Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Air Vice-Marshal P M S Hedgeland (122540)

(Peter) Michael Sweatman        b: 24 Nov 1922           r: 31 Mar 1978            d: 25 Dec 2009

CB – 31 Dec 1977, OBE – 1 Jan 1957 (MBE – 10 Jun 1948), MiD – 2 Jun 1943, BSc (Eng), CEng, FIEE, FCGI.

(RAF): - Plt Off (P)(Emer): 10 Jun 1942, Fg Off (P)(WS): 9 May/9 Nov 1942, Fg Off: 1 Jul 1946 [9 Nov 1942], Flt Lt (WS): 1 Jul 1946, Flt Lt: 10 Oct 1945 (adjusted 24 Feb 1948), Sqn Ldr: 1 Jan 1953, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1958, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1963, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1968, AVM: 1 Jan 1975.

(RAFVR(T)): Fg Off: - xx xxx xxxx.

xx Aug 1942:                Technical Officer, Telecommunications Research Establishment.

xx xxx 1942:                 Radar Officer, No 35 Sqn.

xx xxx 1944:                 Radar Officer, RAF Wyton

xx xxx 1945:                 Technical Officer, Telecommunications Research Establishment.

xx xxx  1945:                Technical Officer, Central Bomber Establishment.

xx Sep 1948:                Attended Imperial College, London

xx Sep 1948                Member, London UAS

xx xxx 1951:                 Attended No ? Flying Training School.

xx Feb 1952                 Technical Officer, Telecommunications Research Establishment.

17 Apr 1957:                Officer Commanding , Avionics Development Unit, HQ Bomber Command.

30 Jan 1961:                 Staff Officer, Deputy Directorate of Technical Services.

xx xxx 1962:                 Attended Air Warfare Course.

10 May 1963:               Director of Signals, HQ Far East Command/Signals Advisor to C-in-C, Far East Command

14 Feb 1966:               Officer Commanding, RAF Stanbridge.

xx xxx 1970:                 Attended Imperial Defence College.

xx xxx 1971:                 Director of Electronics, Airborne Radar, MoD (PE)

 1 Mar 1975:                Senior RAF Member, Ordnance Board

xx xxx xxxx:                  Vice President, Ordnance Board

xx xxx xxxx:                  President, Ordnance Board

Although he wanted to be a pilot his interest in radio, being a ‘Radio Ham’ and having worked for a short period at the BBC led to him being commissioned into the Technical Branch as a Signals Specialist.  He was soon working on a team led by Sir Bernard Lovell developing the H2S blind bombing radar.  He then led the team of engineers that installed the new device into the Halifaxes of No 35 Squadron and remained on the unit as the radar officer, the first such appointment in Bomber Command.  In 1944 he moved to Wyton before returning to the TRE in 1945.

Whilst studying at Imperial College he realised his ambition and learned to fly with the London University Air Squadron, qualifying as a military pilot on his return to duty, after which he converted to the Meteor.  He would often fly aircraft to calibrate radars systems.  On his third tour at TRE he developed the bombing and navigation systems of the next generation of RAF bombers – the V-Force.

Following retirement from the RAF he became a consultant to a number of  companies working in the field of communications and continued to fly air cadets as a member of the RAFVR(T).  He was also a member of the Pathfinder Association and was elected President from 1985 to 1987, a unique honour for a non-aircrew officer.

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