Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Commodore S C Widdows (26218)

(Stanley) Charles                      b: 4 Oct 1909              r: 29 Dec 1958             d: 10 Jan 2010

CB - 1 Jan 1959, DFC 4 Apr 1941, MiD - 17 Mar 1941, MiD - 8 Jun 1944.

Plt Off: 25 Jul 1931, Fg Off: 25 Jan 1935, Flt Lt: 1 Apr 1936, Sqn Ldr: 1 Dec 1938, Act Wg Cdr: 2 Feb 1941, (T) Wg Cdr: 1 Mar 1941, Act Gp Capt: 2 Feb 1942?, Wg Cdr (WS): 2 Aug 1942, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1944, Wg Cdr: 1 Oct 1946, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1949, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1955.

xx xxx 1925:                 Aircraft Apprentice, No 1 School of Technical Training, RAF Halton

 5 Sep 1929:                 Flight Cadet, 'A' Sqn, RAF College.

25 Jul 1931:                 Pilot, No 43 Sqn.

14 Dec 1931:               Pilot, No 29 Sqn.

28 Feb 1933:               Pilot, No 45 Sqn.

18 Nov 1933:               Pilot, No 47 Sqn.

6 May 1936:                Officer, Commanding, 'C' Flight, No 207 Sqn.

14 Aug 1936:               Staff, HQ Flight, RAF Ramleh.

19 Aug - 7 Oct 1936:              Attached, Officer Commanding. C' Flight, No 33 Sqn

 7 Oct 1936:                Admitted to Palestine General Hospital, Sarafand

 1 Sep 1937:                Test Pilot, A. & A.E.E.

 6 Jul 1940:                  Attended Refresher Flying Course, No 6 OTU

14 Jul 1940:                 Attached to No 5 OTU

16 Jul 1940:                 Officer Commanding, No 29 Sqn. (Blenheim/Beaufighter If)

14 Jun 1941:                Officer Commanding, RAF West Malling.

 2 Feb 1942:                Group Captain - Night Operations, HQ No 11 (Fighter) Group.

xx xxx 1942:                 Group Captain - Night Operations, HQ No 12 (Fighter) Group.

xx xxx xxxx:                  Officer Commanding, No ? OTU.

20 Dec 1943:               SASO, HQ No 85 (Base) Group.

xx May 1944:               Group Captain - Organisation, HQ AEAF.

25 Sep 1945:                Supernumerary, No 139 Wing

 2 Oct 1945:                 Officer Commanding, No 139 Wing

14 Mar 1946:               Officer Commanding, RAF Wahn

17 - 25 Feb 1947:                Admitted to No 8 RAF General Hospital

xx Jun 1947:                 Staff, Control Commission, Germany.

xx xxx 1948:                 Directing Staff, Senior Officers' War Course, RN Staff College, Greenwich.

22 Jun 1949:                 SASO: HQ No 12 (Fighter) Group.

xx xxx xxxx:                  Chief Instructor, Air Defence Wing, School of Land/Air Warfare.

xx xxx 1952:                 Sector Commander, Eastern Sector.

xx xxx 1955:                 Attended Imperial Defence College.

 2 Jan 1956:                 Director of Air Defence Operations.

He was educated at St Bartholomew's School, Newbury and joined the RAF as an Apprentice, being one of those to be awarded a cadetship to the RAF College, which he represented at Shooting and attained the rank of Flight Cadet Corporal.

During his time at A & AEE he test flew the prototypes of the Hurricane and Spitfire.  Taking command of No 29 Squadron in July 1940, he oversaw the introduction of the Beaufighter into the unit in September 1940 and on 17 November 1940, whilst undertaking an AA co-operation sortie, he experienced and engine failure followed by the other engine losing power.  He ordered his gunner to bale-out which was acknowledged but has he was about to leave the aircraft he noticed his gunner couldn't get out, so he resumed his seat and managed to recover the aircraft from spin and carry out an emergency landing.  Despite having been flying Beaufighters for six months, it was March 1941 before he gained his first success when he shot down a Ju 88 over Lincolnshire.  Shortly after moving to West Malling he attacked a Ju 88 over the Channel but his aircraft was damaged by return fire.  Having managed to get his damaged aircraft back to base he found out his observer had abandoned the aircraft and his body was later washed ashore on a French beach.

Retiring to Guernsey, he was a People's Deputy for the States of Guernsey from 1973 until 1979.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

Wing Commander Stanley Charles WIDDOWS (26218), No.29 Squadron.

This officer has commanded the squadron since July, 1940, and, under difficult circumstances, has maintained a high morale among the personnel.  Wing Commander Widdows has carried out a large number of difficult patrols in bad weather and has shown extreme keenness to engage the enemy.  He has flown a considerable number of hours of operational flying at night, and succeeded in destroying a Junkers 88 one night in March, 1941.

(London Gazette 4 April 1941)

This page was last updated on 29/05/22

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