Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
Richard Gordon ('Dickie') b: 20 Apr 1922 r: 31 Mar 1978 d: 13 Feb 2007
KCB – 12 Jun 1976, LVO – 1 Jan 1962 (As MVO 4th), OBE – 12 Jun 1958, AFC – 1 Jan 1953, CStJ – 30 Jan 1986 (OstJ – 11 May 1981), FEng - 1987.
(RAFVR): AC2: xx xxx 1941, LAC: xx xxx xxxx, Plt Off: 7 Mar 1942, Fg Off (WS): 7 Sep 1942?, Flt Lt (WS): 7 Mar 1944,
Flt Lt: 1 Jul 1946 [7 Sep 1945]
[antedated to 1 Sep 1945 on 28 Feb 1947], Sqn Ldr: 1 Jul 1950, Wg
Cdr: 1 Jul 1956, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1960, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1965,
Act AVM: 23 Feb 1970, AVM: 1 Jul 1970, Act AM: 19 May 1975
AM: 1 Jul 1975.
[antedated to 1 Sep 1945 on 28 Feb 1947], Sqn Ldr: 1 Jul 1950, Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1956, Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1960, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1965, Act AVM: 23 Feb 1970, AVM: 1 Jul 1970, Act AM: 19 May 1975 AM: 1 Jul 1975.
xx xxx 1941: U/T Pilot, US Navy, Florida
xx Nov 1942: Pilot, No 212 Sqn.
xx xxx 1943: Instructor, No ? OTU.
xx Oct 1944: Pilot, No 210 Sqn
xx xxx 1945: Pilot, No 86 Sqn
16 Apr 1946: Appointed to Permanent Commission in the rank of Flying Officer (retaining rank current at the time). [wef 7 Sep 1945]
xx xxx 1947: Attended Central Flying School.
xx xxx 1947: QFI, RAF College, Cranwell
xx xxx 1949: Examining Officer, CFS Examining Wing.
1 Sep 1952: Personal Staff Officer to AOC in C, Home Command.
xx xxx 1956: Staff, Director of Emergency Operations, AHQ Malaya.
1 Jul 1959: Officer Commanding, The Queen's Flight.
2 Jan 1961: Directing Staff, RAF Staff College.
5 Jun 1964: Officer Commanding, RAF Scampton.
15 Oct 1965: SASO, HQ No 3 Group.
29 Jun 1966: Assistant Commandant (Department of Cadets), RAF College - Cranwell.
xx xxx 1969: Attended Imperial Defence College.
23 Feb 1970: Commander, Northern Maritime Air Region/AOC, Scotland & N. Ireland.
15 Jul 1972: Director of Service Intelligence.
31 Jan 1974: Commander, ANZUK Force - Singapore.
19 May 1975: Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Intelligence).
Joining the RAF in 1941 he was commissioned following completion of his flying training. He was then posted to Coastal Command where he flew Catalina's operating initially over the Indian Ocean, before being rested as an instructor and then moving onto No 210 Squadron at Sullom Voe in the Shetlands. He ws involved in the last operation of WW2 which resulted in the destruction of a U-boat in May 1945 but with the end of the war he transferred to land planes flying York and Liberator transports on various overseas routes.
He then qualified as a Flying Instructor (being categorised as A1, the highest possible category) and after two years at the RAF College, he joined the CFS Examining Wing (‘The Trappers’) and toured the world testing and categorising flying instructors both for the RAF as well as other air forces, ffor which he received the AFC in 1953. He then moved to the Far East and took part in operations in Malaya.
As OC, the Queen’s Flight, he oversaw the introduction of the Flight’s first dedicated VVIP helicopter, the Westland Whirlwind and was awarded the MVO for his tour of duty. He then spent a couple of years at the RAF Staff College on the Directing Staff prior to taking command of RAF Scampton equipped with the Vulcan. HE then returned to staff duties at No 3 Group before returning to Lincolnshire as Assistant Commandant of the RAF College at Cranwell. During his time at Cranwell, the RAF Technical College was relocated to the station and a series of major changes took place.
After attending the Imperial Defence College, he was promoted to AVM and was appointed Commander of the Northern Maritime Air Region and as a result he became the AOC for Scotland and Northern Ireland. He returned to the MoD for two years as Director of Service Intelligence before moving back to the Far East as the last commander of the ANZUK (Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom) Force based in Singapore. His final appointment saw him return to the MoD as the Deputy Chief of Defence (Intelligence)
Following retirement from the RAF, he took up residence in Scotland and also took on the role of Director of the RAF Benevolent Fund for Scotland until 1989. He has also held a number of other posts including, HM commissioner to Queen Victoria School in Dunblane and Vice-Chairman (Air) of Lowlands T & AVRA. He also became a trustee of the MacRobert Trusts and from 1982 served as its Chairman, a role he maintained for 12 years.
Citation for the award of a King’s Commendation for Valuable Services in the Air
"WAKEFORD, Richard Gordon, F/L (133508, RAFVR) - No.86 Squadron, Transport Command.
This officer is a pilot and captain of aircraft in this squadron. Throughout his flying career he has displayed an exceptionally high standard of efficiency and flying skill and has shown superb coolness in difficult situations. This was well illustrated on three occasions. In January 1944, when the starboard engine of his Catalina aircraft caught fire, at a height of 700 feet, Flight Lieutenant Wakeford, with great skill, made a successful landing without injury to either his crew or his aircraft. Again, during one of his initial trooping flights, when he experienced engine failure at night over the Persian Gulf, he accomplished a successful emergency landing at Sharjah with a full load of passengers. On another occasion, again during the hours of darkness, when near Lydda, fuel trouble developed in his aircraft and, in the interest of safety, this officer executed a successful forced landing at an emergency landing ground. Throughout his service career, Flight Lieutenant Wakeford’s flying record has been one of outstanding merit.
(Source - Air 2/9670, drafted when he had flown 2,699 hours, 1,460 on current duties, 218 in previous six months.)
This page was last updated on 15/09/23©
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