Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
Air Commodore J H Greswell (37318)
b: 28 Jul 1916
r: 28 Jul 1968
d: 19 Nov 2000
– 10 Jun 1967, CBE – 2 Jun 1962 (OBE - 1 Jan 1946), DSO
– 28 Mar 1944, DFC – 28 Jul 1942, MiD - 1 Jan 1941.
Plt Off: 30
Sep 1935, Plt Off: 6 Aug 1936,
Fg Off: 6 Feb 1938, Act Flt Lt:
6 Feb 1939, Flt Lt (WS): 6 Feb
1940, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Mar 1941, Act Wg
Cdr: 1 Mar 1942?, (T) Wg Cdr: 1
Jun 1942, Sqn Ldr (WS): 1 Sep 1942,
Act Gp Capt: xx xxx 1943, Sqn Ldr:
25 Feb 1947 [1 Jun 1944], Wg Cdr: 1
Jul 1947, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1955,
Act A/Cdre: xx xxx 1961 A/Cdre:
1 Jan 1962.
Short Service Commission in the rank of Acting Pilot Officer on probation.
Initial Officer Training, RAF Depot?
U/T Pilot, No 5 FTS.
Pilot, No 217 Sqn.
Staff, Coastal Command Development Unit
Officer Commanding, No 1471 Flight
Flight Commander, No 172 Sqn.
Air Staff, HQ Coastal Command.
Liaison Officer to US Navy.
Air Staff, HQ No 19 Group.
Officer Commanding, No 179 Sqn.
Air Staff, HQ Coastal Command.
to RAFO and called up for service.
Air Staff, HQ No 18 (Reconnaissance) Group.
Air Staff, HQ Coastal Command
Air Liaison Officer, Pacific Fleet.
Appointed to a Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader
(retaining rank current at the time) [wef 1 Sep 1945 antedated to 1 Jun 1944
on 25 Feb 1947]
Staff, Joint Anti-Submarine School.
Staff, RAF Flying College.
xx xxx 1954: Planning Staff, MoD.
19 Sep 1955: Staff Officer, Directorate of Plans
Officer Commanding, RAF Kinloss.
Group Captain - Operations Plans, HQ Coastal Command.
UK National Military Representative to NATO Standing Group.
Commandant, Royal Observer Corps.
Greswell made RAF history on the night of 3/4 May 1942, when he carried
out the first successful night attack on a surfaced submarine using the newly
introduced Leigh Light. Then a
flight commander in No 172 Squadron he was
flying Wellington ES986, when his radar operator picked up a radar
contact. Successfully homing onto
the contact he used the light to illuminate the Italian submarine Luigi
Torelli which was recharging its batteries on the surface and carried out an
attack which crippled the boat. Although
not sunk, it was prevented from submerging and was later captured, repaired and
put into service with the Royal Navy. His
co-pilot on this occasion was Allan Triggs, who would later be awarded the VC
for carrying out an attack on a German U-boat.
He had been invovled in development of the Leigh Light from his early days at the CCDU and as a result he was tasked with carrying out its operational trials with No 1471 Flight, which was later absorbed by No 172 Squadron.
Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross
"GRESWELL, Jeaffreson Herbert, S/L (37318, Royal Air Force) - No.172 Squadron. This captain of aircraft has at all times displayed high qualities of perseverance and enthusiasm in the performance of his duties. On one occasion he carried out a successful low level bombing attack on an enemy submarine."
(Source - Royal Air Force Quarterly, December 1942.)
This page was last updated on 11/08/23©
E B Grenfell
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