxx xxxx, (T) Gp
Capt: 1 Jan 1944, Wg Cdr: 1 Oct
1946, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1949,
A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1955, Act AVM:
9 Feb 1956, AVM: 1 Jan 1958.
xx xxx 1929: Flight Cadet, RAF College.
Appointed to a Permanent Commission
U/T Pilot, No 3 FTS
Flying Boat Course, RAF Base Calshot
Pilot, No 204 Sqn.
Pilot, No 202 Sqn
Staff, RAF Hal Far.
Attended School of Air Navigation.
Navigation Instructor?, School of Air Navigation.
13 Mar 1943: Attended Conversion Course, No 3 (Coastal) OTU
18 Mar 1943: Attached to No 1 Engine Control Demonstration Unit
Officer Commanding, No 58 Sqn. (Halifax II)
Officer Commanding, RAF Lagens. (Azores)
Deputy Director of Navigation.
Director, Joint Anti-Submarine School.
Directing Staff, Joint Services Staff College.
Air Attaché, Buenos Aires.
Attended Imperial Defence College.
Director of Operations.
Officer Commanding, Joint Task Force - 'Operation Grapple'
SASO, HQ Coastal Command.
started at Cranwell the year after Douglas Bader, representing the College at
Boxing and being awarded the'Abdy Gerrard Fellows' Memorial Prize on graduation.
his DSO for sinking three U-boats in one month during May 1943.
The first was the U663, which he sunk on the 7th, he then sank the U463
on the 15th, both of these sinking being by his aircraft alone.
Then to round off the ''63's'', he shared in the destruction of the U563
with other aircraft on the 31st.
February 1956, the decision to appoint an Admiral to command the H-bomb trials
(Operation 'Grapple') was changed to an RAF Officer.
Air Commodore Oulton was selected and promoted to AVM.
These trials took place in the Pacific, with the RAF units involved being
based on Christmas Island. The main
trials involved a number of drops, some of which were inert but three of which
were live. The main trials were
completed in June 1957, but it was then decided to carry out three further
trials, named 'Grapple X', 'Y' and 'Z'.
Wilfred Oulton remained in command of 'Grapple X' in October/November
1957, but was succeeded by AVM J Grandy for the other two.
Retired at his own request.
for the award of the Distinguished
Commander Wilfrid Ewart OULTON (26209), No.58 Squadron.
this officer was the captain of an aircraft, which attacked a U-boat.
Later in the day another submarine was observed on the surface of the
water. In the face of accurate
anti-aircraft fire from the vessel, Wing Commander Oulton pressed home a
vigorous attack. During a patrol some days later, he executed a destructive
attack on yet another U-boat. Wing
Commander Oulton has displayed great keenness and efficiency.”
Gazette – 4 June 1943)
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