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Air Vice Marshal S N Webster (08182)

Sidney Norman              b: 9 Mar 1900                     r: 12 Aug 1950                     d: 5 Apr 1984

CBE - 1 Jan 1946, AFC - 2 Jan 1922, Bar - 11 Oct 1927, MiD - 6 May 1932, MiD 1 Jan 1945.

(RAF):- 2 Lt (P): 27 Sep 1918, 2 Lt: xx xxx xxxx [27 Sep 1918], Plt Off: 1 Aug 1919 [1 Apr 1918], Fg Off: 19 Dec 1919, Flt Lt: 1 Jul 1927, Sqn Ldr: 1 Dec 1936, Wg Cdr: 1 Jan 1939, (T) Gp Capt: 1 Mar 1941, Act A/Cdre: 8 Jun 1944?, Gp Capt (WS): 8 Dec 1944, (T) A/Cdre: 1 Jan 1946, Gp Capt: 1 Jan 1946, A/Cdre: 1 Jul 1947, Act AVM: 1 Sep 1949, AVM: Retained.

xx xxx 1918:           U/T Pilot.

18 Jul 1919:            Pilot, No 97 Sqn.

 1 Apr1920:            Pilot, No 60 Sqn.

19 Dec 1919:          Awarded Short Service Commission in the rank of Flying Officer (Aeroplane)

21 Oct 1923:           Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

14 Dec 1923:          Pilot, No 22 Sqn (A & A.E.E.).

21 May 1924:         Granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Flight Lieutenant.

 1 Jun 1927:            Staff, M.A.E.E.

10 Mar 1928:          Flight Commander, No 22 Sqn.

29 Mar 1930:          Flight Commander, No 84 Sqn.

18 Aug 1930:          Pilot, No 70 Sqn.

14 Apr 1932:          Supernumerary, RAF Depot.

 5 Jul 1932:             Personnel Staff, HQ Wessex Bombing Area.

 1 Oct 1933:           Seconded to Egyptian Government. (Egyptian AAF)

28 Aug 1939:         Secondment ceased

xx xxx xxxx:            Liaison Officer, Aircraft Manufacturing Group

 5 Jun 1944:            SASO, HQ No 18 (Reconnaissance) Group

 30 Jun 1946:          AOC, RAF Hong Kong.  

24 Nov 1948:          AOC, Central Photographic Establishment

He was educated at Chuckery School, Walsall.

In 1927, he was selected as one of the pilots in the RAF High Speed Flight for that year's Schneider Trophy competition.  He won the race in a Supermarine S5 at an average speed of 281 mph. Retired at his own request.

Sixty Squadron: 1916 Royal Flying Corps, Royal Air Force 1966, compiled by S/L A.J. Young and F/L D.W. Warne (published 1967) has a great deal on his work with DH.10 and DH.10A machines in India (pages 46-49).  They were unreliable and dangerous machines.  One passage from the book bears quotation as it may bear upon his AFC: - 

"In July 1921 F/O Webster had yet another forced landing, although by now one of the faults in the petrol system had been traced and the petrol exchange junction box had been inverted.  Aircraft Depot had been moved during the year from Lahore to Drigh Road, Karachi.  He went there from Risalpur to collect a new DH.10 and after three test flights on 11 July he left next day for Risalpur.  On the first leg of the flight to Sukkor, his port engine caught fire in the air and he force-landed successfully at Hyderabad.  After the engine had been changed he took off but had to return with loose cowling pins and later had to stay at Multan due to bad weather.  Ultimately the delivery flight of 750 miles took ten days and, including tests, took five minutes short of eleven hours flying time."

Citation for the award of the Air Force Cross

"WEBSTER, Sidney Norman, F/O

An exceptionally fine De Havilland 10 pilot who by example has done much to improve the standard of flying in his squadron.  He was specially selected for duty in Egypt as an instructor in these machines."

(Source - Air 30/46)

Announcement for the award of a Bar to Air Force Cross

"WEBSTER, Sidney Norman, F/L, AFC

The King has been graciously pleased to approve the award of a Bar to the Air Force Cross held by Flight Lieutenant Sidney Norman Webster, AFC, in recognition of his achievement in winning the recent "Schneider Cup" Air Race."

(Source - London Gazette, 11 October 1927)

Announcement for the award of a Mention in Despatches

WEBSTER, Sidney Norman, F/L, AFC

awarded 6 May 1932 as "brought to notice by Air Vice-Marshal E.R. Ludlow-Hewitt, CB, CMG, DSO, MC, AOC Iraq Command, for distinguished services during the operations in Southern Kurdistan between October 1930 and May 1931".

(Source - Aeroplane of 11 May 1932)

This page was last updated on 29/12/23

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