Neil Wheeler

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Henry Neil George Wheeler
Born 8 July 1917
Pretoria, Union of South Africa
Died 9 January 2009 (aged 91)
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Years of service 1935 – 1976
Rank Air Chief Marshal
Commands held No. 236 Squadron
RAF Laarbruch
Far East Air Force
Battles/wars World War II
Malayan Emergency
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Flying Cross & bar
Air Force Cross
Other work Director of Rolls Royce (1977-82) and Director of Flight Refuelling (Holdings)

Air Chief Marshal Sir Henry Neil George Wheeler, GCB, CBE, DSO, DFC and bar, AFC (8 July 1917 – 9 January 2009) was a British Royal Air Force officer.

Military career[edit]

Educated St Helen's College in Southsea and the Royal Air Force College Cranwell, Wheeler was commissioned into the Royal Air Force in 1935.[1] He served with Bomber Command from 1937 and then spent part of World War II as Officer Commanding No. 236 Squadron[2] in Fighter Command before going to the RAF Staff College and US Army Staff College in 1943.[1]

After the War he joined the Directing Staff at the RAF Staff College[disambiguation needed] and then transferred to the Far East Air Force in 1947.[1] He was posted to the Directing Staff at the Joint Services Staff College in 1949 and to Bomber Command in 1951 before going to the Air Ministry in 1953.[1] He was appointed Assistant Commandant at the RAF College in 1957 and Officer Commanding RAF Laarbruch in 1959.[1] He attended the Imperial Defence College in 1961 and then served in the Ministry of Defence from 1961.[1] He became Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters RAF Germany (2 Tactical Air Force) in 1963 and Assistant Chief of Defence Staff (Operational Requirements) in 1966.[1] He was made Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Operational Requirements) in 1967 and Commander of the Far East Air Force in 1969.[1] He was Air Member for Supply and Organisation at the Ministry of Defence from 1970 and then Controller of Aircraft at the Procurement Executive from 1973.[1]

In retirement he became a Director of Rolls Royce Limited.[1]


In 1942 he married Elizabeth Weightman and then went on to have two sons and a daughter.[3]


External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
New Post
Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Operational Requirements)
Succeeded by
Sir Noel Thomas
Preceded by
Sir Rochford Hughes
Commander-in-Chief Far East Air Force
1969 – 1970
Succeeded by
N M Maynard
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Prickett
Air Member for Supply and Organisation
1970 – 1973
Succeeded by
Sir Anthony Heward
Preceded by
Sir Peter Fletcher
Controller Aircraft
1973 – 1975
Succeeded by
Sir Douglas Lowe