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Air Vice-Marshal R S Aitken

Robert Stanley     b: 4 Apr 1896          r: 20 Jul 1946          d: 21 Jan 1982

CB – 5 Jul 1945, CBE –  51 Jan 1942 (OBE – 11 May 1937), MC – 26 Jul 1917, AFC – 2 Nov 1918, LoM (Off) – 1 Jan 1946.

(Army): - Pte (3170): 2 Dec 1914, 2 Lt: 14 Dec 1915, (T) Lt: 1 Jan 1917, Lt: 1 Jul 1917, Capt: 9 Jul 1917.

(RAF): - (T) Capt [Lt]: 1 Apr 1918, Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Sqn Ldr: 1 Jul 1928, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1935, Gp Capt: 1 Nov 1938, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Dec 1940, (T) AVM: 1 Jun 1943, A/Cdre: 1 Dec 1943, AVM: Retained,

AVM R S Aitken R S Aitken
AVM R S Aitken

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, 23 July 1946
NPG x163452

© National Portrait Gallery, London

R S Aitken as a Group Captain in Full Dress



 2 Dec 1914:               Private, 'A' Company, 2/15 London Regiment (PWO Civil Service Rifles), Bishop’s Stortford

14 Dec 1915:               Officer, 1/1 East Anglian (Essex) Royal Garrison Artillery, Cavenham, Mildenhall, Suffolk

29 Aug 1916:               Flying Officer, RFC

15 Oct 1916:               Pilot, No 41 Sqn

 9 Jul 1917:                  Flight Commander, No 52 Sqn, RFC.

xx Mar 1918:               Flight Commander, No 7? Sqn, RFC.

xx xxx 1918:                 Instructor, No ? TDS

 1 Aug 1919:                Relinquished his Commission in the East Anglian (Essex) Royal Garrison Artillery.

28 Oct 1919:                Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant (wef 1 Aug 1919)

25 Nov 1919:               Instructor, No 2 School of Technical Training (Boys), Cranwell

 6 Jan 1921:                 Instructor, Flying Wing, RAF (Cadet) College.

30 Jun 1921:                Attended Electrical and Wireless School.

xx xxx xxxx:                  Supernumerary?

14 Sep 1922:               Signals Officer, HQ Iraq Command.

22 Nov 1924:               Signals Officer, HQ RAF Mediterranean.

xx xxx xxxx:                  Supernumerary?

22 Sep 1927:               Staff Officer, Signals Branch.

 1 Sep 1928:                Officer Commanding, No 41 Sqn.

 2 Apr - 22 May 1929:    Officer Commanding, RAF Northolt

 6 Feb 1930:                Officer Commanding, No 25 Sqn/RAF Hawkinge

16 Mar - 24 Apr 1930:        Admitted to Shorncliffe Military Hospital

 6 Oct 1930:                 Air Staff (Signals), HQ Air Defence of Great Britain.

 4 Jan 1932:                  Staff Officer, Signals Branch. ()No 1 Air Defence Group)

12 Dec 1932:               Chief Signals Officer, HQ Air Defence of Great Britain.

14 Jul 1936:                 Chief Signals Officer, HQ Bomber Command

12 Apr 1937:               Assistant Director, Directorate of Signals.

26 Jan 1939:                Air Attache, Shanghai/Chunking

xx xxx 1940:                 Signals Officer, Air Staff, Air Ministry

xx xxx 1940:                 Chief Signals Officer, HQ Fighter Command.

24 Apr 1940:               Transferred to the Technical Branch

27 Mar 1942:               AOC, No 60 (Signals) Group

25 Feb 1944:               Chief Signals Officer, HQ Mediterranean Allied Air Forces.

He was educated at Highgate and in Wiesbaden in Germany.  Whilst in Malta, he was married at St Paul’s Cathedral on the island on 6 April 1925.

Citation for the award of the Military Cross

“2nd Lt. (temp. Lt.) Robert Stanley Aitken, R.G.A. and R.F.C.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. On several occasions he made most valuable reconnaissances of the enemy's line, and on two successive days he engaged   and severely damaged hostile batteries, working under most adverse weather  conditions.”

(London Gazette – 26 July 1917)

Citation for the award of the Legion of Merit, Degree of Officer (United States)

Legion of Merit, Degree of Officer (United States) - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1946.

"Air Vice-Marshal R. Stanley Aitken, Royal Air Force, served in the Mediterranean Theatre of Operations from December 19, 1943 to May 2, 1945.  Upon his assignment to Headquarters, Mediterranean Allied Air Forces, it became the responsibility of Air Vice-Marshal Aitken to organize, coordinate and supervise the extensive joint British-American communications program vital to the success of the combined air effort of the Allied Forces in the Mediterranean Theatre.  Through his comprehensive knowledge, personal ability, and efficiency he was able to fully unit the efforts of the Allied signal and communication services of the two Air Forces in producing a maximum of service and reliability in the furtherance of the air effort.  This objective was obtained speedily and without confusion to produce an efficiency of signal operations which was a great credit to the Armed Forces."

(Source - National Archives of Canada, file HQ-C-54-27-94-32, Record Group 24, Volume 2236

This page was last updated on 22/11/22

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