Jack Baldwin (RAF officer)

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Sir John Eustice Arthur Baldwin
Wg Cdr Jack Baldwin - cropped.jpg
Wingg Commander Baldwin as Commandant of the Central Flying School
Nickname(s) Jack
Born (1892-04-13)13 April 1892
Halifax, England
Died 28 July 1975(1975-07-28) (aged 83)
Rutland, England
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Years of service
  • c. 1910 – 15 August 1939
  • 29 August 1939 – 15 December 1944
Rank Air Marshal
Commands held
Battles/wars
Awards

Air Marshal Sir John Eustice Arthur Baldwin KBE CB DSO DL RAF (13 April 1892 – 28 July 1975) was a senior officer in the British Royal Air Force during the Second World War.

Early life[edit]

Educated at Rugby School and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Baldwin was commissioned into the 8th (King's Royal Irish) Hussars in 1911 and served as a cavalry Officer in the First World War.[1]

RAF Service[edit]

Baldwin was awarded the Royal Aero Club's Aviator's Certificate no. 971 on 17 November 1914 and became a pilot in the Royal Flying Corps.[2] He was appointed Officer Commanding No. 55 Squadron in October 1916 and Officer Commanding No. 41 Wing in December 1917 before transferring to the Royal Air Force on its formation in 1918.[2] He was appointed Commandant of the Central Flying School in 1928 and served as Aide-de-Camp to King George V from 1931 to 1932.[2] He went on to be Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group in 1934, Director of Personal Services in 1935 and Commandant of the RAF College Cranwell in 1936 before taking up the post of Air Officer Commanding No. 21 Group in 1938.[2] He retired in August 1939.[2]

Just two weeks later, Baldwin was recalled to serve in the Second World War as Air Office Commanding 3 Group at RAF Bomber Command.[2] Between 9 January and 21 February 1942, he was Acting Commander In Chief of Bomber Command, after the removal of Richard Peirse. During this brief tenure the "Channel Dash" occurred, when the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau escaped from the French port of Brest and fled up the English Channel to the sanctuary of Kiel harbour in northern Germany.[3] In October 1942 he became Deputy Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief, India.[2] This appointment was followed from November 1943 by his posting as Air Officer Commanding Third Tactical Air Force which supported the ground battle in South East Asia.[2] He reverted to the Retired List again on 15 December 1944.[2]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Falconer, Jonathon (1998). The Bomber Command Handbook 1939-1945. Stroud: Sutton Publishing Limited. ISBN 0-7509-1819-5. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation - Air Marshal Sir John Baldwin
  3. ^ RAF History - Bomber Command 60th Anniversary
Military offices
Preceded by
C S Burnett
Commandant of the Central Flying School
1928–1932
Succeeded by
P C Maltby
Preceded by
H M Cave-Browne-Cave
RAF College Commandant
1936 – 1938
Succeeded by
unknown
Preceded by
Sir Richard Peirse
Commander-in-Chief Bomber Command (Acting)
1942
Succeeded by
Sir Arthur Harris
New title
Post established
Air Officer Commanding Tactical Air Force (Burma)
Post retitled AOC Third Tactical Air Force on 28 December 1943

1943–1944
Succeeded by
W A Coryton