Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Distribution of Duties - Air Ministry (1945)


Department of the Chief of the Air Staff


Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (General) (ACAS (G))

  1. Responsibility under VCAS for the Air Staff aspects of Public Relations.  Liaison with DPR on press and publicity matters, including broadcasts and films.

  2. Responsibility for the Air Staff aspects of the Official Histories.

  3. Control of DGGD, DSD and DDCP

Name Status/Rank Role/Duties
Sir Richard H Peck AM Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (General)
P C Vane-Tempest Flt Off Staff Officer to ACAS (G)


Deputy Directorate of Flying Control (DDFC)

Name Status/Rank Role/Duties
M D Thunder Gp Capt Deputy Director of Flying Control (DDFC)

Definition of Flying Control policy in relation to technique, operational requirements, standards of training and personnel matters

Study of Flying Control problems in relation to current and projected air operations.

W H S Mealing Wg Cdr Assistant Director of Flying Control (ADFC)

Study of Flying Control policy in the RAF and relevant publicity and security matters.

Supervision of CATCB.

Chairman - Airfield Lighting Committee.

FC (Ops)
E Smorthwaite

W F Condy

V M Chubb

I Brignall

Flt Off




Compilation of CD260.

Compilation of, and amendments to Lists 'X' and 'Y'.

Issue of navigational warnings, notification of serviceability of airfield, navigational and Flying Control facilities and action regarding overdue aircraft.

Night Lights Control and allocation of reserve aerial lighthouses, landmark beacons and airfield floodlights.

FC 1
T Webb

F R Goodwin

Wg Cdr (Head of Branch)

Sqn Ldr

Study of future requirements for Flying Control in the RAF and of developments in technique and equipment.

Liaison from the Flying Control aspect with DPA regarding accidents.

Compilation of publications and orders relating to Flying Control.

FC 2
J MacDonald Sqn Ldr Flying Control technique in relation to signals facilities.

Technique for approach and landing aircraft.

FC 3
C R Roxburgh Maj Organisation, provision and allotment of all aircraft safety aids in relation to Searchlights, Granite and Mountain Warning Beacons.
FC 4
A T H Willis Wg Cdr (Head of Branch) Airfield and approach lighting and visual aids to navigation in the RAF.

Liaison with Allied Forces and Civil Aviation on such matters and study of future requirements for aviation lighting.

Secretary - Airfield Lighting Committee.

FC 4 (a)
H C Drake Flt Lt Airfield lighting including all forms of special approach lighting.

Air testing and progressing lighting schemes and development.

Emergency runway lighting schemes.

FC 4 (b)
D J Looker Flt Lt Visual aids to navigation in all theatres of RAF operations; obstruction lighting.

Compilation and organisation of SD525.

Landmark beacon scheme in the UK.

Requirements for specialist lighting vehicles for Flying Control and portable and mobile airfield lighting.

FC 4 (c)
W S Steel Flt Lt Aerial lighthouse scheme in the UK.

Maintenance of priority list and record of allocations of specialist lighting vehicles in the UK and Branch records.

FC 5
J A Crook Sqn Ldr Flying Control policy in relation to standards of training.

Liaison with directorates responsible for establishments, postings and personal services.

FC 6
P Ingall Wg Cdr Organisation and technical supervision of fog dispersal installations and liaison with Petroleum Warfare Department.
FC 7
D W Burnett-Rae Wg Cdr Flying Control policy overseas and co-ordination of requirements.
P R Rulf Higher Clerical Officer Organisation and supervision of clerical duties.

Assistance to branches as required.

Deputy Directorate of Air/Sea Rescue (DDASR)/Deputy Directorate of Rescue (DD Rescue)*

  1. Policy and co-ordination of (i) Measures to attain survival of aircrew and air passengers involved in forced alighting in sea and on all types of terrain and (ii) the rescue services.

  2. Survival and rescue provisions in Plans prepared by the Air Ministry.

  3. Air Ministry representative for co-operation with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, Ministry of War Transport, Admiralty, etc, in planning for survival and rescue in civil aviation.

*Name change appeared in AL43 (Oct 1945)

Name Status/Rank Role/Duties
G M Bryer Gp Capt Deputy Director of Air/Sea Rescue (DDASR)
ASR 1/Rescue 1*
J D Chapple Cdr RN Liaison with the Admiralty and Naval Authorities on matters affecting the provision and operation of naval craft for Air/Sea Rescue duties.

Liaison with, RNLI, Trinity House, Merchant and Fishing Fleets, Ministry of War Transport and Coast Guards.

Co-ordination of instructions to marine craft.

ASR 1 (a)/Rescue 1 (a)*
W L Thomas

R Beard

Wg Cdr

Sqn Ldr

Rescue marine craft - design, equipment and movements.

Airborne lifeboats.

Liaison with Commands in all matters affecting the policy and organisation of RAF rescue marine craft and personnel

Rescue statistics affecting marine craft.

ASR 2/Rescue 2*
D H Dabbs

K V Garside (AL43)

D F Wilson

J M Slot

Wg Cdr (Head of Branch)

Wg Cdr (Head of Branch)

Sqn Ldr

Flt Lt

Air/Sea; Desert, Mountain; Jungle Rescue Services policy, organisation and plans.

Syllabi (in liaison with DGT (Air)) for School of Survival and Rescue and all aircrew training units.

Training of officers for rescue duties.

Scrutiny from policy aspect, of articles and photographs for release to press and for broadcasting, for DPR.

H T Turnbull Sqn Ldr Liaison with Commands with HQs in the UK and NW Europe

Rescue incidents affecting civilian personnel.

G G Leeder Sqn Ldr Liaison with Commands with HQs in the Mediterranean and Middle East
D C Kennedy Sqn Ldr Liaison with Commands with HQs in India, Ceylon and the Far East
A P Field Capt (USAAF) Liaison with Commands with US Army Air Forces.

Liaison on Rescue Services, with Commands, Group, etc, and USAAF.

O G E Roberts Wg Cdr (Head of Branch) Policy of survival during and after forced alighting and preparations for rescue.

Co-ordination of measures for survival in conjunction with MAP, DOR, DPA and DGMS.

Vacant Lt Cdr RN Application of RAF survival measures to the Fleet Air Arm.
J W Pontefract Flt Lt Survival statistics and anlysis.
ASR 3 (a)
B F Collins

F J Sugg

Sqn Ldr

Flt Lt

Survival in and exit from aircraft forced to alight on sea or land.

Preparation of Survival Instructions, in conjunction with RTP, for aircrew and passengersin all types of aircraft operated by the RAF.

ASR 3 (b)
F J Finch

R G Gill

Sqn Ldr

Flt Lt

Survival after exit from forced landed aircraft until rescued, including co-operation of survivors in search and rescue.

Directorate-General of Ground Defence (DG of GD)

  1. Policy and plans relating to the active defence on the ground of RAF Stations and Establishments, including RAF Vulnerable Points.

  2. Air Staff policy and plans for the composition, organisation armament and equipment of the RAF Regiment.

  3. Airfield defence questions, including light AA defence.

  4. RAF Regiment training.

Name Status/Rank Role/Duties
A E Robinson Maj-Gen Director-General of Ground Defence (DGGD)

Commandant, RAF Regiment

Reports direct to VCAS.

M H D Cockayne

M Tarbet (AL44)

Sqn Ldr Personal Staff Officer

Branch Security Officer

A P Ledger A/Cdre Director of Ground Defence (Planning) (DGD (P))

Chairman - COS (DA) Sub-Committee.

Member: -

  • Inter-Departmental Committee on Small Arms,
  • London Munitions Assignment Board - Army Assignments Sub-Committee.
  • Weapon Development Committee - Standing Sub-Committee on 20mm Equipments.
M D Thunder Gp Capt Deputy Director of Ground Defence (DDGD)

Co-ordination and control of GD 2, GD 3, and GD 5.

Planning to meet RAF Regiment operational and training requirements.

A N Dixon

K W J Robertson (AL44)

Wg Cdr Assistant Director of Ground Defence (DDGD)

Co-ordination and control of GD 1, and GD 4.

Organisation and deployment of airfield defence garrisons.

Establishments and Manpower questions.

GD 1
M A V Russell

P Vine

Sqn Ldr

Flt Off

Plans for the organisation and disposition of RAF Regiment units, including deployment and moves of Field and AA Squadrons.

Establishment and Manpower questions affecting RAF Regiment and airfield defence generally.

RAF Regiment Order of Battle, Home and Overseas.

Defence arrangements for Air Ministry Vulnerable Points and liaison with Vulnerable Points Adviser and GHQ Home Forces.

Policy, from the ground defence aspect, of airfield demolition and obstruction, evacuation, road closures and protected places.

GD 2
H G Excell

H H Farthing (AL44)

T J Norton

G C Wright

Lt Col

Lt Col

Sqn Ldr


AA training and intelligence.

Preparation and issue of training, tactical and operational directives on light AA defence of airfields and RAF Stations.

Policy for introduction of new AA weapons, equipment and training devices.

Training policy for AA School and Practice Camps.

Arrangements for training for RAF Regiment AA Dome Teacher Instructors and the Dome Teacher aspect of RAF and WAAF AA Dome Projectionists in conjunction with T Mech (DDTT).

Matters relating to preparation and development of training films for AA Dome Teachers in conjunction with RD Arm 3(a) (MAP).

Sighting policy for light AA weapons in conjunction with  T Arm 2 (DTF).

Liaison with AA Command.

RAF Regiment signals training and advice on signals equipment for airfield defence, including light AA signals requirements.

GD 3
H Hawkins

M O Taylor

P I Stewart

Wg Cdr

Sqn Ldr


Scales of issue of ground defence and AA weapons and equipment generally, including RAF Regiment requirements.

Policy for the provision of RAF Regiment weapons and equipment, and ground defence weapons and equipment for RAF after consultation with DGE branches concerned.

Liaison with MAP and Ministry of Supply on development and trial of ground defence weapons, vehicles and equipment, and light AA weapons and mountings.

GD 4
F W Hilton (AL39)

M A V Russell (AL44)

A Farr (AL39)

N M Shawyer (AL44)

Wg Cdr

Wg Cdr

Flt Lt

Flt Off

Advice on questions of appointment, posting and promotion of officers of the RAF Regiment in conjunction with AMP branches.

Liaison with War Office and GHQ Home Forces on the selection and loan of Army personnel for duty with the RAF Regiment, including Local Defence Advisers.

GD 5
S G Dickson

L E Francis (AL39)

R G Miller (AL4)

T T Coulston (AL39)

R G B Vessey (AL44)

C Openshaw

Lt Col

Sqn Ldr

Sqn Ldr

Flt Lt

Flt Off

SO/Flt Off

RAF Regiment training, other than AA.

Preparation of ground defence training directives.

Liaison with AMT branches on individual ground defence training policy and with the War Office and Combined Operations HQ on ground defence training matters.

Policy for the introduction of new ground defence weapons and new training devices connected therewith.

Training records, regulations, instructions and publications.

Training aspect of Courts of Enquiry affecting RAF Regiment personnel.

Vacant Higher Clerical Officer Supervision of Clerical Staff: maintenance of records for Directorate-General.

Assistant Directorate of Counter-Propaganda (AD of CP)

  1. Study of the Air Staff aspects of propaganda and counter-propaganda.

  2. Co-ordination of propaganda with operational policy.

  3. Propaganda leaflets and organisation of deliveries to stations.

  4. Preparation of air scripts for foreign propaganda broadcasts.

  5. Air Staff representation at Political Warfare Executive meetings and liaison with PWE on the air aspects of foreign propaganda.

  6. Representation of the Air Staff point of view on foreign propaganda the other Government Departments concerned.

Name Status/Rank Role/Duties
P S S Clark Wg Cdr Assistant Director of Counter-Propaganda (ADCP)
CP 1
K Horne

E F Daglish

Sqn Ldr

Sqn Ldr

Preparation of air scripts for foreign propaganda broadcasts and leaflets.

Liaison with BBC Overseas Broadcasts Service.

CP 2
D Beckett Flt Off Study of enemy propaganda and counter-propaganda.
CP 3
J M Woodcock

Miss M L Suter

Flt Lt

Temporary Assistant

Control of leaflet distribution and organisation.

Directorate of Staff Duties (DSD)

  1. The formulation of Air Staff doctrine for use of Air Forces.

  2. Preparation of Air Staff memoranda.

  3. Preparation of Air Staff manuals and publications.

  4. Preparation of documents for the RAF and other Staff Colleges.  Staff College curriculum.

  5. Service writing.

  6. The Air Staff aspect of publicity and public relations.

Name Status/Rank Role/Duties
Vacant A/Cdre Director of Staff Duties (DSD)
Gareth G Barrett Gp Capt Deputy Director of Staff Duties (DDSD)
SD 1
D C Smith

V G Owen Jones

R A E Milton

M B Whitbread

J Williams

R B Sears

Miss V M Leeming

Wg Cdr (Head of Branch)

Sqn Ldr

Sqn Ldr

Sqn Ldr

Sqn Ldr

Sqn Ldr

Junior Executive Officer

Preparation of Air Staff memoranda, manuals and publications.
SD 2
Vacant Wg Cdr (Head of Branch) Service writing.

Preparation of papers and assembly of information for the RAF Staff College.

Liaison with Army and Navy Staff Colleges.

Liaison with DPR on Air Staff matters.

Source - List of Staff and Distribution of Duties, January 1945 - AIR 20/7518 (AL36 - Apr 1945, AL37 -May 1945, AL39 - Jul 1945, AL41 - Aug 1945, AL44 - Nov 1945 and AL45 - Dec 1945)

This page was last updated on 02/09/21

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