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Air Marshal Sir Leonard Slatter

L H Slatter - 1916Leonard Horatio                       b: 8 Dec 1894              r: 1 Feb 1949              d: 14 Apr 1961

KBE - 27 Nov 1942 (OBE - 12 Jul 1920), CB - 30 May 1941, DSC - 17 Nov 1917, Bar - 17 May 1918, DFC - 1 Jan 1919, MiD - 11 Jun 1942, SS2 - xx xxx 1919, GI-GO - 6 Sep 1946, DL (Bedfordshire) - 11 Jun 1951.  

For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here

(RNR/RNAS): - (T) Sub-Lt: 8 Nov 1915, (T) PFO: 29 Nov 1916, Flt. Sub-Lt: xx xxx xxxx [29 Nov 1916], (T) Flt Lt: 1 Oct 1917, Act Flt Cdr: xx Nov 1917.

(RAF): - (T) Capt: (Lt):  1 Apr 1918, Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Act Sqn Ldr: xx xxx 1920, Sqn Ldr: 1 Jan 1924, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1932, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1937, Act A/Cdre: xx xxx xxxx, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jun 1940, Act AVM: 10 Mar 1942, (T) AVM: 1 Dec 1942, AVM: 1 Dec 1944, Act AM: 30 Jun 1945, AM: 1 Jul 1947.

xx xxx 1914:       Dispatch Rider, Naval Armoured Car Division.

xx xxx 1915:         U/T Observer, RNAS.

xx Feb 1916:        Observer, Seaplane Squadron, Dunkirk.

xx Jul 1916:          U/T Pilot, RNAS

xx xxx 1916:         Seaplane Pilot, RNAS Dover

xx Feb 1917:        Pilot/Flight Commander, SDF/No 13 Sqn RNAS/No 213 Sqn RAF. (Sopwith 11 Strutters Dunkirk)

xx Jul 1918:          Pilot, No 4 ASD Pilot Pool.

xx xxx 1919:         Flight Commander, 'A' Flt, No 47 Sqn. (DH9, DH9A South Russia)

 1 Aug 1919:         Awarded Permanent Commission as a Captain

18-20 Apr 1920:   In transit from Constantinople to Port Said    

20 Apr 1920:        Proceeded to HQ Kantara

24 Apr 1920:        Attached, HQ Egypt Group

27 Apr 1920:        Attached, No 70 Sqn (for accommodation and rations)

10 Ju 1920:           Embarked at Port Said for UK

30 Aug 1920:        Flight Commander, No 205 Sqn (Leuchars)

 1 Oct 1921:         Flight Commander, No 203 Sqn. (Nightjar - Leuchars)

xx xxx xxxx:          Officer Commanding, No 203 Sqn. (Nightjar Turkey)

11 Jan - 10 Mar 1922:    Placed on half pay list, scale B

 1 Mar 1922:        Flight Commander/Officer Commanding, No 230 Sqn. 

26 Jan 1924:         Officer Commanding, RAF Base - Malta.

24 Jun 1926:         Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

 6 Sep 1926:         Officer Commanding, RAF High Speed Flight - MAEE.

25 Jan 1928:         Staff, Superintendent of RAF Reserve.

 1 Dec 1928 - 7 Jan 1929        Officer Commanding, RAF Hendon (Temporary)

31 Jul 1929:          Officer Commanding, No 19 Sqn. (Siskin IIIA Duxford)

23 Oct 1929:         Supernumerary, No 111 Sqn (Siskin IIIA Hornchurch)

25 Oct 1929:         Officer Commanding, No 111 Sqn/RAF Hornchurch

13 Nov 1930:        Supernumerary, No 43 Sqn. (Siskin IIIA, Fury I Tangmere)

18 Dec 1930:        Officer Commanding, No 43 Sqn. (Siskin IIIA, Fury I Tangmere)

 3 Jan 1932:           Supernumerary, RAF Depot

 2 May 1932:         Attended Senior Officer's Tactical Course, Portsmouth.

22 Aug 1932:         Officer Commanding - Flying, HMS Courageous

 9 Aug 1935:          Officer Commanding, RAF Tangmere.

13 Apr 1937:         Officer Commanding, RAF Feltwell.

 8 Aug 1939:          Supernumerary, RAF Bassingbourn.

15 Aug 1939:         Officer Commanding, RAF Bassingbourn.

 3 Sep 1939:           SASO, No 1 (Bomber) Group.

 2 Feb 1940:           AOA, HQ British Forces in Iraq.

17 Aug 1940:          AOC, No 203 Group.

xx Jul 1941:             AOC, No 201 (Naval Co-Operation) Group.

xx xxx 1942:            AOC, No 9 (Fighter) Group

xx Jun 1942:             ?

21 Feb 1943:           AOC, No 15 Group.

30 Jun 1945:            AOC in C, Coastal Command.

Born in Durban and educated at Dale College and Selborne College, he qualified as a Civil Engineer before WW1, he was awarded RAeC Certificate No 3912 on 14  November 1916.

Having claimed five enemy aircraft he was posted as an instructor but still managed to venture over the front and brought down his sixth and final victory on 30 August 1918.  In 1926, he was appointed Captain of the RAF's Team for the Schneider Trophy for the 1927 competition held in Venice.  The race was won by ? which secured the trophy for the RAF for the first time.  Following the success of the High Speed Flight, he then undertook a solo flight from England to South Africa.

In 1940 he was sent out to West Africa along with Group Captain H K Thorold, and between them they confirmed the suitability of the area as a base for the acceptance, assembly and dispatch of aircraft delivered from Britain to the Middle East.  He then continued on to the Sudan where he took command of No 203 Group consisting of RAF units in the Sudan fighting against the Italians.  After the campaign, he submitted a report to the Air Ministry suggesting that, based on this small action, future campaigns would be improved by :-

1.  The provision of more transport aircraft.      

2.  The need to develop the re-supply of ground troops by air dropping.

3.  The provision of long range fighters for escort duties.

4.  The provision of more Red Cross/Casualty evacuation aircraft.

5.  The increased use of dive bombers.

All of these points eventually proved to be vital for the success of subsequent operations.

Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Order

Flt. Sub-Lieut, (now Flt. Lieut.) Leonard Horatio Slatter, R.N.A.S.

For conspicuous gallantry and skill on many occasions both as observer and pilot.  He has taken part in numerous night bombing raids, and 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.  On the 4th September, 1917, he attacked an enemy Torpedo Boat Destroyer with machine gun fire.

(London Gazette 17 November 1917)

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

Flt. Lieut.(Act. Flt. Cdr.) Leonard Horatio Slatter, D.S.C., R.N.A.S.

For distinguished service rendered during a bombing attack on Ostende Seaplane Station on the 26th March, 1918, when, in spite of intense anti-aircraft fire and the glare of numerous searchlights, he descended to 400 feet over his objective to drop bombs.  Flt. Cdr. Slatter is a leader of unqualified keenness and dash and possessed of exceptional courage and judgment.

(London Gazette 17 May 1918)


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