bromide print, November 1943
© National Portrait Gallery, London
Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
Air Vice Marshal C B S Spackman (08123)
Charles Basil Slater b: 4 Jul 1895 r: 4 Apr 1950 d: 7 Dec 1971
CB - 2 Jan 1950, CBE - 1 Jan 1945, DFC - 3 Jun 1918, Bar - 10 Oct 1922, MiD - 28 Oct 1921, MM3 - 12 Jul 1920.
For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations,
For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here
(Army):- L/Cpl: xx xxx 1914, (T) 2 Lt: 3 Apr 1915, Act Capt: xx xxx xxxx - 15 Dec 1915, Lt: 1 Jun 1916.
(RAF):- Lt: 1 Apr 1918, Fg Off: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Fg Off: 24 Oct 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Flt Lt: 1 Jan 1922 [1 Apr 1918], Sqn Ldr: 30 Jun 1931, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1937, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Mar 1940, Act A/Cdre: 13 Jul 1941?, Gp Capt (WS): 13 Jan 1942?, Gp Capt: 14 Apr 1942 [1 Mar 1940], (T) A/Cdre: 1 Nov 1942, Act AVM: 13 Sep 1943, A/Cdre (WS): 13 Sep 1944, (T) AVM: 1 Jan 1946, A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1946, AVM: 1 Oct 1946.
Photo (Far left) - taken from his RAeC Certificate Photo (left) - Charles Basil Slater Spackman © National Portrait Gallery, London
bromide print, November 1943
Photo (Far left) - taken from his RAeC Certificate
Photo (left) -
Charles Basil Slater Spackman
© National Portrait Gallery, London
xx Aug 1914: Private, 4th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment.
xx xxx 1914: Lance
Corporal, 4th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment.
3 Apr 1915:
Officer, 4th Battalion, Norfolk Regiment.
29 Jul 1915: Embarked for Middle East on HMT 'Aquitania'
6 Aug 1915: Disembarked at Lemnos
10 Aug 1915: Served at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli
7/8 Dec 1915: Evacuated to Mudros
24 Dec 1915: Embarked at Mudros for Alexandria per SS Victorian
26 Jan - 16 Mar 1916: Admitted to 19th General Hospital
29 Nov 1916: Transferred to RFC
30 Nov 1916: Attended No 3 School of Military Aeronautics
xx xxx xxxx: U/T Pilot, No 22 Reserve Sqn
9 Feb - 8 Mar 1917: Admitted to 17 General Hospital, Alexandria (Slightly injured in a flying accident, having side-slipped in a turn in a BE2c at Aboukir on 7 Feb 1917)
xx xxx xxxx: U/T Pilot, No 23 Reserve Sqn
xx xxx 1917: Attended School of Aerial Gunnery
17 Apr 1917: Appointed Flying Officer, RFC.
17 Apr 1917: Pilot, No 23 Reserve Sqn RFC, 20th Wing
1 Jul 1917: Posted to HQ, 16th Wing (Salonika)
2-6 Jul 1917: In transit to Salonika on HT 'Menominee'
6 Jul 1917: Disembarked at Salonika and posted to Base Depot,
6 Jul 1917: Pilot, No 47 Sqn.
1 Feb 1918: Proceeded by train to Bralo then embarked for Taranto
7 Feb 1918: Embarked at Taranto for UK (Leave)
25 Apr 1918: Arrived at Itea from Taranto
1 May 1918: Arrived at Salonika
1 May 1918: Pilot, 'B' Flight, No 150 Sqn. (Bristol M.1C, SE5a & Camel)
8 Oct 1918: In transit from Salonika to Egypt
15 Aug 1918: Arrived Port Said, Egypt, per SS Nam Sang
17 Oct 1918: Base Depot, Egypt
19 Oct 1918: Staff, No 58 Training Sqn, No 69 Wing, No 26 (Training) Group, Suez
18 Nov 1918: Assistant Flying Instructor, No 20 Training Depot Station, No 20 Wing, No 26 (Training) Group, Suez
4 Dec 1918: Officer Commanding, 'A' Flight, No 20 TDS, No 20 Wing, No 26 (Training) Group, Suez
6-28 Jan 1919: Admitted to General Hospital, Suez (syphilis)
29 Jan-14 Feb 1919: Admitted to General Hospital, Suez (influenza)
17 May 1919: Embarked Port Said for UK per MHT Nile
10 Oct 1919: Transferred to Unemployed List
24 Oct 1919: Awarded Short Service Commission in the rank of Flying Officer (Aeroplane).
28 Feb 1920: Pilot, No 55 Sqn.
18 Mar 1923: Supernumerary, RAF Depot.
23 Jul 1923: Adjutant, No 41 Sqn.
xx Mar 1925: 'C' Flight Commander, No 41 Sqn.
17 Aug 1927: Supernumerary
1 Sep 1927: Administration Staff, HQ RAF Halton.
17 Aug 1928: Flight Commander, No 8 Sqn.
8 Jan 1930: Supernumerary, RAF Depot
11 May 1930: Flight Commander, No 111 Sqn.
27 Jul 1931: Officer Commanding, No 1 Sqn. (Siskin IIIA, Fury I)
1 Dec 1933: Personnel Staff, HQ Inland Area.
xx xxx 1935: Supernumerary
2 Mar 1935: Air Staff, HQ RAF Middle East.
16 Jan 1939: Officer Commanding, RAF Helwan
xx xxx 1940: Officer Commanding, No 252 Wing
1 Jan 1941: Officer Commanding, No 258 Wing.
10 Feb 1941: Staff Officer, HQ RAF Middle East.
xx xxx 1941: Officer Commanding, HQ CYRCOM
13 Apr 1941: Senior Air Force Officer - Tobruk/Officer Commanding, No 258 Wing
13 Jul 1941: AOC, No 203 Group
6 Apr 1942: Officer Commanding, No 57 OTU/RAF Hawarden
20 Aug 1942: SASO, HQ, No 14 (Fighter) Group
13 Sep 1943: AOA, HQ Fighter Command.
15 Nov 1943: AOA, HQ Air Defence of Great Britain.
13 Sep 1944: AOA, HQ Fighter Command.
24 Sep 1945: AOC, No 19 Group.
12 Sep 1947: SASO, HQ British Air Forces of Occupation.
Enlisting in 1914 on the outbreak of war, he moved with his Regiment to Gallipoli in 1915 and later Egypt. Commissioned in 1915, he was seconded to the RFC in October 1916, transferring in 1917 and following flying training was posted to the Salonika Front where he gained three victories with 47 Squadron. However, during training, he side-slipped in a turn and crashed, being admitted to hospital as a result. No 55 Squadron was part of 'Q' Force, Turkey. No 203 Group was created by downgrading AHQ Sudan. Retired at his own request.
Recommendation for the award of the Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross
"SPACKMAN, Charles Basil Slater, F/L, DFC
For conspicuous courage and devotion to duty in the air throughout the operations in South Kurdistan from May to September 1921. While taking part in operations with a column of Levies and Police on September 12th, 1921, he landed in a most difficult country and picked up an injured pilot (who had been forced to land his machine), displaying great gallantry and marked skill in effecting a good landing under difficult conditions, and taking off again with an excessive load."
Published in London Gazette as "For distinguished services rendered during active service operations in Iraq during 1920-1921"
(Source – Air 30/49)
Citation for the award of Commander, Order of the British Empire
"SPACKMAN, Charles Basil Slater, AVM, DFC (Royal Air Force) - Headquarters, Air Defence Great Britain
This officer has for over twelve months been Air Officer in Charge of Administration for Air Defence Great Britain Both before and during the Normandy operations, the allied air forces depended very largely on the Air Defence Great Britain administrative organisation. Large numbers of new units had to be formed, new landing grounds opened up and a great number of stations had to be handed over to the USAAF. The smooth and efficient working of the administrative machine, both before and during the battle, was mainly due to the zeal, ability, tact and steadiness shown by Air Vice-Marshal Spackman."
(Source - Dix-Noonan-Webb (medal dealers), citing Air Ministry documents.)
This page was last updated on 03/09/23
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