Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Duties and Functions of the Air Board

The following details are taken from AIR 20/7499: -

In February 1917, the War Cabinet approved a scheme under which the Air Board was reorganised and its composition fixed as follows: -

The President.

The Parliamentary Secretary.

The Fifth Sea Lord of the Admiralty.

The Director-Gonera1 of Military Aeronautics.

Two representatives of the Ministry of Munitions (the Controller of Aeronautical Supplies and the ControIler of Petrol Engines).

Additional members as may from time to time be found desirable.

The Board was thus composed so as to represent the two Flying Services and the Department which was to be charged with the duty of supplying all necessary material.

The position of the President in, relation to the Board is defined by the, New Ministries and Secretaries Act, 1916, which requires him to act with, that is to say after hearing, the advice, of the other members of the Board.

The Air Board, besides being empowered to discuss matters of policy in relation to the air in general, has the duty of considering the programmes of construction of aeroplanes and seaplanes formulated by the Admiralty and the War Office after their respective aerial policies have been conccrted with the Air Board. The Board determines the extent to which these can be approved. It has further the duty of selecting and being responsible for designs of aeroplanes and seaplanes and of their engines and accessories.

For carrying out these duties the Air Board Department comprises a Secretariat. a Technical Department and a Directorate of Requisitions and Statistics.

The staff of the Technical Department is composed largely of officers drawn from the Naval and Military Air Services.  Its duty is to consider and advise the Board as to the designs of aeroplanes, seaplanes, engines and accessories which should be adopted, and, with this object, to carry out the necessary experiments and trials in connection therewith and to keep in close touch with the scientific bodies, and Committees which are concerned with aeronautical research.  It is divided up into sections dealing with the various kinds of aircraft and engines and the various categories of armament and accessories.

When the Admiralty and the War Office have communicated to the Air Board the numbers of aeroplanes, seaplanes and accessories required by the two Services for a given period and when the Air Board have determined to what extent these requirements can be complied with and have settled the designs, requisitions are passed to the Controller of Aeronautical Supplies, whose Department (which is a section of the Ministry of Munitions) is also housed in the Air Board Office.

The Air Board receives all requisitions for aeronautical supplies preferred by Allied Governments, other than those connected with lighter than air craft and wireless telegraphy ain decides, after consultation with the Supply Department, to what extent these requests can be complied with.

The Director of Requisitions and Statistics keep records of the details of the requirements and requisitions of the two Services and of the requisitions of the Allied Governments as approved by the Board.  He combines the statistics furnished to the Board in this connection by the two Services, and analyses them, as well as, other statistics furnished, o behalf of the Board ; he also records, on its behalf, the progress made in the execution of approved programmes of construction.

A Central Air Intelligence Division has been established under the Air Board. Its duties are to collate information from all sources on Foreign Air Intelligence; to keep up to date a map room; to prepare and issue such books and special reports as may he necessary from time to time; to prepare and keep up to date a British and Foreign Aircraft Recognition Book, and a Book of Photographs of HM Ships and vessels from the Air and to deal with any enquiries as regards Intelligence that may be  passed to it.

Aeronautical Inventions are referred for consideration to an Inventions Committee.  The Committee is in close association with the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which is presided over by Lord Rayleigh, and the National Physical Laboratory, and is in a position to secure both the theoretical and practical examination of any inventions put forward.

The selection and approval of designs for Compasses for use in Aeroplanes and seaplanes, and the supply and test of such Compasses is carried out by the Air Compass Branch, which works under the direction of the Director of the Admiralty Compass Department, Admiralty Compass Observatory, Slough.

The Air Board is responsible for the services common to the several Departments occupying the Air Board Office.  For this purpose a Director of the Building and Services has bean appointed under the Air Board.

The Department of the Controller of Aeronautical Supplied is divided up into sections dealing with the various categories of material to be constructed.  This Department places the contracts, in accordance with the designs approved by the Air Board, and carries out inspections during manufacture by means of its Inspection Directorate The line of demarcation of the responsibility of the Supply Department is of some importance.

In principal the completed machine is handed over by the Supply Department to one or other of the Services at the manufacturers works, or agreed aerodrome and is tested by the personnel of the RNAS or the RFC.

The Controller of Aeronautical Supplies has the Royal Aircraft Factory under his administration.  The principal duties of this factory are -

(I) Aeronautical Research and experiment, which it conducts in accordance with the desires of the Technical Department

(2) Emergency construction to meet failures on the part of manufacturers

(3) The production of the first batch of a new experimental typo of machine of its own design

(4) Repairs of engines.

The Controller of Aeronautical Supplies places contracts for the construction both of aircraft and aero engines.  As regards the latter, however, he consults the Controller of Petrol Engines in the Ministry of Munitions who is also a member of the Air Bard aid is responsible for the allocation of the facilities of this country for the manufacture of Petrol Engines, whether these are intended for aircraft, motor transport or tanks.

In addition. to the Departments of the Air Board and of the Controller of Aeronautical supplies there are also housed in the Air Board Office the headquarters administration of the Royal Naval Air Service under the Fifth Sea Lord and Director of Air Services, and of the Royal Flying Corps under the Director-General of Military Aeronautics,

These Departments deal with the organisation and with the training of the personnel of the two Flying Services, with repairs to machines and engines, with aerodromes and works, and with the distribution of the material as it is furnished by the Supply Department.  They also prepare statements of the requirements of their Services in the matter of aircraft.

Air Board and Departmental Heads

Name Status Role/Duties
The Rt Hon Viscount Cowdrey   President of the Air Board
J L Baird Maj Parliamentary Secretary
G M Paine Cdre Director of Air Services, Fifth Sea Lord (DAS)
Sir David Henderson Lt Gen Director-General of Military Aeronautics (DGMA)
Sir William Weir   Controller of Aeronautical Supplies (CAS)
Mr P Martin   Controller of Petrol Engines (CPE
Sir Paul Harvey   Secretary to the Air Board
H W W McAnally   Assistant Secretary to the Air Board
C G Evans   Private Secretary to President and Parliamentary Secretary
D le G Pitcher Brig-Gen Controller of Technical Department (CTD)
R M Groves Wg Capt Deputy Controller of Technical Department (DCTD)
F T Hopkinson   Director of Requisitions and Supplies (DRS
The Hon E A Stonor Maj Chief Liaison Officer, Allied Government (CLO)
P R Heycock Bt Lt Col Central Air Intelligence Division
A Colls   Director of Building and Services (DBS)
W G Stevens   Accountant and Cashier

Technical Department

Name Rank/Status Role/Duties
D le G Pitcher Brig-Gen Controller of Technical Department (CTD)
R M Groves Wg Capt Deputy Controller of Technical Department (DCTD)
P S J Owen Flt Lt Secretary to Controller of Technical Department and Secretary to Technical Committee.
T G Skeats Lt  
G H Wilkinson Lt  
T 1 - Aircraft Design
W D Beatty

A M Longmore RN

Lt Col

Wg Cdr

Superintendents of Design
A McAlister Staff Capt Staff Captain to Lt Col Beatty
F E T Hewlett RN Sqn Cdr Seaplanes and Deputy to Wg Cdr Longmore
T Worswick Capt Aeroplanes in use
A G Miley RN Sqn Cdr Aeroplanes for ships, etc
S V Sipp RN Flt Com Practical flying
P Groom Professor Timber
T 2 - Armament
C C Colley Maj Superintendent of Armament design on machines, and responsible for correct drawings of all such accessories for each machine, including Guns, Sights, Sight Brackets, Interrupter Gears, "Heavy " Guns, Ammunition, Gun Mountings, Bomb Sights, Bomb Gears, Electrical Appliances (such as electrically heated clothing), Landing Lights, Accumulators and Engine Starters, Gun Oil and Inventions.
A C Hartley Lt Deputy to Maj Colley and responsible for Interrupter Gears in general.

Examining Officer for firms fitting armaments.

Neame Lt Sights and Gun Mountings.
R W Billinghurst Lt Guns and Ammunition.
G E W Broade Lt Machine Guns and in charge of Drawings.
L B W Jolley Lt Appliances, Engine Starters, Accumulators, Landing Lights.
F C Wilkinson 2 Lt Liaison between Ministry of Munitions, Supplies, eg and other departments.
T 3 - Engine Design
W Briggs RN Wg Cdr In charge of T 3
T B Barrington RNVR Lt Cdr Deputy i/c T 3
L A Whitby Capt Administration
C H Alston

B C Carter RNVR



T P Searight Capt Installation and Accessories.
C F Jenkin RNVR Lt Cdr Specifications and Materials
W A Bristow RNVR Lt Cdr Electrical Section
H A Watts   Propellers
T 4 - Experiments
B Hopkinson Maj Management of Experimental Station, Orfordness and of Testing Squadron, Martlesham Heath
H C Drabble Lt Deputy to Maj Hopkinson
T 5 - Technical Printing
A H S MacCallim Capt Production and Printing of technical pamphlets etc, for Naval and Military Flying Services.
T 6 - New Designs
A Ogilvie RNAS Wg Cdr Consideration of new designs, stressing and stability calculations, Patents and Inventions, circulation of Technical Information, Data and Analysis Mathematical Investigation, Material.
H Bolas   Criticism and Information.
A P Thurston Lt Structure and Stability.
A S Ellerton Capt Specifications, material an investigation of accidents.
J D Coales Lt Data and Analysis
A Berry   Mathematics
T 7 - Drawing Office
B Everett   All drawing office work, plan printing and issuing
S J Waters Lt All drawing work in connection with aeroplanes
A R Low RNVR Lt All drawing work in connection with seaplanes
F M Harding Lt All drawing work in connection with Engines
Briggs   All tracing and printing
T 8 - Instruments
Filon Maj In charge of T 8.
D G Cooper   Deputy to Head of Section, Data and information, Experiments and trials, Specifications, Reports.
H J Birchall   Drawings and new designs, Technical questions related to mechanism, Provision of Instruments for Testing Units, Test Instrument Stores, Captured German Instruments.
T A Ellis RNVR Sub-Lt Methods of reduction of observations and tests, abacs and tables, Atmospheric Theory, Theoretical Investigations.
1 x Technical Expert - Vacant   Technical questions relating to Electricity and Chemestry.
1 x Officer (RFC or RNAS) - Vacant   Instrument fitting in machines, Weekly Inspection of Instruments, Arrangements on new machines at RFC Testing Squadron, Martlesham Heath and RNAS Isle of Grain and Felixstowe, Weekly inspection work and instrument tests at the Royal Aircraft Factory, Keeping in touch with AID, EF and Training Squadrons, and investigating complaints as to failures and breakages.

Central Intelligence Section

Name Rank/Status Role/Duties
P R Heycock RMA Bt Lt Col  

Department of the Controller of Aeronautical Supplies

Name Rank/Status Role/Duties
Sir William Weir   Controller of Aeronautical Supplies (CAS)
P F Atkin   Secretary to CAS
I B Davson Maj  
J D Cormack Col Assistant Controller of Aeronautical Supplies (ACAS)
C Molyneux Smith Capt Technical Assistant to ACAS
H E Spry   Chief Establishment Officer (CEO)
Directorate of Supply and Production
W Alexander Lt Col Director of Supply and Production (DS)
C W C Wheatley Capt Assistant Director of Supply and Production in charge of Aeroplane Branch (ASD (A))
C J R Randall RN Wg Cdr Assistant Director of Supply and Production in charge of Seaplane Branch (ASD (S))
J G Weir Lt Col Assistant Director of Supply and Production in charge of Engine Branch (ASD (E))
A Reiss Maj Assistant Director of Supply and Production in charge of Materials and Accessories  Branch (ASD (MA))
R H Brand Capt Assistant Director of Supply and Production in charge of General Services Branch (ASD (GS))
S 1 - Materials 1
J S Nicholson Capt Metals, Irons, Steels, Non-Ferrous Metals, Crankshafts, AGS and other parts, Rafwires, Stampings, Pressings, Tubes, (other than steel), Cables, Wires.
S 2 - Materials 2
W A C Sandford-Thompson RN Eng-Lt Non-Metals, Timber, Fabric, Canvas, Dope, Chemicals, Steel tubing, etc.
S 3 - Accessories
A Reiss Maj Armament , Gunn Mountings, Bomb Carriers, Instruments, Photographic Materials, Electrical fittings, etc.
S 4 - Production Facilities
H Lloyd Lt Development of facilities for manufacture of Aeroplanes, Seaplanes, spares and parts.
S 5 - General Services
R H Brand Capt Priority, Labour Matters, Exemptions, Dilution, Training Schools, Machine Tools.
S 6 - Administration
H W Page Capt Reception of requisitions from Controller, preparation of Statistics regarding output from AID, Release Notes, Files and Correspondence.
S 7 - Urgency
M O Darby Capt Liaison duties with RNAS and RFC re: hastening of supplies to meet their requirements
The services of the sub-divisions S 1 to S 7 are available for each of the three main sections of the Supplies and Production Directorate (Aeroplanes, Seaplanes and Engines).

In other words, these sub-divisions are sub-divisions of each of the three main sections.

Directorate of Inspection
R K Bagnall-Wild Lt Col Director of Inspection (DI) and Technical Adviser to Controller of Aeronautical Supplies
H Myers Capt Assistant to Director of Inspection (DI 1)

Finance, Personnel, Inspection of New Works, etc.

H E Brackenboro Lt Assistant to Director of Inspection (DI 2)

Supplies, Equipment Correspondence

Engine Branch
R H Verney Capt Chief Inspector of Engines
G P Bulma Capt Assistant to Chief Inspector of Engines
A Ross Capt Section 1 - Technical queries on engine inspection.
H Philpott Capt Section 2 - Materials
W Parr Lt Section 3 - Allotment Certificates, Log Books, Records, etc.
L Warner Capt Section 4 - Liaison (Military)
W E Plaister RNVR Lt Section 5 - Liaison (Naval)
R B Garrard Capt Section 6 - Personnel
Aeroplane Branch
H W Outram Capt Chief Inspector of Aeroplanes
G S M Taylor Capt Assistant to Chief Inspector of Aeroplanes
Mann Lt Section 1 - Contract Inspection
G S Walpole Capt Section 2 - Materials (Non-Metallic)
L Rothschild Lt Section 3 - Equipment Contracts
E Willows Lt Section 4 - Kite Balloons
F Hallett Lt Section 5 - Records Statistics, Log Books Allotment
H Myers Capt Section 6 - Engine Installation and Aeroplane Finals
L T G Mansell Capt Section 7 - Liaison with RFC and RNAS
Lange RNVR Lt Section 8 - Propellers
Seaplane Branch
R Stansmore RN Lt Chief Inspector of Seaplanes
H A Cox RNVR Lt Assistant to Chief Inspector of Seaplanes
Directorate of Aeronautical Contracts
A E Turner   Director of Contracts (Aeronautical) (DCA)
P Dale Bussell   Deputy Director of Contracts (Aeronautical) (DDCA)
CA 1
P Dale Bussell DDCA Purchase and sale of engines and spare parts of engines.

Orders placed in America

CA 2
C N Knight ADCA Purchase and sale of aeroplanes and spare parts of aeroplanes.
CA 3
E C Blight ADCA Purchase and sale of metals, timber, chemicals, dope, oil, fabric, tents and hangers, Instruments, mechanical transports, tool, etc.
CA 4
F R Stapley ADCA Issue and receipt of tenders.

Official list of firms (Trade Records).


H C Judd DCF Director of Contracts (Finance) (DCF)
T D Nicol ADCF Assistant Director of Contracts (Finance) (ADCF)
B E Holloway DSA Director of Aeronautical Supply Accounts (DSA)

Department of the Controller of Petrol Engines

Name Rank/Status Role/Duties
P Martin   Controller of Petrol Engines (CPE)
W R Shephard   Personal assistant to CPE

Procedure in connection with Supply

The Air Board have approved provisionally the following procedure in connection with supply of aeronautical material: -


(a) Aeroplanes

(b) Seaplanes;

(c) Engines

The requirements of these three items will be forecasted by the RNAS and RFC and will be submitted for the specific approval of the Air Board.  The requisitions for such items as are approved by the Board for supply will be prepared by the Director of Requisitions and be sent by him to the Controller of Aeronautical Supplies.

Such main requirements will be held to cover authority to the Supply Department to provide generally for sufficient raw material and finished parts as they may find necessary to arrange for independently of specific requisitions.


(a) Spares for aircraft and aero-engines ordered as part of original order for machines;

(b) Spares for aircraft and aero-engines requisitioned by aircraft depots;

(c) Technical accessories;

(d) Aeroplane tents.

The RNAS and RFC. will forecast the requirements of these items and will prepare the requisitions for them. Orders for these items do not require the specific approval of the Air Board but Supply Department will communicate to the Director of Requisitions all such requisitions received for purposes of record.


(a) Guns and ammunition

(b) Transport;

(c) Petrol;

(d) Lubricants;

(e) Telephone and Wireless Telegraphy equipment;

(f) Building;

(g) Bombs;

(h) Machine tools.

Requirements for these items will ho forecasted by the RNAS and RFC and will not require the specific approval of the Air Board.  The requisitions will be prepared by the RNAS and RFC and will be forwarded direct in the case of items 3(a) to 3(j) to the Admiralty and War Office respectively, and, in the case of items 3(g) and 3(h), if for the RNAS, to the Admiralty, and if for the RFC, to the Ministry of Munitions.

Note 1: - Item 2 (a). - These will be ordered according to standing scales to be worked out and approved

Note 3 - It will he open to the Controller of Aeronautical Supplies and the Director of Requisitions to draw the attention of the Air Board to any requisition for any of these items which may appear to them out of proportion to the numbers of aircraft approved for supply by the Board.

4  Requirements of Allied Governments,

The Chief Liaison Officer will send all demands for items included under headings 1 and 2 above (whether received through the CIR or, in the case of the French, direct) in the first instance to the Controller of Aeronautical Supplies who will report to the Board whether supply can be made. The Board's decision will be sent by the Secretary of the Air Board to the Director of Requisitions, and, if supply has been approved, the Director of Requisitions will

(a) in the case of French requisitions, pass the file to the Chief Liaison Officer, who will obtain the necessary Priority certificate and inform the French Delegates, so that they may place the order;

(b) in the case of the requisition of other Allies, forward a requisition to the Supply Department and pass the file to the CLO, who will notify the International Commission.

Any demands from Allies received by the Chief Liaison Officer for items coming under heading 3 will be sent direct to the Air Board who will consider them and forward those which they approve to the Admiralty, War Office, or Ministry of Munitions as the case may be.

5 - Allotments of engines and technical accessories to aeroplane and seaplane contractors. (This procedure is provisional.)

Inspectors at the works of the different aeroplane and seaplane contractors will indent for the necessary engines and technical accessories on the two Services.  They will send a weekly demand for such engines and technical accessories as they estimate they will require in the ensuing week, and so far as possible, they will address indents according to the approved allocation of the particular machines coming forward for completion.

6 - Repair contracts.

These will be dealt with by the Services who will arrange the contracts through the Supply Department where contractors are concerned.

7 - Local purchase.

The existing powers of local purchase possessed by aircraft depots, repair depots, and units will continue unchanged, subject to the stipulation that local purchase orders shall not in any case be placed with aeronautical contractors already in the service of the Controller of Aeronautical Supplies without his consent.

8 - Power to Purchase of Technical Department,

The Technical Department will make use of the Supplies Department as much as possible for obtaining any supplies required by it but, if anything is urgently wanted, it may purchase without the intervention of the Supplies Department to a limit of 50.

Functions of the Technical Department in relation to the Supply Department.

  1. The Technical Department issues to the Supply Departments drawings of new machines and of modifications to machines under construction.

  2. When a new design put forward by a firm has been approved by the Technical Department and the type is approved for production by the Board, it often happens that in order to expedite production, additional contractors commence work upon the design before the drawings have been completed by the firm which designed the machine, in this case, preliminary drawings are obtained by the Technical Department from the firm.  After the accuracy of the drawings has been checked by the Technical Department, they are forwarded to the Supply Department for communication to the firms and to AID.  As soon as complete details of drawings have been received they are forwarded to the Supply Department for communication to the firms and to AID

  3. The Technical Department is responsible for all modifications, and any modification introduced on the instructions of the AID to facilitate output or to avoid scrap, must be communicated at once to the Supply Department and, to the Technical Department for approval and ratification.  The Technical Department will notify the ratification to the Supply Department and to the Aeronautical inspection Department.

  4. Modifications have been classified according to the time at which they are to be introduced into machines.

    As to Modifications Class I, i.e., vital modifications which must be introduced regard1ess of delay in delivery in machines and expense however occasioned.

    Procedure. The Controller, Technical Department, after consultation with the Director of Aircraft Equipment, will inform the Controller of Aeronautical Supplies of the modification required and that it is Class I. The Aeronautical Supplies Department will thereupon hold up delivery of all machines until the modification is incorporated. 

    If the modification affects the machines which have been handed over to the Service the Controller of Technical Department will take steps to see that the Services are informed,

    As to Modifications Class II, i.e., essential modifications which are to he incorporated with as little delay as possible without interfering with the rate of delivery. Expense however occasioned is not to he considered.

    Procedure: The Controller of Technical Department will inform DAE and the Controller of Aeronautical Supplies of the modification required and that it is Class II.  Representatives of the Designs Section of the Technical Department will consult with representatives of the Supplies Department and after their report the Controller of Aeronautical Supplies will inform the Controller of the Technical Department and the Director of Aircraft Equipment of the period of grace to be allowed to individual manufacturers before the modification becomes Class I.

    As to Modifications Class III, i.e., desirable modifications, corrections of errors in drawings and additional information, which must he introduced in all parts under manufacture and in such machines as will not he delayed thereby.

    There must he no expense occasioned by scrapping or dismantling of parts and no delay.

    Procedure. The Design Section will inform the Aeronautical Supplies Department of the modification, correction or addition and that it is Class III.  It will then be left to the Aeronautical Supplies Department to arrange that these modifications shall he incorporated as early as possible without expense being occasioned and without affecting the rate of delivery.

  5. The Technical Department will issue to the Supply Department, with the detailed contract Specification, such technical details as should be embodied in the contract, The Contracts Department will send a copy of such contract to the Technical Department.

  6. In regard to all purely experimental work, the Technical Department issue instructions to the contracting firms as to the Work to be carried out, or the modifications to be embodied.  Three copies of these instructions are sent to the Supply Department for their information, in order that the Aeronautical inspection Department may see that the work is carried out, or the modifications embodied, in accordance with the specified requirements.

  7. The procedure in regard to contracts for experimental machine engines, accessories, spare parts, stores, etc., is as follows: -

    1. In the case of complete machines and engines a recommendation is forwarded by the Controller of the Technical Department to the Board.  If the recommendation is approved by the Board it i passed to the Director of Requisitions, who requisitions the CAS.

    2. In the case of parts of machines and engines, accessories and other stores, CTD, requisitions direct on CAS.

  8. Air Board Specifications are now being laid down by the Technical Department, and have, in a considerable number of cases been issued.  All specifications will be prepared or approved by the Technical Department before being issued by Supplies to Contractors.

Functions of Aeronautical Inspection Department and its relations with the Technical Department of the Air Board and with the Acceptance Branches of the Services.

  1. The Aeronautical Inspection Department is responsible for the inspection of production and manufacture of all material arising from contracts placed by the Aeronautical Department. In addition to inspection for the quality of material, grade and accuracy of workmanship, inspection shall also cover compliance with specifications and drawings, and generally adherence to contract conditions.

  2. Inspection Officers at individual works report progress of contracts, and position as regards delays and retardations, to whatever extent they may be called upon by the Supply and Production Branch.

  3. AID is responsible for assuring interchangeability of parts according to the specifications of  the Technical Department of the Air Board.  This interchangeability to be obtained either by limits on drawings or by the provision of master gauges.

  4. AID. has power to introduce temporarily any modification or concession required to prevent a hold-up in production provided this does not affect the functioning of a part, but in all such cases the Technical Department  is  immediately advised of such alterations so that they may be confirmed or modified.  Modifications and concessions which affect functioning are referred immediately to the Technical Department for their urgent decision.

  5. AID suggest modifications that will improve production or functioning, to the Technical Department.

  6. All modifications are issued by the Technical Departments to the Supply Department, and by the latter to all contractors - AID being advised concurrently by the Supply Department.

  7. In the case of all contracts other than those of an experimental or development character, all communications from the Technical Directorate to contractors pass through the Supply Department.  In the case of experimental and development work the Technical Directorate may communicate by getting in touch with the contractors with the Resident Officer of the Supply Department, who, as a rule, will be the Inspection Officer.  Copies of all correspondence from. Technical Directorate to contractors on experimental and development work are sent at once to the Supply Department in duplicate so that one copy may be available for the Inspection Branch.

  8. Copies of correspondence between contractors and the Supply Department are furnished to AID whenever necessary.

  9. The Supply Department approves all works and all sub-contractors before any order is placed or any contractors permitted to sub contract, but in most cases such approval is given after an investigation and report made by Inspection Officers

  10. As all specifications and drawings are supplied by the Technical Department to the Supply Department, the Technical Department consults the Inspection Branch regarding these before issue to the Supply Department.

  11. Drawings required by contractors are issued by the Supply Department, who will obtain all such drawings from the Technical Department.  Such drawings are prepared by the Technical Department after consultation with Inspection Branch as regards inspectional questions.

  12. AID is responsible for the final inspection at stores depot from which issue is made to contractors of new and salved material.

    • (Note - A very important change has been introduced as regards the scope of the Supply Department and its inspection Branch.  Formerly the Supply Department and its Inspection Branch carried on the Supply right up to the stage when the completed aeroplane, with engine, equipment and armament, was handed over to the Royal Flying Corps.  It was possible to undertake this responsibility because the Supply Department had under its control all designs and technical questions associated with the product.  Under the new organization, the Supply Department no longer has control of technical subjects.  Accordingly the Supply Department, through its Inspection Branch, now take responsibility as follow: -

      •  In the case of aeroplanes and seaplanes, they are responsible that each machine complies with the contract conditions as regards material, workmanship, and adherence to drawings anti specifications, and that it has been assembled and erected in accordance with such drawings and instructions as are issued in connection with the contract. This includes the correct fitting in the aeroplane or seaplane of the engine or engines where this work is covered by the contract,

      • In the case of engines, they are responsible that each engine has been made and assembled correctly to the drawings and specifications appertaining to the contract; that the materials and workmanship are as specified; that the bench tests laid down in the contract have been duly carried out, and that the engine therefore functions properly so far as is ascertainable from such tests.

      • Thereafter it is the duty of the Acceptance Branches of the Services to take over each aeroplane, seaplane and engine, to carry out the tuning-up of the engines and the flight tests of the aeroplanes and seaplanes.

      • The transfer to the Royal Flying Corps of the aerodromes hitherto belonging to the AID, together with a portion of the AID personnel employed thereat is now approaching completion.)

  13. AID is responsible for certifying all advance payments to contractors on existing contracts, and for certifying valuations of work done on cancelled contracts, and extra work in connection with modifications, etc, AID certifies compliance with contracts for all supplies on some form of Inspection note.  In the case of any failure of a part, which it is suggested is due to faulty inspection, the Technical Department or RFC reports the matter to the Supply Department, who deals with it through the Inspection Branch.

  14. 14. All contracts placed by DC to the orders of CAS are subject to inspection by AID.  The latter Directorate may request Service Branches to assist in inspection, but the inspecting Authority for every such contract is the Director of Inspection, AID.

Royal Naval Air Service Department

Name Rank/Status Role/Duties
Godfrey M Paine RN Cdre Director of Air Services (DAS)
C A Shove RN Pay'm Secretary to Director of Air Services
A V Vyvyan RN Capt Naval Assistant and Assistant Director of Air Services (NA)
J D Edwards RN Capt Personnel Captain (PC)
J W O Dalgleish RNAS Sqn Cdr Personnel Commander
A J Davies RN Capt Armament Captain (AC)
F G C Young   Civil Assistant (CA)
N 1
The Master of Sempill RN Sqn Cdr Allocation of machines and engines.

Disposition of aircraft, etc.

N 2
W A Medrow   Naval Air Service Personnel
N 3
J L Forbes RN Wg Cdr Gunnery matters, Bomb gears, Bombs, Sights, Ammunition, etc.
N 4
A D Warrington RN Cdr Wireless Telegraphy.


N 5
C W Gamble RNVR Lt Cdr Photography.
N 6
J D Mackworth Lt Col Kite Balloons.
N 7
J Hills RNR Lt Cdr Motor Transport
N 8
G Holmes RNVR Cdr Seaplane Carriers.
N 9
H T A Bosanquet RN Cdr Navigation.
N 10
E W Giffin   Secretariat.
N 10A
K S Larkin   Stores.
N 10B
Vacant   Confidential Registry.
N 11
Miss H McDiarmid   Registry.
N 11B
Miss J L Fletcher   Records.
N 12
C R Andrews Lt Engines.
N 17
C L Maude RN Sqn Cdr Aircraft design.

Dope, etc.

Liaison with Air Board Technical Department.

Department of the Director-General of Military Aeronautics

Name Rank/Status Role/Duties
Sir David Henderson Lt Gen Director-General of Military Aeronautics (DGMA)
I Barrington White Capt Aide-de-Camp
E Fulton 2 Lt Private Secretary
W S Brancker Temp Brig Gen (Bt Lt Col) Deputy Director-General of Military Aeronautics (DDGMA)
Mrs G T Brierley   Personal Assistant
M O'Gorman Lt Col Consulting Engineer to DGMA
Directorate of Air Organisation
L E O Charlton Temp Brig Gen (Bt Lt Col) Director of Air Organisation (DAO)
Miss M K M Charlton   Personal Assistant
O 1 - Organisation and Training (Rank and File)
B C H Drew Bt Lt Col Operations.


War Establishments.

Technical Training.

Matters referred by DAE to DAO.

Experimental Establishments.

Balloon Training Wing

Artillery Co-operation Squadron.



Movements of aeroplanes overseas.



Wireless Telegraphy, Wireless Training, Liaison with CEO Signals.

Photographic Training and Personnel.

Details of New Apparatus.

O 2 - Home Defence, Training of Officers and selection of officers for the RFC
R J Armes Bt Lt Col Home Defence and Communications.

Schools of Military Aeronautics and Cadet Wings.

Selections of candidates for commissions in the RFC and for appointments to RFC Cadet Wiig.

Enquires re: entry into RFC.

O 3 - Personnel and Movement of Units
W W Warner Bt Lt Col Medical Boards.


Motor Car Permits.

Accidents to RFC vehicles.

Administrative details.

Financial Questions.



Appointment and promotion of officers.

Arrangement regarding personnel for RFC from overseas Dominions.

Honours and Decorations.


Army List.

Recruiting, Liaison with Director of Recruiting.

Distribution of Personnel (other ranks).

Movements of units and personnel.

Questions concerning Rank and File.

Pay Duties.

O 4 - Aerial Gunnery
B S Foster Lt Col Control of all matters pertaining to Aerial Gunnery.
O 5 - Aerodromes and Works
R F Drury Lt Col Initiation and development of Engineering and Building schemes.

Progress and Superintendent of Works.

RFC Land matters.

Labour matters in connection with Works.

Standing Medical Board
E G Lithgow Maj RFC Medical Boards.
Directorate of Aircraft Equipment
W B Caddell Temp Brig-Gen (Bt Lt Col) Director of Aircraft Equipment (DAE)
Miss M Somerset   Personal Assistant
E 1 - Aeroplanes and Engines, etc, Demand, Receipt, Storage and Issue
C H Whittington Lt Col Preparation of Aeroplane and Engine programmes.

Receipt, allotment and issue of all aeroplanes and engines.

Repair of aeroplanes, engines, instruments and magnetos.

Writes-off, storage and records of all aeroplanes and engines.

Inspection of work at RFC Repair Depots.

E 2 - General Aeronautical Equipment (except complete aeroplanes and engines), Technical Stores, Spare parts, etc, Receipt, Storage and Issue Branch
T E St C Daniell Lt Col Demands, receipt, storage and issue of Aeronautical Equipment (except complets aeroplanes and engines), Technical Stores and spare parts.

General Supply and liaison questions for RFC France, Eastern Stations, Training Brigade and Home Defence Units.

Mobilisation Stores and Equipment Tables for all RFC Units, excluding Kite Balloon  Companies, Training Depots and Schools.

Inspection of RFC Stores Depots and Distribution Parks.

Writes-off of unserviceable stores, except complete aeroplanes and engines.

E 3 - Administration etc Branch
T O Lyons Capt Administration and Staff question generally for the Directorate.

Applications for employment and engagement of civil labour.

Demands, allotment and issue of miscellaneous equipment.

Clothing and personal equipment for RFC, also pistols, rifles, telescopes and binoculars.

Demands for and issue of aircraft and mechanical transport petrol and lubricating oils.

Building, housing and storage accommodation questions.

Presentation aeroplanes.

Shipping - transport of stores by land and sea.

E 4 - Kite Balloon Branch
A L C Neame Capt Demands, receipt, allotment and issue of Kite Balloons, instruments, fabric, cordage, balloon fittings, winches, cables, kite balloon sheds, hydrogen tubes, hydrogen gas-silicol plants, compressors, gas-making materials.

Equipment and stores for Kite Balloon Units generally.

Preparation of mobilisation stores for Kite Balloon Companies.

Preparation of Equipment Tables for Kite Balloon Training Depots and Schools.

Collection and distribution, exhibition and custody of remains of enemy aircraft brought down in this country.

E 5 - Mechanical Transport and Machine Tools Branch
K G S Hatfield Capt Demands, receipt, storage, allotment, distribution, repairs, records and inspection of all mechanical transport, MT spares, machine tools (including inspection of machine tools) and accessories.
E 6 - Testing, Inspection and Delivery of Aeroplanes Branch.
F C Jenkins Lt Col Erection, test and inspection (in lieu of AID) of all complete aeroplanes delivered to Aerodromes by contractors, and administration of all such aerodromes and personnel employed thereat.

Delivery of machines to ultimate destination (machines for Expeditionary Force being delivered to Lympne).

E 7 - Technical Advisory Branch.
F C Jenkins Lt Col Technical Advisory Branch for all aeroplanes, engines, and technical stores generally, forming a liaison with the Air Board, War Office, Ministry of Munitions, Overseas and Training Brigade, etc.

Correlation of all technical data.

Reports on new designs, tests and experiments.

Attendance at all committees and conferences on technical subjects.

Reports from RFC Units at Home and Overseas, in respect of complaints concerning the design of aeroplanes, engines and technical stores generally will, in the first instance, be received by this branch which will refer same, as necessary, to the  Controller of the Technical Department, Air Board, through, or for, the Deputy Director of Military Aeronautics.

E G - Guns, Gun Sights, Bombs and accessories, Supply and Issue Branch
P C A Bridgeman Capt Supply and issue of bombs, bomb-sights and carriers, and everything connected therewith.

Guns, gun-sights, mountings and accessories.

Interrupter gears and drives for these.

All kinds of ammunition.

Oil for types of guns.

This branch is also responsible for the equipment of new squadrons with the stores mentioned above.

E P - Photographic Equipment, Supply and Issue Branch
E G Toye Capt Supply and issue of photographic equipment.

This page was last updated on 01/10/21

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