List of all Fleet Air Arm 
Commanding Officers 1939-1945

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L
M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W

- X - Y - Z

 


 
 

 

JS Bailey RN
Born 
Rank: Sub Lt (1941), Lt. Cdr (A)(1943) 
Honours and Awards: OBE date 
Died 
Other information 
- 1 probable victory, BF109 in Kirkenes raid from HMS Victorious 
   (827 sqdn) (other crew in Albacore: Lt LC Williams, and L/A CT 
   Roberts). 30.7.1941 
- CO of first operation sqdn to receive Fairey Barracuda, 1.1943.
- squadron aircrew had numerous problems with the new Barracuda, and assisted by RN Test Pilots from A&AEE Boscombe Down, notably Lt Cdr Baker-Falkner, 1-8.1943
- became CO of 768 Deck Landing Training School, Machrihanish, 6.1943
- barrier crash HMS Tracker in swordfish 2.9.1943 (768 sqdn) 
- DLT, crashed HMS Ravager 8.12.1943 (768 sqdn) 
- hit barrier HMS Argus in martlet 25.4.1944 (768 sqdn) 
- barrier crash HMS Argus in martlet 12.5.1944 (768 sqdn 
- hit barrier HMS Argus in martlet 2.6.1944 (768 sqdn 
- barrier crash HMS Argus in martlet 4.6.1944 (768 sqdn) 
- hit barrier HMS Argus in barracuda 25.6.1944 (768 sqdn) 
- barrier crash HMS Argus in martlet 13.9.1944 (768 sqdn) 
- end of posting with 769 sqdn, 10.1944.
- CO of 815 Barracuda sqd at Mullaghmore and Machrihanish, 1-3.1945

Commands:

827

Feb 1943

Aug 1943

 

815

Jan 1945

April 1945

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ON Bailey RN
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr 
Honours and Awards 
Died 
Other information 
- held posting of CO 882 sqdn for 3 weeks, 15.7.1941 to 10.8.1941
- briefly, for 2 weeks, in command of 891 sqdn until it disbaned after the disaster of HMS Dasher blowing up with heavy lost of life.
- OBE 
- Seniority 12.1953 (C) 

Commands:

882

July 1941

Aug 1941

 

891

March 1943

April 1943

 disbanded after  hms dasher blew up, 27.3.1943

 

 

PEI Bailey RN
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr 
Honours and Awards 
Died 
Other information 
- took up command of 886 when it became part of the 24th Naval Fighter Wing
- on D-Day +1 shot down in seafire in English channel by AA fire from Allied ships, rescued 7.6.1944 (886 sqdn). 
- served onboard HMS Attacker 10-12.1944, Dekheila and Helwan till April 1945 (879 sqdn)
- MBIM 
- Seniority 12.1959 (C)

Commands:

886

Oct 1943

July 1944

 

879

Nov 1944

April 1945

 

 

 

C Baillard RNVR
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr (A) 
Honours and Awards 
Died 
Other information 
- took up command of 881 for ops in Norwegian waters, onboard HMS Pursuer, and HMS Trumpeter 1.1945 and HMS Puncher 2.1945 (881 sqdn). 
- Onboard HMS Pursuer to Wingfield, Capetown 4.45 where re-equiped with hellcats for working up as part of 12th Carrier Air Group with the British Pacific Fleet still in command at Wingfield at the end of WW2 (881 sqdn).
 

Commands:

881

Oct 1944

End of WW2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RS Baker-Falkner RN
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr (A) 
Honours and Awards: DSC (1942), DSO (1944),  MID, Battle of Britain 
Missing:18.7.1944 
Other information 
-involved in Dunkirk evacuation 1940 (812 sqdn)
- took part in the Battle of Britain 1940 (812 sqdn/600 sqdn?)
- involved in Petsamo raid 1941 (812 sqdn)
- took part in Ministry film "Find, Fix, and Strike" (767 sqdn)
- was Fairey Barracuda test pilot at A&AEE Boscombe Down (1942-1943)
- took up command as first Wing Leader 8th Naval TBR Wing, 10.1943
- led FAA attack on German Battleship Tirpitz, Operation Tungsten, 3.4.1944 (No.
  8 TBR)
- led FAA strike against enemy shipping off Norway, Operation Ridge Able 1944
 (No 8 TBR)
- FTR after a/s patrol on return from Operation Mascot against Tirpitz (No 8 TBR)

See Personnel Record [coming soon]

Commands:

827

Aug 1943

Oct 1943

 

8th Naval  TBR Wing (827, 830 sqdns)

Oct 1943

July 1944

Lost 18.7.1944

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GC Baldwin RN
Born 
Rank: Lt (1942), Lt Cdr (A) (1943). 
Honours and Awards: DSC (1943) & Bar (post June 1944) 
Died 
Other information: 
- 1 confirmed victory, Dw520, shot down in seafire on Operation Torch, La Senia
   airfield 8.11.1942 (807 sqdn)
-  took up command of 807 sqdn onboard HMS Hunter for the Mediterranean where the sqdn subsequently maintained detachments at Gibraltar and Blida 
- second wing leader 4th Naval Fighter Wing taking part in operations in Italy
- involved in invasion of South of France, 8.1944
- Operations in the Aegean providing Army co-operation support
- Saw service with the East Indies Fleet, early 1945
- CBE 
- Seniority 12.1958 (C)

Commands:

807

Oct 1943

June 1944

 

4th Fighter Wing (807, 809, 879 sqdns)

June 1944

Nov 1945

 

 

 

JG Baldwin RN
Born 
Rank: Lt (1943), Lt Cdr (1945) 
Honours and Awards: DSC
Died 
Other information 
- embarked HMS Biter for escort duties, attacking and damaging U-203 25.4.1943 (811 sqdn).
- led sqdn in HMS Victorious on operations against Sakishima Gunto islands (1834/1836 sqdns)
- part of 1st Carrier Air Group, British Pacific Fleet, 1945
- took part in attacks on Japanese targets near Tokyo, 1945 (1834/1836 sqdns)
- Air Group Commander of 51st Training Air Group, 1949

Commands:

811

Jan 1943

April 1943

 

1834

26 April 1945

End of WW2

 

1836

21 May 1945

June 1945

 

 

 

EE Barringer RNVR
Born 
Rank: Lt (A)(1944), Lt Cdr (1944). 
Honours and Awards: MID (capture of Lothringen/Bismarck, 1941) 
Died 
Other information 
- involved in destroying 6 Italian destroyers in the Red Sea, HMS Eagle, 1941 (803 sqdn)
- involved in capture of German supply ship Lothringen with HMS Dunedin during search for the German battleship Bismarck, 1941 (803 sqdn)

See autobiography. 

Commands:

835

Feb 1944

Aug 1944

 

 

 

NA Bartlett RN
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr 
Honours and Awards 
Died 
Other information 
- 1 confirmed victory, Operation Pedestal, S79 shot down 12.8.1942 (806 sqdn)
- took command of 890 sqdn at Port Ellen, RAF 15 Group, till 12.1943 (890 sqd), 
- based at Puttalam and onboard HMS Atheling, 3-8.1944
- Seniority 9.1949 (Lt Cdr)

Commands:

890

Nov 1943

Aug 1944

 Sqdn disbanded 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RL Bigg-Wither RN
Born
Rank: Lt Cdr (A) 
Honours and Awards DSC & bar (pre March 1944) 
Died 
Other information 
- Operation Mascot against German battleship Tirpitz 1944
- Operation Goodwood aganst Tirpitz, 8.1944
- joined as Wing Leader 6th Naval Fighter Wing, 9.1944
- led strikes on Sakishima Gunto islands in the East China Seas, 4-5.1945
- led Japanese operations in the Tokyo area, 1945
- recommended VC for his senior pilot, Lt RH Gray, DSC, RCNVR killed in action, 1945 

Commands:

1841

March 1944

End of WW2

 

6th Naval Fighter Wing

Aug 1944

June 1945

disbanded into 2nd CAG 

 

 

FDG Bird RM
Born 
Rank: Captain Royal Marines 
Honours and Awards 
Died 
Other information 
- formed up the first 888 martlet sqdn in Nov 1941 at Lee-on-Solent, Nov 1941
- provided cover during the landings at Madagascar, 5.1942.
- took part in the invasion of North Africa, Operation Torch , abortive dusk chase after 3 Ju88, from HMS Formidable (888 sqdn) 
- involved in landings of Sicily, 7.1943
- involved in landings at Salerno, 9.1943
- OBE 
- Seniority 12.1958 (Col) 

Commands:

888

Nov 1941

Oct 1943

 

759 CFI

1943

1944

 

 

 

RA Bird RN
Born 1917 
Rank: Lt (1941), Lt Cdr (1943) 
Honours and Awards DSC & Bar 
Died 10.4.1946 
Other information 
- commanded 881 for operations during simulated invasion of Norway, HMS Furious and HMS Unicorn, 7.1943 
- 1 confirmed damaged, Fw200, in hurricane, from Ariguani in Convoy OG75, 
  4.10.1941 (804 sqdn) 

- 1 confirmed shared victory, Potez 63-11 at Diego Suarez, Madagascar operations 
   6.5.1942 (881 sqdn) 
- 1 confirmed shared victory, Bv138, in martlet shared Am974 from HMS Furious 
  8.7.1943 (881sqdn) 
- CO of 882 joining HMS Searcher in 2.1945 for ops off Norway, including  1 confirmed victory and 1 confirmed damaged, in wildcat, both Bf109 26.3.1945 (882 sqdn)
- led successful strike on U-Boat base at Kilbotn, 5.1945 (882 sqdn)
-- Died HMS Gannet 10.4.1946 

Commands:

881

March 1943

Nov 1943

 

882

Nov 1944

June 1945

 

 

 

AF Black RN
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr 
Honours and Awards DSC (post 1942) 
Died 
Other information 
took up command of reformed 805 sqdn at Aboukir
and embarked HMS Illustrious for ops in the defence of Crete
- sqdn became part of RN Fighter Sqdn in Western Desert, 7.1941 (with RAF 264, 269 and 234 Wings)
- Seniority 6.1952 (C)

Commands:

805

Jan 1941

May 1942

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AW Bloomer RN
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr 
Honours and Awards DSC (1945) 
Died 
Other information 
- took up command of 809 sqdn, part of the East Indies Fleet 
- provided fighter cover for the re-occupation of Rangoon , HMS Attacker, 5.1945
- led bombing and fighter cover during photo recco Operation over Malaya and Sumtatra, 6.1945
- took part in providing cover for the re-occupation of Malya after VJ-Day.
-Seniority 12.1953 (Cdr)

Commands:

809

April 1945

end of WW2+

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

AP Boddam-Whetham RN
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr 
Honours and Awards: DSC (1943) 
Died
Other information 
- took up command of the reformed 850 sqdn at Squantum
- undertook ops in the English Channel under RAF Coastal Command, 4-5.44 (850 sqdn)
- commanding 848 sqdn and providing cover and anti-shipping patrols to the D-Day Normandy invasion forces under RAF Coastal Command at Manston and Thorney island.
- Seniority 2.1946 (Lt Cdr) 

Commands:

850

Sept 1943 

May 1944

 

848

May 1944

Aug 1944

 

 

 

AS Bolt RN
Born 1907  England 
Rank: Lt Cdr (1939) 
Honours and Awards DSO (Korea, 1951), DSC (1940) & Bar (1941, Battle of Matapan) 
Died 
Other information 
- joined RN in 1923 
- involved in search for the German pocket battleship Graf Spee in the Indian Ocean, autumn 1939, HMS Glorious (812 sqdn).
- returned to UK with HMS Glorious, needed for defence in the invasion of Norway.
- awarded DSO Captain of HMS Thesue (Korea)
- involved in lengthy spotting in Battle of Matapan from HMS Warspite in 
   swordfish (floats) 28.5.1941 (700 sqdn) 
- CB 
- Seniority 7.1956 (Rear Admiral) 

Commands:

812

June 1939

April 1940

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S Borrett RN
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr 
Honours and Awards 
Died 
Other information 
- rescued from sinking of HMS Courageous,  17.9.1939 (811 sqdn)
- took up comand of  815 sqdn, one of first FAA sqdns to be under RAF Coastal Command for operations in the English Channel, from 8.4.1940 based at Bircham Newton.
-seniority 30.6.1942 (Cdr)

Commands:

811

July 1939

Sept 1939

 HMS Courageous sunk and sqdn ceased to exist 17.9.1939 

815

Oct 1939

Nov 1939

Sqdn disbanded

815

Nov 1939

April 1940

 

 

 

BE Boulding RN
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr 
Honours and Awards DSC 
Died 
Other information 
- took up command of 822 sqdn re-equipping with Barracuda.
- joined as Wing Leader of 45th Naval TBR for intended service in the Eastern Fleet, with HMS Indefatigable, 10.1943.
- joined as Wing Leader of 21st Naval TBR for intended service in the Eastern Fleet, with HMS Illustrious, 11.1943.
- Seniority 1.8.1945 (Lt Cdr)

Commands:

822

Aug 1943

Dec 1943

 

45th Naval TBR Wing (822,823 sqdns)

Oct 1943

Dec 1943

 

21st Naval TBR Wing (810,847 sqdns)

Nov 1943

Feb 1944

 

 

 

RA Brabner MP, RNVR
Born 1912 UK 
Rank: Lt (1940), Lt Cdr (A) (1941) 
Honours and Awards DSO DSC 
Died 27.3.1945 
Other information 
- Member of Parliament for Hythe in 1939.
- Air ace with 5 confirmed destroyed enemy aircraft, 1 shared destroyed, 1 probable and 1 shared destroyed.
- 1 confirmed destroyed Cr42 and 2 probable destroyed in fulmar 28.11.1940 (806
   sqdn)
- commanded flight of Buffaloes in Crete, early 1941 (805 sqdn)
-  rescued by HMS Hotspur after ditching 10.3.1941(806 sqdn)
- involved in the major Malta convoys operation Harpoon, June 1942, and in Operation Pedestal, Aug 1942 in HMS Eagle (801 sdqn)
- 1 confirmed destroyed Mc200, 1 confirmed destroyed S.79, 1 shared destroyed Ju.88, and 1 damaged, Ba99, [Cant z1007?], and 1 probable S.79, in hurricane from
  HMS Eagle, 14.6.1942  (801 sqdn). 
- killed 27.3.1945 

See Aces High biography 

Commands:

801

Aug 1941

Sept 1942

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RE Bradshaw RN
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr (A) 
Honours and Awards: DSC (1941/43) and Bar (1944/45) 
Died 
Other information 
- provided anti-submarine support in the Sicily Invasions, 6.1943 (826 sqdn). 
- commanded 852 sqdn from its first formation at Squantum. 
- involved in anti-shipping strikes off norwegian coast (852 sqdn). 
- sqdn on HMS Nabob when badly damaged by torpedoes from U-354 
- took up command of 828 sqdn, immediately after VJ-Day, following the sqdn being involved in strikes against the Japanese mainland the previous month. 

Commands:

826

May 1943

Aug 1943

 sqd disbanded

852

Nov 1943

Oct 1944

 

828

End of WW2+

 

 

 


 

HP Bramwell RN
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr (1940) 
Honours and Awards DSO, DSC (1940) 
Died
Other information 
- took part in operations during the Norwegian campaign, 4.1940
- shot down 1 Do18 shared with other skua, 16.4.1940
- He111 shot down, shared with other skua, 26.4.1940
- CO of 778 sqdn, Arbroath 1941-1942.
- seniority 31.12.1942 (Cdr) 

Commands:

801

Jan 1940

April 1940

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S Brilliant RN
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr (A) 
Honours and Awards 
Died 
Other information 
- commanded 824 barracuda sqdn on its re-forming at Katukurunda, Ceylon

Commands:

824

July 1945

End of WW2+ 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EM Britton RN
Born 1920 
Rank: Lt Cdr (A) 
Honours and Awards 
Died 21.6.1946 
Other information 

  • took command of one of the first sqdns to be equiped with Barracuda, sqdn joining No 52 Naval TBR Wing , 11.1943
  • first Wing leader of 2nd Naval TBR Wing
  • Wing Leader of 12th TBR Wing on HMS Begum in 2.1944 for BPF
  • joined HMS Indomitable in 7.1944 for operations

Died 21.6.1946 HMS Falcon, Malta 

Commands:

831

Sept 1943

Jan 1944

 

2nd Naval TBR Wing (828, 841 sqdns)

Jan 1944

July 1944

 

12th Naval TBR Wing (815, 817 sqdns)

Jan 1944

Dec 1944

 

52nd Naval TBR Wing (829, 831 sqdns - ex 815, 817 sdqns)

Jan 1944

Feb/March 1944

 

 

 

HH Britton RN
Born 
Rank: Lt 
Honours and Awards 
Died 
Other information 
- took up command of 828 sqdn at Hal Far. 
- sqdn joined 828 sqdn to attack shipping and illumination of Pantellaria, 5.1943.

Commands:

828

March 1943

May 1943

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HF Bromwich RN
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr (A) 
Honours and Awards 
Died 
Other information 
- provided fighter cover in Operation Tungsten, atttack on German battleship Tirpitz, 3.4.1944 (801 sqdn)
- provided cover in strikes on shipping off Norway, 5.1944
- provided cover in Operation Mascot, against the Tirpitz, 17.7.1944
- Seniority 11.1945 (Lt Cdr) 

Commands:

801

Nov 1943

July 1944

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DG Brooker RNVR
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr (A) 
Honours and Awards 
Died 20.3.1945 
Other information 
- took command of the first commissiing of 1846 sqdn at Brunswick
- killed HMS Colossus, 20.3.1945 

Commands:

1846

July 1944

March 1945

 killed 20.3.1945 the sqdn disbanding soon after

 

 

 

 

 

 

D Brooks RNVR
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr (A) 
Honours and Awards: DSC (pre 1944) and bar (1944)(Tirpitz) 
Died 
Other information 
- Led second strike in Operation Tungsten, against German battleship Tirpitz, 3.4.1944 (No 52 Naval TBR)
- joined 821 sqdn, HMS Trumpter for the Far East, 7.1945

Commands:

831

Feb 1944

May 1944

 

821

June 1945

End of WW2+

 

 

 

FW Brown RM
Born 
Rank: Captain Royal Marines 
Honours and Awards 
Died 
Other information
- took part in Malta convoys, HMS Eagle, 2.1942 and 3.1942
- ended command when HMS Eagle sunk 11.8.1942 and sqdn ceased to exist.

Commands:

824

Aug 1941

Aug 1942

Sqdn disbanded 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JM Brown RNVR
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr 
Honours and Awards DSC (pre 1943) 
Died 
Other information 
- took part in providing anti-submarine operations under RAF Coastal Command (156 GR Wing) in English Channel during D-Day invasion of Normandy.

Commands:

838

Nov 1943

Aug 1944

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JM Bruen RN
Born Dublin, Eire 20.12.1910 
Rank: Lt (1940), Lt Cdr 
Honours and Awards: DSO, DSC (for ops March 1941) 
Died 
Other information 
- Air Ace with 4 destroyed enemy aircraft, 4 shared destroyed, 2 damaged, 2 shared damaged, 1 shared damaged on ground.
- first saw action over Dakar when leading attack on the French Fleet, 9.1940 (803 sqdn)
- 1 confirmed destroyed Ju88 in fulmar, 21.3.1941, Tripoli (803 sqdn)
- led sqdn in attacks on Madagascar, in Operation Ironclad, 5-7.5.1942 
- took part in Operation Pedestal convoy to Malta, 8.1942 (800 sqdn)
- took part in the landings in Oran/La Senia, Algeria (North Africa), 11.1942
- 1destroyed D-520 at Oran airfield, 8.11.1942 (800sqdn)

See biography in "Aces High"

Commands:

803

June 1940

Oct 1940

 

803

Nov 1940

July 1941

 

800

March 1942

Dec 1942

 

 

 

JPG Bryant RN (RAF)
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr (Sqdn Ldr, RAF) 
Honours and Awards 
Died 
Other information 
- commanded 802 sqdn in the Mediterranean with HMS Glorious.
- involved in the search for German pocket battleship Graf Spee in the Indian Ocean, 1939
- seniority 31.12.1940 (Cdr) 

Commands:

802

Jan 1938

March 1940

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

RF Bryant RN
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr (A) 
Honours and Awards 
Died 
Other information 
- took command of 808 sqdn which in 6.1945 was involved in strikes against Sumatran airfields
-took part in providing cover during occupation of Malaya after VJ-Day.
- Seniority 6.1951 (Lt Cdr) 

Commands:

808

June 1945

End of WW2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DK Buchanon-Dunlop RN
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr 
Honours and Awards DSC 
Died 
Other information 
- involved in operations duing Dunkirk evacuation and in the English Channel as senior observer (812 sqdn)
- took part in anti-submarine patrols and bombing strikes in Madagascar landings, 5.1942
- survived the bombing of HMS Indomitable during Operation Pedestal to Malta, 8.1942
- served on HMS Indefatigable during Operation Mascot, attack against German battleship Tirpitz, 17.7.1944
- served on the British delegation in Nuremberg Trials. 
- Seniority 6.1955 (C) 

Commands:

827

May 1942

Sept 1942

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JB Buckley RN
Born British 
Rank: Lt Cdr 
Honours and Awards: MID 
Died 21.3.1943 
Other information: 
- involved in operations in the English Channel against U-boats, E-boats and enemy shipping in the lead up to the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Forces
- taken POW 29 May 1940, shot down during Dunkirk evacuation period
- escaped POW camp 3.1943 and died 21.3.1943 in canoe escaping from Germany to Sweden

See CWGC database

Commands:

825

Feb 1940

May 1940

 POW 
29.5.1940

 

 

 

 

 

 

DJ Bunyan RNVR
Born 
Rank: Lt Cdr (A) 
Honours and Awards 
Died 
Other information 
- CO of 846 sqdn, with plans to join 4th CAG on HMS Illustrious in the BPF, instead role was a s a trials unit.

Commands:

846

16 June 1945

End of WW2

 disbanded Sept 1945

 

 

 

 

 

 

AR Burch RM
Born 
Rank: Major Royal Marines 
Honours and Awards 
Died 
Other information 
- involved in convoy escort duty in HMS Furious, 7.1945

Commands:

822

Oct 1941

Aug 1942

 

 

 

 

 

 

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