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Air Marshal Sir Michael Giddings (113414)

 Kenneth Charles Michael           b:  27 Aug 1920                      r:   19 Jun 1976                d: 5 Apr 2009

KCB - xx xxx 1975, OBE - 5 Jun 1952, DFC - 9 Feb 1945, AFC - 8 Jun 1950, Bar - 2 Jan 1956, AFRAeS.

(RAFVR): AC2:  xx xx 1940, LAC:  xx xxx xxxx, Sgt:  xx xxx 1941, Plt Off (P) (Emer):  1 Nov 1941, Fg Off (P) (WS):  1 Oct 1942, Flt Lt (WS): xx xxx xxxx, Sqn Ldr (WS):  1 Nov 1943,

(RAF): Flt Lt: 28 Feb 1947 [1 Sep 1945], Sqn Ldr:  1 Jan 1950, Act Wg Cdr: xx xxx xxxx, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1956, Gp Capt:  1 Jul 1960, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1965, Act AVM: 8 Jul 1968, AVM: 1 Jan 1969, AM: 1 Jan 1974.

xx xxx 1940:               Initial Training, No ? ITW (1331014)

xx xxx 1940:               U/T Pilot in USA

 1 Nov 1941:            Appointed to an Emergency Commission in the General Duties Branch, RAFVR

xx xxx xxxx:               Pilot, No 122 Sqn

xx xxx 1942:               En-route to Malta on HMS Eagle

xx Aug 1942:              Pilot, No 126? Sqn (Malta)

xx Nov 1942:             En-route to UK following an accident/Recuperation

xx xxx 1944:               Flight Commander, No 118 Sqn

xx Apr 1945:             Officer Commanding, No 129 Sqn

xx xxx 1946:              Attended Empire Test Pilots School

xx xxx 1947:              Test Pilot, RAE

16 Jan 1950:              Staff Officer - Operations, HQ Fighter Command

xx xxx 1953:              Attended RAF Staff College.

xx xxx 1954:              Officer Commanding, Flying Wing, RAF Waterbeach

xx xxx 1956:               Officer Commanding, Tactics Wing, Central Fighter Establishment

xx xxx 1957:               Officer Commanding No 57 Sqn

19 May 1960:             Group Captain - Air, HQ Bomber Command

xx xxx 1962:               Superintendent of Flying, A & AEE

 5 Oct 1964:               Director of Aircraft Projects, MoD

17 Nov 1967:             AOC, Central Reconnaissance Establishment

29 Jul 1968:                Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operational Requirements)

xx xxx 1971:              Chief of Staff, No 18 Group

 4 Jul 1973:                Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Operational Requirements)

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross

"Flight Lieutenant Kenneth Charles Michael GIDDINGS (113414), R.A.F.V.R., 118 Sqn.

Flight Lieutenant Giddings has completed a very large number of varied sorties. He has led his flight and, on occasions, the squadron with great skill and determination, factors which have contributed in good measure to the success obtained.  In air fighting Flight Lieutenant Giddings has destroyed four and damaged several more enemy aircraft."

(London Gazette - 9 Feb 1945)

Citation for the award of the Air Force Cross 

"GIDDINGS, Kenneth Charles Michael, S/L, DFC (113414) - Experimental Flying Department, Royal Aircraft Establishment, Farnborough.

Squadron Leader Giddings has completed three and a half years on test flying duties, six months of these being spent as an instructor at the Empire Test Pilots School.  For the past fifteen months, he has been Flight Commander of the Electrical and Wireless Flight at this Establishment.  Although a good deal of this officer’s work has been of  a routine and unspectacular nature, some has entailed considerable risk and has called for a high degree of skill and accuracy without which the experiments would have been well nigh worthless.  Typical of this is the work carried out by him in conditions of poor visibility, both by day and night, in connection with the development of the high intensity approach lighting system such as is now installed at London and other airports.  In the early development stages of these various systems, before they became reliable, the work involved a considerable degree of risk due to the uncertainty of the facilities being tested.  Squadron Leader Giddings’ duties have involved him in considerable experimental flight work, requiring very accurate and careful flying.  Most of his work was concerned with the development of radio equipment, including radio landing aids, radio altimeters, loop distance radio navigational aids, and the measurent of aerial polar diagrams in flight.  For polar diagram work, an extremely high standard of flying skill is essential, accurate flying being required in both track and direction, and Squadron Leader Giddings was particularly successful in this class of work.  He showed appreciation of the broad technical problems involved, and was able to evaluate the effects of these on aircraft and their operational use.  Squadron Leader Giddings has proved himself to be a most competent and reliable test pilot and Flight Commander, a good organiser and possessed of an aptitude for producing the most comprehensive and accurate reports. The example he has given, both by the interest that he has displayed and his readiness to undertake any commitment, regardless of its danger or boredom, has been an inspiration for all.  Moreover, his enthusiastic approach to all his work has made discussions with the scientific staff particularly valuable and has helped them to a marked degree."

(Source - AIR 2/10073 . Recommended when he had flown 2,525 hours, 664 on current duties, 95 in previous six months)

This page was last updated on 21/01/24

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