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Air Marshal Sir Christopher Hartley (72439)


Christopher Harold             

b: 31 Jan 1913             r: 29 Sep 1970                     d: 29 Jul 1998

KCB 8 Jun 1963 (CB 10 Jun 1961), CBE - 1 Jan 1957 (OBE 9 Jun 1949), DFC 26 Jan 1945, AFC 1 Jan 1944, AE, MiD - 8 Jun 1944, MiD 1 Jan 1946, BA (Balliol College, Oxford).

(RAFVR): Plt Off: 23 Aug 1938, Fg Off: 23 Feb 1940, Flt Lt (WS): 17 Mar 1941, (T) Sqn Ldr: 1 Jun 1942 Act Wg Cdr: 19 Aug 1943?, Sqn Ldr (WS): 19 Feb 1944, Act Gp Capt: 16 Oct 1944, Wg Cdr (WS): 16 Apr 1945,

(RAF): Sqn Ldr: 2 Apr 1946 [1 Jan 1945], Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1947 [1 Oct 1946], Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1952, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1958, Act AVM: 20 Jul 1959, AVM: 1 Jul 1960, Act AM: 5 Jun 1963, AM: 1 Jul 1965.

23 Aug 1938:          Appointed to a Commission in the RAF Volunteer Reserve.

xx xxx 1939:           Pilot, No 604 (County of Middlesex) Sqn Aux AF.

xx xxx xxxx:            Pilot, No 256 Sqn.

xx xxx xxxx:            Pilot, Fighter Interception Unit.

xx xxx xxxx:            Staff, Central Fighter Establishment.

2 Apr 1946:            Appointed to Permanent Commission in the rank of Squadron Leader (retaining rank current at the time). [wef 1 Sep 1945 antedated to 1 Jan 1945 on 25 Feb 1947]

 1 Nov 1946:           Assistant Director of Intelligence (Technical)

xx xxx 1951:           Directing Staff, RAF Staff College, Bracknell

 1 Aug 1958:           Chief of Staff, HQ No 12 (Fighter) Group.

20 Jul 1959:            AOC, No 12 Group.

 1 Jan 1961:            Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operational Requirements).

 5 Jun 1963:            Deputy Chief of the Air Staff.

xx xxx 1967:           Controller of Aircraft, Ministry of Technology.

The son of Brigadier-General Sir Harold Hartley, Christopher Hartley did not initially plan to follow in his father's military footsteps and after Eton attended Balliol College, Oxford as a William's Exhibitioner and then King's College, Cambridge where he gained a BA Honours degree in Zoology.  He took part in various Oxford University Expeditions as a zoologist including Sarawak (1932), Spitzbergen (1933) and Greenland (1937).  In 1937, he became an Assistant Master at Eton College an a year later he joined the RAFVR.  With the outbreak of war in September 1939, he was mobilised along with other reservists and joined No 604 Sqn of the Auxiliary Air Force.

With the end of hostilities, he was offered a Permanent Commission in the RAF, which he accepted, being commissioned as a Squadron Leader.

Shortly after retiring from the RAF he became a Director of Westland Aircraft Ltd until 1983.  From 1974 until 1978 he was also Chairman of British Hovercraft Corporation when he stepped down to Deputy Chairman.

This page was last updated on 14/02/24

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