|Sir Hugh Saunders|
Hugh Saunders as Air Officer Commanding No. 11 Group during the Second World War
24 August 1894|
Germiston, South Africa
|Died||8 May 1987
Ringwood and Fordingbridge, England
|Service/branch||South African Army (1914–17)
Royal Air Force (1917–53)
|Years of service||1914–1953|
|Rank||Air Chief Marshal|
|Commands held||Air Forces Western Europe
Inspector-General of the RAF
Air Member for Personnel
No. 11 Group
Chief of the Air Staff (RNZAF)
No. 45 Squadron
|Battles/wars||First World War
Second World War
|Awards||Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Flying Cross & Bar
Mentioned in Despatches
Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh William Lumsden Saunders GCB, KBE, MC, DFC & Bar, MM (24 August 1894 – 8 May 1987) was a South African who rose through the ranks to become a senior Royal Air Force commander.
Saunders enlisted with the Witwatersrand Rifles Regiment in 1914 at the start of the First World War and then served in the South African Rifles before becoming a pilot in No. 84 Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps. He became a triple ace, with 15 victories credited to him. He was promoted to squadron leader on 29 May 1929. He was appointed Officer Commanding No. 45 Squadron in 1932.
Saunders served in the Second World War, initially as Chief of Staff for the Royal New Zealand Air Force before becoming Air Officer Administration at Headquarters Fighter Command in February 1942 and then being made Air Officer Commanding No. 11 Group in November 1942. He was made Director-General of Personnel at the Air Ministry in November 1944.
At the end of the war, he was made Air Officer Commanding RAF Burma before becoming Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Bomber Command in January 1947. He went on to be Air Member for Personnel in October 1947, Inspector-General of the RAF in October 1949 and Commander-in-Chief at Headquarters Air Forces Western Europe in February 1951. He was appointed Air Deputy to Supreme Allied Commander Europe and retired in September 1953.
Honours and awards
- Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath – 1 June 1953 (KCB – 2 January 1950, CB – 2 June 1943)
- Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire – 14 June 1945 (CBE – 1 July 1941)
- Military Cross – 16 September 1918
- Distinguished Flying Cross – 2 Nov 1918, Bar – 28 October 1921
- Military Medal – 12 Mar 1917
- Mentioned in Despatches – 1 January 1945
- Polonia Restituta, 2nd Class (Poland) – 12 June 1945
- Commander of the Legion of Merit (United States) on 20 April 1948, "in recognition of valuable services rendered in connection with the war".
- Officer of the Legion of Honour (France) – 194?
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Dannebrog (Denmark) – 20 November 1956, "in recognition of valuable services rendered by him as adviser to the Danish Government on the reorganisation of the Royal Danish Air Force".
- Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation – Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Saunders
- Hugh Saunders The Aerodrome
- The London Gazette: . 28 May 1929. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
- The London Gazette: . 16 April 1948. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
- The London Gazette: . 20 November 1956. Retrieved 26 July 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hugh Saunders.|
|Chief of the Air Staff (RNZAF)
|Air Officer Commanding No. 11 Group
Sir Norman Bottomley
|Commander-in-Chief Bomber Command
January – October 1947
Sir Aubrey Ellwood
Sir John Slessor
|Air Member for Personnel
Sir Leslie Hollinghurst
Sir Leslie Hollinghurst
|Inspector-General of the RAF
Sir James Robb
|Air Deputy to SACEUR