Arthur William Tedder, 1st Baron Tedder
by Bassano Ltd
bromide print, 20 July 1936
Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
of the RAF Lord Tedder
b: 11 Jul 1890
r: 30 May 1951
d: 3 Jun 1967
Baron - 1 Jan 1946 (Conferred 8 Feb 1946), GCB - 27 Nov 1942 (KCB - 1 Jan 1942, CB - 1 Feb 1937), BA (Hons) – 1912, MiD - 22 Jun 1919, MiD - 5 Jun 1919, Commendation - 3 Jun 1942, MMV (S) - 26 May 1917, ONI (GC) - 27 Aug 1943, OOA (GO) - 27 Aug 1943, LoM (CC) - 27 Aug 1943, PR (GC) - 1 Oct 1943, OK1 - 28 Aug 1945, LoH, GC - xx xxx 1945 (LoH, GO - xx xxx 1945, LoH, Cdr - xx xxx 1942), DSM (US) - 14 Jun 1946, GCOCP - 18 Jun 1946, CdeG (P) (B) - 18 Jun 1946, GI-GC - 6 Sep 1946, CdeG (P) - 27 Sep 1946, ON(KGC) - 31 Oct 1947.
For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations,
For a list of foreign decoration abbreviations, click here
Fellow, Magdalene Coll, Cambridge, Hon
DCL - Oxford (xx xxx 1945) ,
,Hon LLD, Cambridge (31 Jan 1946), Leeds (10 May 1946), Glasgow (19 Jun 1946), Sheffield (25 Jun 1946), Birmingham, Edinburgh
(Army): - 2 Lt: 2 Sep 1913, Lt: 10 Jan 1915, (T) Capt: 21 Mar 1916, Capt: 13 Jun 1916, (T) Maj: 1 Jan 1917.
- Maj: 1
Apr 1918, (T) Lt Col: 24 Jun 1918 - 2
Apr 1919, Sqn
Ldr: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Wg Cdr:
1 Jan 1924, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1931, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1934, AVM:
1 Jul 1937, Act AM:
29 Nov 1940, (T)
AM: 1 Jun 1941, AM: 14
Apr 1942 [1 Jun 1941], (T) ACM: 1 Jul 1942, ACM:
6 Jun 1945, MRAF: 12 Sep 1945.
Arthur William Tedder, 1st Baron Tedder
by Bassano Ltd
bromide print, 20 July 1936
xx xxx 1909: Attended Magdalene College, Cambridge University
2 Sep 1913: Officer,
Dorset Regiment. (Special Reserve)
Jan 1916: Attended No 1
School of Aeronautics.
Apr 1916: 'Wings' Course,
Central Flying School.
Jun 1916: Pilot, No 25
Sqn RFC. (Bristol Scout C - Western
Aug 1916: Flight
Commander, No 25 Sqn RFC.
Officer Commanding, No 70 Sqn. RFC. (Sopwith 11 Strutter – Western Front)
Jun 1917: Officer
Commanding, No 67 Sqn RFC/RAF. (Various types – Middle East)
17 May 1918: Officer Commanding, School of Navigation and Bomb Dropping (Egypt).
Jun 1918: Officer
Commanding, 38th (Training) Wing. (Egypt)
2 Apr 1919: Reverted to Major (A).
May 1919: Officer Commanding, No 274
Sqn. (V/1500 – Bircham Newton)
1 Aug 1919: Awarded Permanent Commission as a Major
1 Feb 1920: Officer Commanding, No 207 Sqn. (DH9A – Bircham Newton/Turkey)
6 Aug 1923: Supernumerary, RAF Depot.
Sep 1923: Attended RN Staff
Sep 1924: Officer
Commanding, No 2 FTS.
Jan 1927: Air
Staff, Directorate of Training .
Dec 1927: Supernumerary, RAF
Jan 1928: Attended
Imperial Defence College.
Jan 1929: Assistant
Commandant, RAF Staff College.
Jan 1932: Supernumerary,
Jan 1932: Officer
Commanding, Air Armament School - Eastchurch.
Apr 1934: Director of
Nov 1936: AOC, RAF Far East.
Jul 1938: Director-General of Research & Development
Aug 1940: (Deputy?) Air
Member for Development & Production
Nov 1940: Deputy
AOC in C, RAF Middle East Command
Jun 1941: AOC in C,
RAF Middle East Command
Feb 1943: Air C-in-C,
Mediterranean Air Command
Dec 1943: Air C-in-C,
Mediterranean Allied Air Forces
Jan 1944: Air C-in-C
& Deputy Supreme Allied Commander, SHAEF.
Chief of the Air Staff
|Lord Tedder during a visit to Almaza
Transit Camp in 1948
Photo courtesy - Bob Abela (from his uncle's album)
2 Jan 1950: Chairman, British Joint Services Mission – Washington
26 Feb 1950: Placed on half pay.
1 Apr 1950: Restored to full pay.
17 Aug 1948 - 16 Aug 1955: Honorary Colonel of a T.A. Unit
Granted a reserve commission in the Dorsetshire
Regiment whilst at University, he joined the Colonial Service and was appointed
to the administration in Fiji. Returning to Britain he rejoined his regiment, he
sustained a knee injury in 1916, which made him unfit for further service in the
infantry and so he joined the RFC. Appointed
Director-General of Research and Development., he immediately threw his energies
into the post at a time when major changes and innovations were beginning to
appear, such as the introduction of new monoplane eight gun fighters and the
development of the new large four-engined bombers.
When war broke out his department was transferred to
the newly created Ministry of Aircraft Production, but after the appointment of
Lord Beaverbrook as Minister, Tedder found himself increasingly at odds with his
chief and consequently Churchill. Therefore
when Longmore requested him as his deputy in the Middle East, his request was
turned down, but following the capture of AVM
Boyd, the alternative choice, when his aircraft ran out of fuel and
landed in Sicily, Churchill changed his mind and agreed to Tedder's appointment.
When Longmore was recalled to Britain in May 1941 to 'discuss' matters in
the Middle East with Churchill and the Air Staff, Tedder assumed temporary
command which with Longmore's subsequent removal resulted in Tedder's formal
appointment as AOC in C. In 1942 when Freeman returned to the Ministry of Aircraft
Production, Portal immediately nominated Tedder for the post of Vice Chief of
the Air Staff, which he was due to assume after the Torch landings in November. Shortly
after the success of these landings, he went to Cairo to meet his wife, who was
flying out to visit him. One report states
that he was actually watching
her aircraft approach he had to stand and watch in horror as it left the end of
the runway and burst into flames, killing everyone on board, but this may not be
However, it soon became obvious to Portal and
Eisenhower that effective control of the air forces in the whole Mediterranean
area needed a single Air Commander and Eisenhower's request for Tedder to fill
this role and Portal's agreement to release him from his proposed appointment
led to him assuming his new duties at the beginning of 1943.
The close working relationship developed between Eisenhower and Tedder resulted in the former requesting that Tedder be appointed to
the post of Deputy Supreme Allied Commander for
Overlord. As Deputy Supreme
Allied Commander, he was responsible for all aspects of air operations for the landings.
However the appointment of Trafford Leigh-Mallory as C in C, Allied
Expeditionary Air Forces resulted in an almost dual command situation which led
to a number of conflicts. This
problem was eventually solved by the appointment of Leigh-Mallory as Air
Commander, South East Asia, thereby leaving Tedder effectively in command of all
the Allied air assets operating on the continent up to the end of the war in
It was logical that on Portal's retirement as Chief
of the Air Staff, Tedder should be appointed to replace him at the beginning of
1946 and on handing over the post in 1950, he spent a year in Washington as the
Chairman of the British Joint Services Mission.
On his final retirement from the RAF in 1951 he returned to his old
University, Cambridge, as Chancellor and also became Vice-Chairman of the Board
of Governors of the BBC. In
1951 he was appointed a member of the Royal Commission tasked with investigated
what changes might be needed in the constitutions of the University of St
Andrews and University College, Dundee. As
a Marshal of the RAF he attended
the funeral of King George VI. He was
also Chairman and later President of Standard Triumph Ltd and Deputy President
of the National Rifle Association.
reading: - With Prejudice,
- Cassell & Co Ltd
Citation for the award of the Distinguished Service Medal (United States)
"TEDDER, Arthur, Sir, Marshal of the Royal Air Force, GCB
Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder, GCB, Royal Air Force, performed exceptionally meritorious service in a position of great responsibility as Deputy Supreme Commander, Allied Expeditionary Force. He was responsible for the development of plans for the intensive use of air forces in direct support of ground operations in combat. The technique which he developed for combined air-ground assault was of incalculable benefit in the far-flung and diversified military operations of the Allied armies, which culminated in the unconditional surrender of Germany. This officer distinguished himself by his military skill, forceful character, extreme energy, unusual tact and outstanding leadership. He contributed extensively to the Allied cause."
(Source - War Department Press Release intended for release on 24 November 1945 (found in National Archives of Canada, file HQ-C-54-27-94-32, Record Group 24, Volume 2236))
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