John Frederick Andrews Higgins

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For other people of the same name, see John Higgins (disambiguation).
John Frederick Andrews Higgins
Born 1 September 1875
Died 1 June 1948 (aged 72)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Years of service c. 1895–1930
Rank Air Marshal
Commands held No. 5 Squadron RFC
RFC Training Wing
II Brigade RFC
VI Brigade RFC
III Brigade RFC
No. 3 Area
Midland Area
RAF forces of the Rhine
Northern Area
Inland Area
Iraq Command
Indian Air Force
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order
Air Force Cross
Mentioned in Despatches (6)
Other work Director of Air Service Training Ltd (1931?), Hamble, England, with J D Siddeley, F P Scott and S W Hiscocks.

Air Marshal Sir John Frederick Andrews Higgins KCB, KBE, DSO, AFC, RAF (1 September 1875 – 1 June 1948) was a senior officer in the Royal Flying Corps, serving as a brigade commander from 1915 to 1918. After World War I he served in a range of senior posts in the Royal Air Force until his retirement in 1930. He returned to active service for the first year of World War II.

RAF career[edit]

Higgins became a cadet at the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich and was commissioned into the Royal Field Artillery in 1895, serving in the Second Boer War.[2] In November 1900 he was awarded the DSO for his service during this war.[3]

He served as Officer Commanding No. 5 Squadron from July 1913 and then at the start of November 1914, Higgins was selected to head up the RFC's training wing which was based at Netheravon.[4] He went on to command II Brigade RFC, VI Brigade RFC and then III Brigade RFC during the course of World War I.[2] In the closing stages of the War he was General Officer Commanding No. 3 Area and then General Officer Commanding Midland Area.[2]

After the War he was appointed General Officer Commanding RAF forces of the Rhine and then Air Officer Commanding Northern Area before becoming Director of Personnel at the Air Ministry in 1920.[2] He went on to be Air Officer Commanding Inland Area in 1922, Air Officer Commanding Iraq Command in 1924 and Air Member for Supply and Research in 1926.[2] He retired to India in 1930 but was recalled as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Air Forces in India in October 1939 at the start of World War II before retiring again in August 1940.[2]


Military offices
New title
Squadron formed
Officer Commanding No. 5 Squadron
Succeeded by
A C H MacLean
New title
Wing formed from elements of the Military Wing
Officer Commanding No. 4 (Training) Wing
9 November 1914–1915
Succeeded by
Preceded by
T I Webb-Bowen
Officer Commanding No. 3 Wing
2 June – 25 August 1915
Succeeded by
W S Brancker
New title
Brigade formed
Brigadier-General Commanding 2nd Brigade RFC
23 October 1915 – 15 January 1916
2nd Brigade re-designated as the 6th Brigade
Title next held by
J M Salmond
In February 1916
New title
Brigade formed by re-designating the 2nd Brigade
Brigadier-General Commanding 6th Brigade RFC
15 – 30 January 1916
Succeeded by
New title
Brigade formed
Brigadier-General Commanding 3rd Brigade RFC
RAF from 1 April 1918

30 January 1916 – 29 April 1918
Succeeded by
C A H Longcroft
Preceded by
C F Lambert
RAF Director of Personnel
Succeeded by
Preceded by
J M Salmond
Air Officer Commanding Iraq Command
Succeeded by
E L Ellington
Preceded by
Sir Geoffrey Salmond
Air Member for Supply and Research
27 December 1926 – 1 September 1930
Succeeded by
H C T Dowding
Preceded by
Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferté
Commander-in-Chief, Air Forces in India
Succeeded by
Sir Patrick Playfair