Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Units directly responsible to Ministry level

Royal Observer Corps

Formed 1 Jan 1929 manned by part time civilian volunteers but under the operation control of ADGB. Transferred to Fighter Command, 14 Jul 1936.  Granted the title 'Royal', 9 Apr 1941.  Stood down and it's HQ closed,  31 Mar 1996

1 Mar 1929         A/Cdre E A D Masterman (Ret'd)

xx xxx 1936         A/Cdre A D Warrington-Morris (Ret'd)

xx Jun 1942         A/Cdre G H Ambler

23 Jun 1943               A/Cdre F Crerar

 7 Oct 1945               A/Cdre The Earl of Bandon.

 1 Feb 1949               A/Cdre R B Jordan

20 Mar 1951             A/Cdre G H Vasse

29 Mar 1954             A/Cdre J H T Simpson

29 Jun 1959:              A/Cdre J M Warfield

 3 Jun 1964                A/Cdre J H Greswell

28 Jun 1968:              A/Cdre D F Rixson

 4 Jan 1971                A/Cdre E B Sismore

24 May 1973             A/Cdre R K Orrock

 8 Nov 1975              A/Cdre M H Miller

23 Apr 1977              A/Cdre J F G Howe

12 Apr 1981              A/Cdre R J Offord

19 Feb 1983              A/Cdre G P Black

28 Sep 1984              A/Cdre J Broughton

xx xxx 1986               A/Cdre I Horrocks

xx xxx 1989               A/Cdre G M Boddy

 1 Apr 1992               A/Cdre M P Donaldson

 1 Mar 1993               A/Cdre C R Spink

16 Jun 1995               A/Cdre M K Widdowson


AHQ Cyprus

Formed xx xxx 1975? to take over a reduced task  from HQ Near East Air Force, which was to disband 31 Mar 1976.  Administered by Strike Command.  Disbanded 1988/89? by being absorbed into HQ British Forces Cyprus.  Officers marked * also held post of Commander British Forces, Cyprus and The Administrator, Sovereign Base Areas.

  8 Nov1975                AVM R D Austen-Smith*

28 Apr 1978                A/Cdre D A Arnott (Acting?)

24 Mar 1979               A/Cdre M R Williams

 4 Oct  1980                AVM R L Davis*

24 Mar 1983               A/Cdre R J Offord

24 Oct 1985                AVM K W Hayr*


Directorate of Flight Safety

Directorate-General  of Aircraft Safety, formed  xx xxx 1942? with two Deputy Directorates, Air/Sea Rescue (originally formed 7 Feb 1941) and Aircraft Safety.  Raised to Directorate 4 Jan 1943.  Renamed Directorate of Flying Control and Rescue, xx xxx 1943/4.  Renamed Directorate of Accident Prevention, xx xxx 1944.   Reduced to Deputy Directorate, xx xxx 1946/7.  Raised to Directorate again, 1 Jun 1955.

Changed  to Inspectorate of Flight Safety, 20 Nov 1976

xx xxx 1942                MRAF Sir John Salmond (Dir-Gen)

xx xxx 1942                Wg Cdr H J Saker (Dep Dir)

 4 Jan 1943                 A/Cdre H A Haines

17 Nov 1943              A/Cdre H D O'Neill

30 Sep 1945               A/Cdre A C H Sharp

xx xxx 1946/7             Gp Capt A F  Anderson (Dep Dir)

xx xxx 1947/8             Gp Capt N C Singer (Dep Dir)

1949 - 1955               ?

 1 Jun 1955                A/Cdre D M Somerville

 6 Dec 1957               A/Cdre J C Millar

27 Feb 1961              A/Cdre R J B Burns

14 Sep 1962              A/Cdre A G Dudgeon

 6 Dec 1965               A/Cdre E W Wright

 3 Mar 1969               A/Cdre C B Brown

17 Jan 1972                A/Cdre F O Barrett

 4 Jan 1973                 A/Cdre J E Smith

28 Aug 1974               A/Cdre D F M Browne


Inspectorate of Flight Safety

Inspectorate of Flight Safety BadgeFormed 20 Nov 1976 by renaming the Directorate of Flight Safety. Renamed Institute of Flight Safety, xx xxx xxx.   Disbanded by being renamed Defence Aviation Safety Centre, xx xxx xxxx.





20 Nov 1976               A/Cdre K W Hayr

22 Dec 1979                A/Cdre D B Leech

19 Dec 1981                A/Cdre T H Stoner

22 Dec 1984                A/Cdre P King

 4 Feb 1988                 A/Cdre G R Profit

13 Aug 1990                A/Cdre J E Houghton

16 Jun 1992                 A/Cdre M J Abbott

 8 Apr 1994                 A/Cdre R S Peacock-Edwards

xx Nov 1997                A/Cdre E J Black


Defence Aviation Safety Centre

Formed xx Mar 2002, by renaming the Inspectorate of Flight Safety.

xx Mar 2002               A/Cdre R L Dixon

xx xxx xxxx:                A/Cdre A T Hudson

18 Apr 2006               A/Cdre G P Dixon

23 Feb 2007               A/Cdre I L Dugmore


 HQ Air Cadets

Commandants of the ATC/AOC Air Cadets

Prior to the establishment of HQ Air Cadets as an independent  unit, the post of Commandant of the ATC was held be the AOC in C, Reserve, Home and finally Flying Training Command.  HQ Air Cadets was formed 1 May 1960 within Flying Training Command.  Transferred to Training Command, 1 Jun 1968.  Transferred to RAF Support Command, 13 Jun 1977.  Transferred to PTC, 1 Apr 1994. Renamed HQ University and Air Cadets, 10 Aug 1995.  Renamed HQ Air Cadets and HQ Elementary Flying Training, 1 Apr 1996. In 2003 the roles of AOC Cadets and Commandant ATC were separated.


Commandant ATC & AOC Air Cadets

5 Feb 1941                A/Cdre J A Chamier (Ret'd)

 1 Feb 1944                AM Sir Leslie Gossage (Ret'd)

1946 - 1960                see note above and relevant Command sections

 xx xxx 1962                A/Cdre A G Dudgeon

14 Sep 1962               A/Cdre J B Coward

23 Jun 1966                A/Cdre E J Morris

18 Jun 1968                A/Cdre J N Stacey

17 Jul 1971                 A/Cdre P O V Green

13 Oct 1973               A/Cdre T H Blackham

13 Jun 1977                A/Cdre M J E Swiney

15 Dec 1979               A/Cdre K J Goodwin

17 Apr 1982               A/Cdre P V Mayall

 6 Jan 1986                 A/Cdre P P W Taylor

 5 Jan 1987                 A/Cdre P G Naz

23 Apr 1993               A/Cdre P M Stean

12 Jan 1996                A/Cdre J A F Ford

xx xxx xxxx                 A/Cdre J D Kennedy

 3 May 2002               A/Cdre J P Chitty

AOC Cadets

24 Mar 2003                AVM D A Walker

 4 Jan 2005                  AVM J M M Ponsonby

Commandant ATC

24 Mar 2003                A/Cdre J P Chitty

27 Jul 2005                   A/Cdre D I Harrison

xx xxx xxxx                   A/Cdre I Stewart

Commandant Air Cadets

xx xxx 2010                  A/Cdre B Cooper

20 Aug 2012                A/Cdre D A McCafferty


HQ Military Air Traffic Organisation/Operations

Formed  1 Jun 1959? as UK Air Traffic Services HQ with AHQ status administered by Fighter Command.  Transferred to Strike Command, 30 Apr 1968.   Renamed HQ Military Air Traffic Operations, xx xxx xxxx?   It was disbanded 0n 31 Mar 2000. 


28 Sep 1959               A/Cdre H J Hickey

1 Feb 1962                 A/Cdre J M Thompson

19 Oct 1965               A/Cdre P M Brothers

 7 Feb 1968                A/Cdre E W Tacon

 18 Jan 1971               A/Cdre E W Wootten

 6 Oct 1973                A/Cdre W H Pope

28 Jun 1976                A/Cdre G S Cooper

 7 Jul 1978                  A/Cdre B Huxley

13 Dec 1980               A/Cdre G McA Bacon

21 Jul 1984                 A/Cdre M A Harvey

25 Jan 1991                A/Cdre G Wood

20 Jun 1994                A/Cdre C A Barrett

18 Sep 1995                A/Cdre J R D Arscott

26 Mar 1999               A/Cdre M J Fuller

AOCs past and present at the dining in evening to commemorate the closing down of MATO

Photo courtesy - Bruce Williamson

Hillingdon House, HQ of the Military Air Traffic Organisation

Photo courtesy - Bruce Williamson


This page was last updated on 23/06/17 using FrontPage 2003© 

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