Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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Distribution of Duties - Air Ministry (1945)

[ACAS (Ops)D of Ops (AD)DB OpsD of Ops (Tac)D of Ops (M)D of Nav | D of ATDD Science]

Department of the Chief of the Air Staff


Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) (ACAS (Ops))

  1. Responsibility under DCAS for advice on the dot to day conduct of air operations.

  2. Control of D of Ops (AD), D B Ops, D of Ops (Tac), D of Ops (M), DAT, D of Nav and D D Science.

Chairman: -

Member: -

Name Status/Rank Role/Duties
Thomas M Williams AVM Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations)
S E Little (AL39) Staff Officer Ops (CS)

General administration matters under the ACAS (Ops) including office records.

Supervision of clerical staff and other general duties in the operations directorates.

Issue of petrol coupons in the Whitehall area.

Directorate of Operations (Air Defence) (D of Ops (AD))


Name Status/Rank Role/Duties
George M Lawson A/Cdre Director of Operations (Air Defence) (D of Ops (AD))

Chairman: -

  • COS (AA) Sub-Committee
  • British Joint Recognition Committee

Member - Defence of Bases Committee

Air Staff Representative: -

  • Home Defence Committee
  • Civil Defence Committee
G L S Lightfoot Gp Capt Deputy Director of Operations (Air Defence) 1 (D of Ops (AD) 1)

In charge of Ops (AD) 1, Ops (AD) 2, Ops (AD) 3 and Ops (AD) 4.

Member - COS (AA) Shadow Sub-Committee

D Gilley Gp Capt Deputy Director of Operations (Air Defence) 2 (D of Ops (AD) 2)

In charge of Ops (AD) 5 and Ops (AD) 6.

Member: -

  • Inter-Service Sub-Committee on Recognition Training
  • RAF Visual Recognition Training Committee
Ops AD 1
G L Sinclair

H P F Patten

Wg Cdr

Sqn Ldr

Active air defence policy.

Operational policy of Fighter Command.

Policy questions regarding interception of enemy aircraft and aids to interception.

Policy for shore and ship control of shore-based fighter aircraft.

Basis of provisioning of items of special equipment for fighter aircraft in Fighter Command.

Layout of Groups and Sectors and advice on defence requirements.

Operational policy for balloon defences.

Ops AD 2
A C Lyell

M Cunliffe-Fraser

Wg Cdr

Obs Cdr (ROC)

AA gun and searchlight defences in the UK.

Liaison with Ministry of Home Security in connection with classification of key points.

Liaison with Admiralty and War Office in connection with and preparation of plans for submission to the Defence of Bases Committee.

Policy relating to the Royal Observer Corps.

Secretary - COS (AA) Shadow Sub-Committee.

Ops AD 3
S C W Rudd

M C Tebbitt

Wg Cdr

Sqn Ldr

Policy of air raid reporting and fighter control organisation in the UK and overseas.

Liaison with D of Ops (Tac) where the tactical element is concerned.

Operations room procedure.

Statistical summaries and analyses of operational data.

Matters dealing with plotting room equipment.

Ops AD 4
J S Whitman

W R Lush

Wg Cdr

Flt Lt

Policy regarding smoke-screens (excluding airborne smoke-screens), RAF camouflage and decoy matters.

Air staff adviser to Ministry of Home Security on: -

  1. matters relating to civil camouflage
  2. blackout policy and exempt lighting

Liaison with Ministry of Home Security on air raid warning policy.

Member: -

  • Civil Camouflage Assessment Committee
  • No 2 Railway Lighting Sub-Committee
Ops AD 5
S M Krusin

L W Terry

Wg Cdr

Flt Lt

Preparation and amendment of  SD158 (1), SD158 (4) and SD533.

Drafting and negotiation of the Rules for Control of Gunfire against Aircraft and associated principles of recognition.

Policy and regulations regarding employment of identification devices.

Collaboration with Combined Recognition Committee in Washington, and drafting of documents for the Combined Communications Board.

Co-ordination between British Joint Recognition Committee and other Committees of the British Joint Communications Board.

Secretary - British Joint Recognition Committee

Ops AD 6
J H Smith

J Monckton

M M Monckton

Wg Cdr

Sqn Ldr


Preparation and amendment of  SD158 (2), SD158 (3) and SD158 (5).

Investigation of aids to recognition and recognition training.

Issue of regulations for the safeguarding of special flights at Home and overseas from engagement by friendly defences.

Policy for overseas recognition and routeing.

Permission for first flights of new or modified aircraft, and issue of information to defences.

Policy for recognition markings.

Promulgation of camouflage, colourings and markings.

Advice regarding new silhouettes.

Air Staff consideration of applications for schedule services by civil airlines and their employment of recognition and identification devices.

Preparation and amendment of 'Recognition and routeing (Civil)' (SD464).

Investigation of incidents in which aircraft are wrongfully engaged by friendly defences.

Clearance of exercises in which air co-operation is provided.

Issue of extracts from Admiralty Key Memorandum for civil pilots in the UK and Overseas.

Defence consideration for all proposals for armament training areas by Admiralty, War Office and Air Forces stationed in the UK, and other facilities required for non-operational flying.

Directorate of Bomber Operations (DB Ops)

Name Status/Rank Role/Duties
S O Bufton A/Cdre Director of Bomber Operations (DB Ops)

Joint Chairman - Combined Strategic Target Committee

Chairman - Bombing Committee (Land Targets)

Member -

  • Inter-Service Committee on Chemical Warfare
  • Aircraft Anti-Ship Committee
  • Aircraft Anti-U-boat Committee
H R Graham Gp Capt Deputy Director of Bomber Operations 1 (DB Ops 1)

Bombing policy and operational planning for strategic air forces

In charges of B Ops 1

N Carter Gp Capt Deputy Director of Bomber Operations 2 (DB Ops 2)

Policy relating to composition, organisation, armament and equipment of strategic bomber forces.

In charge of B Ops 2 (a) and B Ops 2 (b).

Deputy to DB Ops in his absence.

B Ops 1
G H Everitt

E J St L Strachey


R G Whitehead

J S Stratton

Wg Cdr

Wg Cdr

Sqn Ldr

Sqn Ldr

Flt Off

Bombing policy, operational planning, and target selection.

Study of results of bomber offensive and liaison with RE8 (Ministry of Home Security) on quantitative analysis of bombing effects.

Secretary - Combined Strategic Target Committee

Member - Combined Strategic Target Committee Working committees.

B Ops 2 (a)
D A Davies

H H Lawson

G D S Koester

J M Hicks

Wg Cdr

Wg Cdr

Sqn Ldr

Flt Off

Current strategic bomber operations in all theatres and liaison with US Strategic Air Forces.

Operational analyses, briefs and forecasts of operational effort and wastage of planning and provisioning purposes.

Air Staff policy relating to the composition, organisation and expansion of strategic bomber forces in all theatres including target finding and bomber support units.

Advice to Directorates concerned on strategic bomber policy regarding navigational aids, radio counter-measures and night flying equipment.

Liaison with MI 14 (e) (War Office) on tactical matters connected with the operation of heavy bombers.

B Ops 2 (b)
B Tassell

V W Armitage

E J Manser

Wg Cdr

Sqn Ldr

Flt Off

Air Staff operational policy relating to the development and provisioning of all forms of offensive weapons and weapon components employed in bombing operations.

Air Staff policy relating to pyrotechnics and ancillary bombing and bomb-carrying equipment generally.

Operations Records Reports to DB Ops (AL45)
H A Langton

F C Farrington

A C Sherriff

Wg Cdr (Officer i/c)

Sqn Ldr (Continuity of duties)

Sqn Ldr

Maintenance of continuous watch on current air operations; receipt and correlation of operational information; preparation and distribution of operational summaries.

The depicting of the general situation in all occupational zones.

Preparation and distribution of Orders of Battle.

Directorate of Operations (Tactical) (D of Ops (Tac))

Name Status/Rank Role/Duties
Kenneth B B Cross A/Cdre Director of Operations (Tactical) (D of Ops (Tac))
J Heber-Percy Gp Capt Deputy Director of Operations (Tactical) (DD of Ops (Tac))
Ops Tac 1
R M Colebrook

J C T Gardner

N W Waddington

Wg Cdr


Sqn Ldr

Operational employment of airborne forces in all theatres.

Co-ordination of operational requirements for, and development of tactical methods for employment of airborne forces in all theatres.

Development of, and recommendations for provisioning of equipment for airborne forces.

Development of maintenance by air during the assault phase or under conditions of air or ground opposition.

Liaison with War Office (Air 2) on military questions and with TO 3 on training questions affecting airborne forces.

Ops Tac 2
G M Dunlop

J G Boyd

Lt Col


Matters concerning Air Observation Post Squadrons, Helicopters, artillery co-operation, artillery reconnaissance and air observation of Naval bombardment.

Recognition and identification between ground forces and aircraft and air/ground visual communication.

Daily military situation in all theatres of war, and advice on general military subjects.

Liaison with War Office on: -

  • operational and training requirements for air photography for the Army (in conjunction with DD Photos)
  • provision of communication aircraft for use by the Army
  • matters affecting personnel interchanged between the RAF and the Army and the preparation of Army/Air publications.

Co-ordination of material for monthly Army/Air requirements meetings.

Ops Tac 3
C L Page


W McM Gilmour

W Percy

Wg Cdr

Sqn Ldr

Sqn Ldr

Flt Lt

Operational employment, recommendations and requirements for provisioning, of all units of the Tactical Air Forces.

Current operations by all Tactical Air Forces.

Use of air smoke weapons and chemical warfare by Tactical Air Forces.

Maintenance of Orders of Battle.

Maintenance and analysis of operational reports.

Liaison with School of Air Support.

Ops Tac 4
I M Davies Sqn Ldr Organisation for control of aircraft and communications systems in Tactical Air Forces.

Operations and Filter Room procedure as affecting Tactical Air Forces.

Requirements for radio counter-measures and navigational aids in Tactical Air Forces.

AA and balloon barrage defences in connection with expeditionary forces.

Liaison with Combined Operations HQ on participation of tactical air forces in amphibious operations.

Directorate of Operations (Maritime) (D of Ops (M))

Name Status/Rank Role/Duties
Alan D Gilmore A/Cdre Director of Operations (Maritime) (D of Ops (M))

Chairman - Trials Sub-Committee of Aircraft and Anti-Ship Committee.

Member: -

  • Anti U-boat Warfare Committee.
  • Aircraft Anti U-boat Committee.
W E Oulton Gp Capt Deputy Director of Operations (Maritime) 1 (DD of Ops (M) 1)

In charge of Ops (M) 1, Ops (M) 2, Ops (M)  3 and Ops (M) 4

V C Darling Gp Capt Deputy Director of Operations (Maritime) 2 (DD of Ops (M) 2)

In charge of Ops (M) 6

Policy relating to: -

  • operation and employment of Coastal Command aircraft and aircraft overseas performing the Anti-ship role.
  • development and provision of equipment, armament and sights for aircraft, the primary role of which is the attack of enemy surface ships (in conjunction with the appropriate branches)
  • Question of torpedoes and other weapons for ship attack.
Ops M 1
J A Holmes

F L Clark

Wg Cdr

Sqn Ldr

Policy relating to: -
  • operational employment of aircraft in overseas Commands performing the Anti U-boat, General Reconnaissance and Meteorological role.
  • provision of weapons and equipment for such aircraft.
  • tactical and technical development of weapons and equipment for aircraft in overseas Commands other than those performing the Anti-ship role (in consultation with the appropriate branches)
Ops M 2
J Sanderson Sqn Ldr Similar duties to those of Ops M 1 relating to aircraft in Coastal Command performing the Anti U-boat, General Reconnaissance and Meteorological role.
Ops M 3
K E Robertson SO Miscellaneous matters which do not come within the terms of the duties specified for DD Ops (M) 2, Ops M 1and Ops M 2.

Custody of Secret and Confidential books.

Preparation of briefs for Air Interception Committee

Ops M 4
C G Maby Sqn Ldr Current operations (Anti U-boat and General Reconnaissance) and Operational Analyses and Returns.

Preparation of papers and briefs for the Anti U-boat Warfare and Aircraft Anti U-boat Committees.

Ops M 6
R V Palmer Sqn Ldr Current operations (Anti-ship) and Operational Analyses and Returns.

Preparation of papers and briefs for the Aircraft Anti-ship Committee.

Naval Liaison Officer (NLO)
N Kennedy Cdr RN Adviser on naval operational matters.

Liaison between Admiralty and Air Ministry with special reference to Anti U-boat and Anti-ship operations.

Member of Enemy Shipping Losses Assessment Committee.

Air Staff Liaison (ASL)
G R M Clifford

R J O Compston

Gp Capt

Wg Cdr

Representation of D of Ops (M) within the Admiralty.

Maintenance of close liaison with Coastal Command and representation for them as and when required within the Admiralty.

Assistance to Admiralty in studying problems Affecting Coastal Command operations or similar operations in Overseas theatres of war.

Directorate of Navigation (D of Nav)

  1. Air Staff policy in relation to the science of air navigation.  Co-ordination of policy in relation to meteorology.

  2. Conveyance of air navigation policy to Commands and to the directorates responsible for tactics, training, operational requirements, radio and personnel matters.  Advice to the Meteorological Office.

  3. Air Staff policy in relation to Flying Control in the Royal Air Force.

Name Status/Rank Role/Duties
G I L Saye A/Cdre Director of Navigation (D of Nav)
W G Moseby Gp Capt Deputy Director of Navigation (DD of Nav)

Definition of air navigation policy in relation to technique, operational requirements, maps and charts, standards of training and personnel matters.

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

Control of Nav P 1, Nav P2 and Nav (Maps)

M Wyatt Wg Cdr Assistant Director of Navigation (AD of Nav (Met))

Liaison with Meteorological Office on questions relating to current and projected air operations.

Definition and co-ordination of policy in relation to Meteorological Reconnaissance Units.

Secretarial duties to the Meteorological Policy Committee.

Study of navigational and meteorological briefing procedures.

Air Staff representative on Meteorological Research Committee.

Nav P 1
E H Bagnald Wg Cdr Air navigation policy in relation to technique and standards of training and study of developments in navigating technique.

Maintenance of history sheets for navigating personnel and liaison with directorates responsible for establishments and postings, in regard to such personnel.

Policy with regard to air navigation literature and publicity and security matters relating to air navigation

Nav P 2
J F Davis Sqn Ldr Air navigation policy in relation to operational requirements.

Study of technical developments in navigation in consultation OR 3 (a) and AD of S (Rav/Nav).

Policy in relation to RAF map, chart and aerial survey in consultation with D Survey.

Nav (Maps)
R O Buchanan Sqn Ldr Special map requirements for Air Ministry.

Collection and collation of specialized information to be shown on RAF operational maps.

General liaison officer between Air Ministry branches and D Survey.

Directorate of Air Tactics (DAT)

Tactical policy, advice on tactical matters to Air Staff, Commands, etc, and general co-ordination of air tactics.

Name Status/Rank Role/Duties
Thomas C Traill A/Cdre Director of Air Tactics (DAT)

Chairman: -

  • Sub-Committee of Operation Research Committee on Tactical Countermeasures to Enemy Night-Fighters and AA Defences
  • Tactical Sub-Committee of the Aircraft Anti-ship Committee.

Member: -

  • Aircraft Anti U-boat Committee.
  • Weapons Sub-Committee of the Aircraft Anti U-boat Committee.
  • Incendiary Panel
  • Trials Sub-Committee of the Aircraft Anti-ship Committee.
  • Bombing Committee (Land Targets).
A C P Carver Gp Capt Deputy Director of Air Tactics 1 (DDAT 1)

Development of tactical doctrine.

Planning and preparation of tactical papers.

Policy of Tactical Development Units.

Control of AT 1, AT 2, AT 3 and AT 5.

F G Brookman Gp Capt Deputy Director of Air Tactics 2 (DDAT 2)

Continuity of the work of the Directorate.

Co-ordination of crew requirements for operational aircraft.

Secretary - Bombing Committee (Land Targets).

Control of AT 4, AT 6 and AT 7.

AT 1
H A S Johnston Wg Cdr Investigation and study of the tactical use of fighter aircraft and of the tactics of fighter forces.

Liaison with Central Fighter Establishment.

AT 2
K P Smales Wg Cdr Investigation and study of the tactical use of bomber aircraft and of the tactics of bomber forces, and of the air tactical aspect of airborne operations.

Liaison with Bombing Development Unit, Bomber Support Development Unit and Air Transport Tactical Development Unit.

AT 3
B E Dobb Wg Cdr Investigation and study of the tactical use of maritime aircraft and of the tactics of maritime air forces (including bombing, fighting, torpedo and anti-submarine tactics).

Liaison with Air/Sea Warfare Development Unit.

AT 4
W H Clark Sqn Ldr Air Tactic Bureau: -
  • maintenance of tactical records
  • compilation of summaries of tactical information and deductions therefrom indicating the trend of tactics

Liaison on matters affecting tactical records with Air Ministry War Room, Admiralty, War Office and Combined Operations HQ.

AT 4 (a)
J L B Norris Flt Lt Extracting and recording of tactical data of Bomber and Coastal Command's activities and of similar activities overseas,

Assistance to AT 2 and AT 3.

AT 4 (b)
D H Keary Sqn Ldr Extracting and recording of tactical data affecting fighter aircraft in tactical air forces and other formations, and on the tactical aspects of airborne operations.
AT 4 (c)
L C Filmer Flt Lt Extracting and recording of tactical information other than that undertaken by AT 4 (a) and (b), including information on Allied and enemy aircraft affecting tactics.

Supervision of recording system of the Air Tactics Bureau.

Assistance to AT 4.

AT 5
C J Giles Wg Cdr Advice on armament questions and study of armament development affecting tactics.
AT 6
D M Gent Flt Off Assistant to DDAT 2.

Circulation of DAT tactical papers, crew schedules and reports from CFE, BDU and ASWDU.

Enquiries regarding composition of crews of operational aircraft.

Deputy Directorate of Science (DD Science)

Scientific and administrative assistance to the Scientific Adviser to the Air Ministry (SAAM).

Correlation of operational research matters generally in the RAF.

Name Status/Rank Role/Duties
A C Menzies Gp Capt Deputy Director of Science (DD Science)

Also Deputy Scientific Adviser to the Air Ministry.

Reports on administrative policy to ACAS (Ops) and on all matters relating to operational research jointly to ACAS (Ops) and SAAM.  On purely scientific matters he reports to SAAM

Science 1
L A MacDonnell Wg Cdr Administration for DD Science.

Establishment of Operational Research Sections at home and overseas in conjunction with S2.

Receipt and distribution of Operational Research Section Reports.

Moves of Operational Research Section personnel in conjunction with MAP.

Liaison with overseas sections.

J E Linton Sqn Off Co-ordination of information from Operational Research Sections on Radar emissions.
M P L Wall Sqn Ldr Co-ordination of information from Operational Research Sections on subjects other than Radar,
M Keith Flt Off General assistance to Head of branch.
Science 2
I C de Teissier

P G Ashmore

R E MacPherson

R W H Stevenson

D Rind

Senior Scientific Officer

Sqn Ldr

Sqn Ldr

Sqn Ldr


Special investigations.
Science 3
Dr D C Gordon

Dr H R Pitt

T E Easterfield

O L S Philpot

L Farrington

Mrs C Pitt

Principal Scientific Officer (also Research Adviser on Manpower Economy)

Senior Scientific Officer

Scientific Officer

Sqn Ldr

Flt Lt

Junior Scientific Officer

Investigation of scientific aspects of problems connected with manpower, scales of effort ands maintenance.

Scientific investigation of indices to measure the relative efficiency of aircraft types, and other problems which affect operations but which are not directly operational in character.

Source - List of Staff and Distribution of Duties, January 1945 - AIR 20/7518 (AL30 - Aug 1944, AL36 - Apr 1945 and AL45 - Dec 1945)

This page was last updated on 20/09/21

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