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Air Vice-Marshal F D Hughes (74706)

(Frederick) Desmond Hughes(Frederick) Desmond            b: 6 Jun 1919                      r: 6 Jun 1974                d: 11 Jan 1992

CB – 3 Jun 1972, CBE - 1 Jan 1962, DSO – 23 Mar 1945, DFC – 18 Apr 1941, Bar – 13 Apr 1943, Bar – 28 Sep 1943, AFC - 1 Jan 1954, DL (Lincolnshire) – 22 Nov 1983, MA

(RAFVR): Plt Off: 3 Oct 1939, Fg Off: 3 Oct 1940, Flt Lt: 3 Oct 1940, Act Sqn Ldr: 26 Jan 1943?, Act Wg Cdr: 26 Jan 1944?, Sqn Ldr  (WS): 26 Jul 1944,

(RAF): Flt Lt: 2 Apr 1946 [1 Dec 1942], (T) Sqn Ldr: 3 Dec 1946 [1 Jul 1945], Sqn Ldr: 1 Aug 1947, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1953, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1958, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1963, Act AVM: 12 Sep 1966, AVM: 1 Jul 1967.

(Frederick) Desmond Hughes

by Walter Bird
bromide print, 1 December 1966
NPG x168466

© National Portrait Gallery, London

xx xxx xxxx:            U/T Pilot, Cambridge University Air Sqn.

xx Sep 1939:           Attended RAF College Cranwell.  

 3 Oct 1939:           Appointed to a Direct Entry Commission in the RAFVR.

xx xxx 1940:           Attended School of Army Co-operation.

xx Jun 1940:           Attended No 5 OTU.

xx xxx 1940:           Pilot, No 26 Sqn.

10 - 19 Jun 1940:           Attended No 5 OTU, RAF Aston Down

19 Jun 1940:           Pilot, No 264 Sqn. (Defiants)

xx xxx 1941:           ?

xx Jul 1942:             Flight Commander, No 125 Sqn.

19 Dec 1942:          Flight Commander, No 600 (City of London) Sqn.

xx xxx 1943:           Air Staff, HQ Fighter Command.

20 Jan 1944:           Air Staff, HQ No 85 Group, 2nd TAF.

xx Jul 1944:             Officer Commanding, No 604 (County of Middlesex) Sqn.

 7 May 1945:           Air Staff, HQ Fighter Command.

2 Apr 1946:            Appointed to Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant (retaining rank current at the time). [effective 1 Sep 1945 antedated to 1 Dec 1942 on 25 Feb 1947]

xx xxx xxxx:              ?

28 Mar 1949:            Air Staff - Operations, HQ Fighter Command

xx xxx xxxx:              ?

xx xxx 1954:             Directing Staff, RAF Staff College, Bracknell.

28 May 1956:             PSO to Chief of the Air Staff.

xx xxx 1959:             Officer Commanding, RAF Geilenkirchen.

22 Aug 1961:            Staff Officer, Department of the CAS.

21 Jan 1963:             Director of Air Staff Plans  

30 Sep 1963:            Appointed ADC to The Queen.

12 Sep 1966:            AOA, HQ Flying Training Command.

 1 Oct 1968:             AOC, No 18 Group/Air Officer, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  

xx xxx xxxx:           Commander, Northern Maritime Air Region

 9 Mar 1970:            AOC & Commandant, RAF College.

14 Oct 1972:            SASO, HQ Near East Air Force.

Born in Belfast, he lived in Donaglidee in County Down.  He joined Cambridge UAS whilst a Law undergraduate at Pembroke College and was called up on the outbreak of war in September 1939.    Having attended the first war course at Cranwell, he completed his flying training at the School of Army Co-operation before being posted to No 26 Squadron.  However, the need for more fighter pilots during the Battle of Britain led to him volunteering and he was posted to No 264 Squadron flying the new Defiant.  Surviving the disastrous daylight operations of the Defiants, he went on to become a successful night fighter pilot.  On 11 August 1943 he and his Radar Operator, Laurie Dixon, managing to destroy three Ju88's during one sortie.   In 1944, he was appointed to command No 604 squadron operating as part of the AEAF and again he took Laurie Dixon with him as his Radar Operator.  By the end of the war he had been credited with 18 confirmed victories, one shared, one probable and one damaged.

In 1982, he was made Honorary Air Commodore of No 2503 Squadron, Royal Auxiliary Air Force Regiment and in 1983, became Deputy Lieutenant of Lincoln.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order.

"Acting Wing Commander Frederick Desmond HUGHES, D.F.C. (74706), R.A.F.V.R., 604 Sqn.

Wing Commander Hughes has displayed the highest standard of devotion to duty throughout a long period of operational flying.  His outstanding keenness, great skill and unsurpassed determination have been well reflected in the success of the squadron which, under his brilliant leadership, has been responsible for the destruction of a good number of enemy aircraft.  Among his own personal successes, Wing Commander Hughes has destroyed18 enemy aircraft."

(London Gazette – 23 March 1945)

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross and Distinguished Flying Medal.

“Flying Officer Frederick Desmond HUGHES (74706), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No.264 Squadron.

967911 Sergeant Fred GASH, No.264 Squadron.

Flying Officer Hughes and Sergeant Gash as pilot and air gunner respectively have participated in numerous engagements against the enemy, both by day and night.  During these flights four enemy aircraft have been destroyed, of which two were shot down at night.”

(London Gazette – 18 April 1941)

Citation for the award of the Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross.

"Acting Squadron Leader Frederick Desmond HUGHES, D.F.C. (74706), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 600 Squadron.

Distinguished Flying Cross.

Flying Officer Lawrence DIXON (116698), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No. 600 Squadron.

As pilot and observer respectively, Squadron Leader Hughes and Flying Officer Dixon have flown together on many night sorties in operations in North Africa. During these flights they have destroyed 3 enemy aircraft. Squadron Leader Hughes and Flying Officer Dixon have displayed great skill and keenness, setting a praiseworthy example."

(London Gazette – 13 April 1943)

Citation for the award of the Second Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross.

“Acting Squadron Leader Frederick Desmond HUGHES, D.F.C. (74706), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, No.600 Squadron.

Squadron Leader Hughes is a brilliant night fighter whose determined efforts have met with further successes.  Since being awarded a bar to 'the Distinguished Flying Cross he has destroyed 7 enemy aircraft.  His total victories number at least 16,of which 13 have been destroyed at night.   Squadron Leader Hughes is a highly efficient flight commander and his meritorious, work has been reflected in the efforts of his flight which has earned notable successes.”

(London Gazette – 28 September 1943)

Defiant of No 264 Squadron as flown by F D Hughes.

This page was last updated on 09/01/24

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