Brian Edmund Baker
|Brian Edmund Baker|
31 August 1896|
|Died||8 October 1979
|Service/branch||Royal Air Force|
|Years of service||1915–1950|
|Commands held||No. 32 Squadron RAF
No. 141 Squadron RAF
|Battles/wars||World War I
World War II
|Awards||Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order, Military Cross
Air Force Cross
Order of the White Lion (Czechoslovakia)
Croix de guerre 1914–1918 (France)
Commander's Cross with Star of the Polonia Restituta
Czechoslovak Military Cross
Commander of the Legion of Merit (US)
Air Marshal Sir Brian Edmund Baker KBE, CB, DSO, MC, AFC (31 August 1896 – 8 October 1979) was a British Flying Ace in World War I credited, in conjunction with his gunners, with 12 victories, comprising 1 enemy aircraft captured, 4 destroyed (including one shared), and 7 "out of control" wins (including one shared).
Baker served in the Rifle Brigade at the outbreak of war and transferred to the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) in August 1915. He was then transferred to France with a total of only twelve hours flying time and joined No. 13 Squadron, which was flying BE2 aircraft. In January 1917 he was given command of a flight in the newly formed No. 48 Squadron. He helped shoot down a Gotha heavy bomber on 22 July 1917.
After the war he remained with the RAF, being appointed Officer Commanding the Experimental Section at the Royal Aircraft Establishment in 1926, Officer Commanding No. 32 Squadron in 1929 and Chief Flying Instructor at RAF Leuchars in 1932. He went on to be Senior RAF Officer on HMS Courageous in 1935, Station Commander at RAF Gosport in 1937 and Station Commander at RAF Leuchars in 1938.
He served in World War II as Air Officer Commanding No. 51 Group from 1940, Air Officer Commanding RAF Iceland from 1941 and Air Officer Commanding No. 16 Group from 1942 before transferring to No. 19 (Reconnaissance) Group in 1943 and taking command of RAF East Africa in 1945.
After the War he was appointed Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters RAF Middle East and then, from December 1945, Deputy Air Commander-in-Chief, RAF Mediterranean and Middle East before becoming Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief at RAF Transport Command in 1947 and retiring in 1950.
Honours and awards
- Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire - 15 August 1944
- Companion of the Order of the Bath - 2 June 1943
- Distinguished Service Order - 4 March 1918
- Military Cross - 25 March 1917
- Air Force Cross - 1 January 1919
- Croix de Guerre (1914-1918) - 18 April 1918, France
- Commander's Cross with Star of the Order of Polonia Restituta - Poland, 12 June 1945
- Order of the White Lion Second Class - Czechoslovakia, 15 March 1946
- Commander of the Legion of Merit - United States, 13 September 1948
- Shores, C., Franks, N., Guest, R. Above the Trenches. Grub Street, 1990. p.57 ISBN 0-948817-19-4
- Brian Edmund Baker at The Aerodrome
- Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation - Air Marshal Sir Brian Baker
Sir Ralph Cochrane
|Commander-in-Chief Transport Command
Sir Aubrey Ellwood