Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Vice-Marshal R Graham

R Graham - 1915Ronald               b: 19 Jul 1896                        r: 29 Jun 1948                        d: 23 Jun 1967       

CB - 1 Jan 1943, CBE - 11 Jun 1942, DSO - 17 Nov 1917, DSC – 25 Oct 1916, Bar - 12 May 1917, DFC - 11 Jan 1919, CdeG (F) - 2 Nov 1917, Cwn, O - 8 Feb 1919,  Hon. S2 (A) - xx xxx 1940, MiD - xx xxx xxxx,  LoH, C - xx xxx 1946, DL (Bute) – 12 Jul 1961, JP – 1961, Lord Lt (Bute) - 19 Jul 1963.

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here 

(RNVR): - (T) Sub Lt: 18 May 1915, (P) (T) Flt Sub-Lt:  3 Sep 1915, (T) Flt Lt: 31 Dec 1916, Act Sqn Cdr: 30 Jun 1917? Flt Cdr: 20 Oct 1917,

(RAF): - (T) Maj [Lt]: 1 Apr 1918, Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1919, Sqn Ldr: 30 Jun 1922, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1930, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1936, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1939, Act AVM: 27 Mar 1940, (T) AVM: 10 Jan 1941, AVM: 1 Jun 1944.

18 May 1915:            Officer, RN Division.

 3 Sep 1915:              U/T Pilot, Hendon

xx xxx xxxx:                Attended RNAS training course, Chingford.

xx xxx xxxx:                Pilot, RNAS Killingholme

xx xxx 1916:               Pilot, Dover Seaplane Station.

 8 Jun 1916:               Pilot, Advanced Seaplane Base, Dunkerque

30 Jun 1917:              Officer Commanding, Seaplane Defence Flight (Baby – St Pol)  

29 Dec 1917:             Convalescing

xx May 1918:             Officer Commanding, No 213 Sqn. (Camel – Dunkirk Area)

21 Nov 1918:             Officer Commanding, No 233 Sqn

 5 May 1919:             Flight Commander, No 97 Sqn. (DH10 – Ford/Allahabad)

 1 Aug 1919:              Awarded Permanent Commission as a Captain  

 1 Feb 1920:               Flight Commander, No 97 Sqn. (renumbered No 60 Sqn)

 1 Apr 1920:               Flight Commander, No 60 Sqn.

xx Dec 1921:              ?

20 Feb 1922:              Attended Army Staff College, Quetta.

 5 Feb 1923:               Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

 1 Jun 1923:               FO 1, Directorate of Operations and Intelligence.

 7 Oct 1925:               Staff Officer, HQ No 2 (Indian) Wing.

 1 Mar 1926:               Directing Staff, RAF Staff College.

22 Jan 1930:               Officer Commanding, RAF Kenley.

 7 Oct 1930:                Air Staff - Intelligence, HQ Iraq Command.

 3 Apr 1934:               Air Staff, Directorate of Organisation.

14 Jan 1936:               Attended Imperial Defence College.

20 Dec 1936:              SASO, HQ Armament Group.

 1 Dec 1937:               SASO, HQ No 25 (Armament) Group.

 1 Jun 1937:                Assistant Commandant, RAF Staff College.

xx xxx 1938:                Directing Staff, Imperial Defence College.

xx xxx 1939:                Deputy SASO, HQ Fighter Command.

xx Dec 1939:               Member, Air Mission to North Africa.

xx xxx1940:                 SASO, HQ Flying Training Command.?

27 May 1940:              AOA, HQ Technical Training Command.

 1 Feb 1941:                AOA, HQ Bomber Command.

xx xxx 1943:                Planning Staff (Overlord), Air Ministry.

xx Aug 1943:               Chief of Staff (Air), HQ Combined Operations.

23 Jan 1944:                AOC, AHQ West Africa.

xx Dec 1944:               Commandant, RAF Staff College, Bulstrode Park.

xx Jul 1945:                 Commandant, RAF Staff College, Bracknell.

xx May 1946:              AOC, RAF Training Mission to Australia and New Zealand.

He was awarded his RAeC Certificate, No 2041 on 15 November 1915.  On 16 November 1916 he was forced to land on the open sea following engine trouble.  During the landing, he damaged his float and his aircraft turned over, but he was able to release is carrier pigeon, resulting in another Short seaplane coming to his rescue.  However, with him aboard the aircraft it was unable to lift off and a further pigeon was dispatched which eventually resulted in both pilots being rescued by a French torpedo boat.  In a further incident on 19 Jun 1917, he was flying a Short 184 supported by two Sopwith Baby's when they were attacked by three German floatplanes.  He eventually became to sole survivor of the incident, but was able to land next to a French destroyer and summon assistance for the casualties of both sides. He made a further forced landing in the sea in September 1917 whilst protecting Monitors shelling Ostend.  His companion, Flight Sub-Lieutenant L H Slatter, directed a destroyer, which saved both him and his aircraft.  

He was married to Phyllis (Nancy) Farmer at Rushall Church on 30 November 1918.

After his RAF service, he was appointed Commandant of the Scottish Police College in 1949, remaining as such until 1957.    

Citation for award of Distinguished Service Cross: -

"For exceptional gallantry in attacking and beating off four enemy seaplanes whilst on escort duty off the Belgian coast on the 22nd September, 1916."

(London Gazette - 25 Oct 1916)

Citation for award of Bar to the Distinguished Service Cross: -

"Fit. Lieut. Ronald Grahame, D.S.C., R.N.A.S.

For conspicuous gallantry during raids on the seaplane station at Zeebrugge.  On one occasion he descended to 600 feet, and on another occasion to 300 feet, before releasing his bombs.

(The award of the Distinguished Service Cross was announced in London Gazette dated 25th October,1916.)"

(London Gazette - 12 May 1917)

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

“Act. Flt. Cdr. Ronald Graham, D.S.C., R.N.A.S

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in air fights and bombing raids.  Since the award of a bar to the Distinguished Service Cross, Act. Flt. Cdr. Graham has carried out five night bombing raids, and attacked and brought down three enemy seaplanes.  On one occasion he ascended at night for the purpose of attacking hostile machines, notwithstanding the fact that he had only returned a few hours previously from a successful action with hostile aircraft in superior numbers.  He has always displayed remarkable skill and courage.”

(London Gazette – 17 November 1917)

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