Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
b: 13 Jan 1920
r: 31 Jan 1975
d: 19 Apr 1997
CB – 1 Jan 1970, OBE
– 1 Jan 1953, AFC – 9
Jun 1949, Bar - 1
Jan 1958, AFRAeS, MBIM.
Plt Off (P):
19 Feb 1938, Plt Off: 29 Nov 1938,
Fg Off (WS): 28 Aug 1940, Flt Lt (WS):
29 Aug 1941, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Jul 1943 (adjusted to 2 Sep 1943 on 12 Oct 1948), Act Wg
Cdr: 9 Jan 1944?, Sqn Ldr: 1 Aug
1947, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1953,
Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1959, A/Cdre: 1
Granted a Short Service Commission
Initial Officer Training, RAF Depot.?
U/T Pilot, No 9 FTS.
Attended School of General Reconnaissance.
11 Feb 1939: Supernumerary - Under instruction, RAF Calshot
Pilot, No 210? Sqn.
May 1939: Pilot, No 202 Sqn.
Pilot/Flight Commander, No 209 Sqn.
Transferred to RAFO and re-employed
Officer Commanding, No 209 Sqn.
Air Staff, HQ No 15 (Reconnaissance) Group.
Air Staff, HQ No 19 (Reconnaissance) Group
Appointed to Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant (retaining
rank current at the time).
xx xxx xxxx antedated to 1 Dec 1942 on 25 Feb 1947]
[effective xx xxx xxxx antedated to 1 Dec 1942 on 25 Feb 1947]
Officer Commanding, No ? Sqn/Wing. (Berlin Airlift)
Attended Central Flying School.
Officer Commanding, No 1 Sqn, No 203 AFS. (Driffield)
Attended Guided Weapons course, RAF Engineering College.
OC Flying, RAF Flying College.
xx Jan 1958: Staff Officer, Ministry of Supply.
Officer Commanding, RAF Christmas Island.
Officer Commanding, RAF Akrotiri.
Deputy Director of Operations - Air Defence and Overseas.
8 Mar 1965: Officer Commanding, RAF Nicosia.
Director of Quartering.
RAF Member, Armed Forces Pay Review Body.
Director, Deputy Controllerate Guided Weapons, MOD(PE).
Commander David Fitzpatrick was lucky to survive beyond his tour at the RAF
Flying College. Taking off in a
Hunter one day in 1957, the aircraft suffered an engine failure at a height
preventing him from ejecting. Narrowly
missing the station married quarters at RAF Manby, his aircraft crashed in a
field, leaving him with a broken back and damaged knee but alive.
Originally joining the RAF in 1938 on a Short Service
Commission, giving up the opportunity of playing professional cricket for Sussex
as a result. Following initial
flying training he was posted to fly Sunderlands with No 210 Squadron at
Pembroke Dock, but shortly afterwards found himself moving to Gibraltar and No
202 Squadron. With 202 he flew the
Saro London until mid 1941 when the squadron re-equipped with Catalinas.
In 1942 he moved to East Africa joining No 209 Squadron, still flying
Catalinas but now operating over the Indian Ocean instead of the Atlantic and
Mediterranean, he remained with 209 until September 1944 having been appointed
Officer Commanding in April of that year.
Awarded a permanent commission at the end of the war,
he stayed with Coastal Command and commanded a squadron/wing of Sunderlands,
during the Berlin Airlift. Rather
later in his career than usual, he undertook the CFS course qualifying as an
instructor on jets after which he took up the post of CFI at No 205 AFS based at
RAF Middleton St George, receiving his first AFC for his work here.
He next returned to school as a student, this time to the RAF Engineering
College where he completed a course in guided weapons, a area of expertise which
would play a major role in his subsequent career, after which he moved to the
RAF Flying College at Manby as OC Flying, where he suffered the injuries
mentioned above and also received the Bar to his AFC.
Recovered from his crash, he moved overseas to take
command of the RAF base on Christmas Island.
It had been from here that British H-bomb trials had been carried out the
year previously. Although he would
later contract a blood condition similar to leukaemia, he refused to connect
this with his time on the island owning to difficulty of proving such a
connection. Two spells in Cyprus as
a station commander, were interspersed with a tour at the Air Ministry in the
Directorate of Operations?. Returning
from Nicosia, were he had been involved in operations against the EOKA
terrorists, he became Director of Quartering for three years before joining the
Armed Forces Pay Review Body. His
final two appointments saw him back in the field of guided weapons within the
Procurement Executive of the Ministry of Defence.
During this period he was responsible for many of the weapons trials
carried out both at home and in Australia.
This page was last updated on 29/04/21 using FrontPage 2003©
T E J Fitton
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