Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Vice-Marshal Sir Conrad Collier

Sir Alfred Conrad Collier(Alfred) Conrad           b: 16 Nov 1895                 r:  2 Jul 1946                  d: 16 Sep 1986

KCB - 1 Jan 1947 (CB - 2 Jun 1943), CBE - 1 Jan 1941, MiD - 16 Dec 1919, FRAeS.

(Army): - (T) 2 Lt: 22 Sep 1914, (T) (H) Lt: xx xxx xxxx, (T) (H) Capt: 19 Jan 1918

(RAF): - Lt: 1 Apr 1918, Fg Off: 1 Aug 1919?, Flt Lt: 1 Jan 1922, Act Sqn Ldr: 5 Jul 1928?, Sqn Ldr: 14 May 1930, Act Wg Cdr (unp): 28 Nov 1934, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1936, Act Gp Capt: xx xxx 1938, Act A/Cdre: xx xxx 1940?, Act AVM: 25 Jun 1941, (T) A/Cdre: 15 Jul 1941, Gp Capt: 14 Apr 1942 [1 Jan 1940], A/Cdre (WS): 25 Jun 1942, (T) AVM: 1 Dec 1943, AVM: 1 Jan 1946.

Sir Alfred Conrad Collier

by Walter Stoneman
bromide print, February 1945
NPG x166669

© National Portrait Gallery, London

22 Sep 1914:               Officer, 9th King's Own (Royal Lancashire) Regiment.

30 Jul 1915:                 Flying Officer, RFC.

14 Aug 1915:               Transferred to RFC General List and embarked for France

17 Aug 1915:               Pilot, No 3 Sqn RFC

22 Oct 1915:               Prisoner of War.

xx xxx 1919:                Served in North Russia.

 1 Aug 1919:                Awarded Permanent Commission in the rank of Flying Officer (gazetted 4 Nov 1919)

26 Jan 1920:                Member, Aeronautical Committee of Guarantee (Austria).

 1 Aug 1921:                Member, Aeronautical Commission of Control (Hungary).

21 Apr 1922:               Supernumerary, RAF Depot.  

26 Jun 1922:                Flight Commander, No 39 Sqn.

 1 Oct 1922:                Adjutant, No 24 Sqn.

15 Jan 1923:                AI 2 (a), Directorate of Operations and Intelligence.

15 May 1925:              Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

29 May 1925:              Refresher Flying Course, No 24 Sqn.

20 Jul 1925:                 'B' Flight Commander, No 43 Sqn.

14 Oct - 18 Nov 1927:               Officer Commanding (Temporary), No 111 Sqn

22 Jun 1928:                Posted to Special Duty List for service in Estonia.

 5 Jul 1928:                  Seconded to Estonian Government as Air Advisor to the Army.

 5 Sep 1930:                Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

19 Jan 1931:                Attended RAF Staff College.

19 Dec 1931:               Air Staff, HQ ADGB.

13 Jan 1934:                Officer Commanding, No 12 Sqn.

 1 Dec 1934:                Air Attaché, Moscow.

 9 Apr 1937:                Staff, Deputy Directorate of Plans.

22 Dec 1938:               Deputy Director of Plans.

xx Jan 1940:                SASO, Advanced Air Striking Force.

27 Jun 1940:                SASO, HQ No 1 Group.

xx xxx 1940:                Director of Allied Air Co-operation.

xx xxx 1941:                Head of Air Section, British Military Mission to Moscow.

 2 Apr 1942:                AOA, HQ Air Forces in India.

 4 Oct 1943:                Deputy AOC in C, Transport Command.

28 Feb 1946:               AOC, No 3 (Bomber) Group.

He attended Sherborne School from 1909 to 1914 and was awarded a place at Clare College, Cambridge, but wasn't able to take it up due to the start of the war.

He received a Mention in Despatches for valuable services whilst in captivity.  He married Gladys Mary Carmichael Luis at St Mark's Church, Hamilton Terrace on 20 March 1920.

Retiring from the RAF, he joined the Ministry of Civil Aviation, initially as Director-General of Technical Services (1946 - 47) and later Controller of Technical and Operational Services (1947 - 48), it was for this work that he was knighted in 1947.

Citation for the award of Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath.

COLLIER, Alfred Conrad, A/V/M, CB, OBE - Transport Command Headquarters - awarded as per London Gazette dated 1 January 1947.

"This officer served as Deputy Commander-in-Chief during 1944 and 1945 when Transport Command was passing through a period of intense activity.  In 1945, its activities increased fourfold, the passenger traffic alone being twenty times that of the whole of British Civil Aviation in 1938.  Moreover, the Command was responsible for the ground organization (including signals) along the main trunk routes which stretched all over the world.  A vast amount of detailed organization was required, and it is a tribute to the skill and energy of Air Vice-Marshal Collier that the accident rate for scheduled services and trooping commitments was only half that of British Civil Aviation for the years 1934-1938.  He was entirely responsible for coordinating all plans and administering the staff organization.  His Service experience and grasp of the situation eminently fitted him to hold the position of Deputy Commander-in-Chief and he has achieved great success in this role."

This page was last updated on 24/11/22

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