HA25c The Viscount Portal of Hungerford Signed by Thomas Pike

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Viscount Portal of Hungerford RAF FDC Signed Pike. HA25c RAF FDC 22 April 1978 Isle of Man 50th Anniversary of No 3 Flying Training Squadron. Picture cachet of Viscount Portal of Hungerford and Victory Parade London 1945 and Flying Training School crest badge. Green flown cachet flown RAF Lemming in Jetstream training Sqn over Grantham Feltwell South Carney and Lemming on 2nd April to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Formation of No 3 F.T.S. Personal Signed by Marshal of the RAF Sir Thomas Pike GCBCBEDFC. 17 Jan 1924: Flight Cadet B Sqn RAF College 16 Dec 1925: Appointed to a Permanent Commission.16 Dec 1925:Pilot No 56 Sqn. 2 Oct 1928:Attended Instructors Course Central Flying School.19 Dec 1928:Instructor No 5 FTS. 6 May 1929: Instructor Central Flying School. 5 Aug 1930:Attended Long Aircraft Engineering Course Home Aircraft Depot. 1 Oct 1932:Engineering Staff RAF Depot Middle East 13 Nov 1934:Instructor No 4 FTS.19 Jan 1937:Attended RAF Staff College. 1 Jan 1938:CFI No 10 Flying Training School Tern Hill 14 Feb 1939:Staff Officer Deputy Directorate of Peace Organisation. Sep 1939:Air Staff Directorate of Organisation. 4 Feb 1941:Officer Commanding No 219 Sqn.29 Sep 1941: Air Staff – Night Fighters HQ No 11 Group. 2 Feb 1942: Officer Commanding RAF North Weald. 5 Aug 1942 SOA HQ No 11/12 Group.16 May 1943:Officer Commanding No 1 Mobile Operations Room Unit. 21 Feb 1944: SASO HQ Desert Air Force.23 Jun 1945:Commandant Officer Advanced Training School. Jul 1945:Commandant No 1 OATS. (RAF Digby from 13 Sep 1945)12 Oct 1946: Director of Operational Requirements.1 Jan 1949: Attended Imperial Defence College. 9 Jan 1950:AOC No 11 Group. 21 Jul 1951: Deputy Chief of Staff (Operations) HQ Allied Air Forces Central Europe. 12 Jun 1953:Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Policy) 9 Nov 1953: Deputy Chief of the Air Staff. 8 Aug 1956: AOC in C Fighter Command. 1 Jan 1960: Chief of the Air Staff. 1 Jan 1964:Deputy Supreme Commander Allied Powers Europe. 8 May 1967: Another old boy of Bedford School he entered the RAF College at Cranwell in 1924 and attained the rank of Flt Cdt Cpl prior to graduating in 1925. He started his flying career as a fighter pilot with No 56 Squadron at Biggin Hill initially flying Gloster Grebes and later Armstrong Whitworth Siskins. Qualifying as an instructor he then served at No 5 FTS Sealand before returning to the Central Flying School to train instructors. Whilst at the CFS he was a member of the Schools five man aerobatic team of Gipsy Moths in 1930. As was the norm in the pre war years he decided to further his knowledge and experience by training as a engineer which required him to attend the two year Engineering Officers course at the Home Aircraft Depot Henlow. Suitably qualified he was posted to the Middle East as an engineer. Remaining in the Middle East he returned to training as an instructor at No 4 FTS at Abu Sueir Egypt. His middle eastern tour completed he was selected to attend the RAF Staff College at Andover but instead of being posted to a staff position on completion he returned to flying training this time as Chief Flying Instructor at Tern Hill. However in 1939 he received his staff posting which was in the Deputy Directorate of Peace Organisation. When this deputy directorate became superfluous and its functions absorbed in the Directorate of Organisation he remained until early 1941. He at last returned to operations as CO of No 219 Squadron equipped with Beau fighter night fighters at Tang mere. He soon made his mark shooting down a German aircraft on his very first patrol and a further three night victories brought him a Bar to his DFC which he had won earlier in the year. Having developed some expertise as a night fighter pilot it was no surprise to find his next posting being as a Staff officer at HQ Fighter Command with responsibility for night fighters. Command of RAF North Weald and a further spell as a staff officer was followed by a posting overseas. Initially taking command of a mobile operations unit in early 1944 he was promoted to air commodore and appointed SASO to the Desert Air Force remaining as such for the remainder of the Italian campaign. On his return to Britain he assumed command of the Officers Advanced Training School before once again entering the Air Ministry as Director of Operational Requirements. He held this post during an important period of RAF history as plans were brought to fruition for the replacement of the numerous wartime piston engine aircraft by the new breed of jet powered fighters and later bombers. However having overseen the introduction of many new types and prepared the way for the further introduction of others he returned to study this time at the Imperial Defence College. Following completion of the IDC course he returned to the fighter world as AOC No 11 Group. His first NATO appointment came in 1951 when he assumed the duties of Chief of Staff (Operations) at the then HQ in Fontainebleau France. Returning to the Air Ministry as ? he was soon appointed Deputy Chief off the Air Staff with a seat on the Air Council following the unfortunate and untimely death of Air Marshal W A D Brook. Having commanded a fighter squadron station and group he completed the set when he was appointed AOC in C Fighter Command in 1956. At the turn of 1960 he was appointed to the ultimate post in the RAF that of Chief of the Air Staff. He held the post during a period of major changes in defence policy such as the scrapping of Blue Streak cancellation of Sky bolt and the decision to hand over the guardianship of the nuclear deterrent to the Royal Navy. In 1962 he undertook a World Tour visiting RCAF and USAF bases as well as RAF units overseas. During this tour he addressed both the RCAF Staff College and the United States War College. Unlike his predecessors his spell as CAS did not bring his career to an end having been offered the post of Deputy Supreme Allied Commander. Accepting the appointment somewhat reluctantly he served for three years but at the end of it he knew that his initial reluctance had been proved correct. In retirement he became an active member of his local community. He was President of RAFA for 10 years between 1969 and 1978 and was made Deputy Lt of Essex in 1973 retaining the post until 1981. He died in the RAF Hospital at Halton in 1983. Citation for the award of the Distinguished Flying Cross. Wing Commander Thomas Geoffrey PIKE (16202) – No.219 Squadron. This officer who recently assumed command of the squadron has shown great skill in intercepting enemy aircraft at night. During his first night patrol he intercepted and it is believed destroyed a aiding aircraft. He has since destroyed 3 enemy aircraft of which 2 were destroyed during one night. His keenness and example have had a splendid effect on other members of his squadron. Citation for the award of the Bar to the Distinguished Flying Cross. Wing Commander Thomas Geoffrey PIKE D.F.C. (16202) No.219 Squadron. This officer has displayed outstanding skill and keenness in his efforts to seek and destroy the enemy at night. One night recently while his aerodrome was being bombed he took off to engage the attackers when the aerodrome was illuminated by the glare from a large number of incendiary bombs. Details and Black and White photo enclosed of Viscount Portal of Hungerford. Certified Copy No of 1299 Signed Project Officer.