Philip Joubert de la Ferté

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Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferté
Joubert de la Ferte.jpg
Philip Joubert de la Ferté
Born (1887-05-21)21 May 1887
Darjeeling, India
Died 21 January 1965(1965-01-21) (aged 77)
Uxbridge, England
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Rank Air Chief Marshal
Commands held
Battles/wars
Awards
Other work Author

Air Chief Marshal Sir Philip Bennet Joubert de la Ferté KCB, CMG, DSO (21 May 1887 – 21 January 1965) was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force during the 1930s and the Second World War.

Early life[edit]

Joubert de la Ferté was born in Darjeeling, India to Colonel Charles Henry Joubert de la Ferté and Eliza Jane née Meville. He was of partial French descent, his paternal grandfather having emigrated to England in 1840. He was sent to England as a child where he attended Elstree School and later Harrow School.[1]

RAF career[edit]

Joubert de la Ferté joined the British Army attending the Royal Military Academy Woolwich and gaining his commission in 1907.[2] From 1907 to 1913 he served in the Royal Field Artillery, rising to the rank of Lieutenant.[2] In 1913 he attended the Central Flying School and went on to serve in the Royal Flying Corps.[2] With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, he joined the British Expeditionary Force flying one of the first two operational sorties of the war.[2] In 1915 Joubert de la Ferté was appointed Officer Commanding, No. 15 Squadron RFC.[2] Later that year he took up command of No. 1 Squadron.[2] As the war progressed, Joubert de la Ferté commanded No. 33 Squadron and then several different wings.[2] On 1 April 1918 Joubert de la Ferté transferred to the Royal Air Force in the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and by the end of hostilities in 1918 he had command of the Royal Air Force in Italy.[2]

During the inter-war years, Joubert de la Ferté occupied several staff and command posts, rising through the ranks. Notably, he was appointed Air Officer Commanding No. 23 Group in 1929, Commandant of the RAF Staff College, Andover, in 1930 and Air Officer Commanding No. 11 Group in July 1936 before becoming Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Coastal Command in September 1936.[2]

At the start of the Second World War, Joubert de la Ferté was Air Officer Commanding Air Forces in India.[2] On his return to Great Britain he occupied a number of senior staff appointments and returned to his former post as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Coastal Command.[2] It was there that he pioneered several innovations. These included Planned Flying and Maintenance and the introduction of a torpedo version of the Beaufighter.[2] In February 1943 he became an Inspector-General of the RAF.[2]

Joubert de la Ferté visits a hospital in Pakokku, Burma.

On 23 November 1943, Joubert de la Ferté was appointed as the Deputy Chief of Staff (Information and Civil Affairs) at the South East Asia Command.[2] Two years later on 14 November 1945, Joubert de la Ferté retired from the RAF.[2]

In 1915 he married Marjorie Denison: they had two daughters.[1]

Author[edit]

The following books by Joubert de la Ferté were published:

  • The Fated Sky: An Autobiography - Hutchinson (1952)
  • The Third Service - Thames and Hudson (1955)
  • Rocket - Hutchinson (1957)
  • Look at Aircraft - H Hamilton (1960)
  • The Forgotten Ones: The Story of the Ground Crews - Hutchinson (1961)
  • Fun and Games - Hutchinson (1964)

Honours and awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Chilton, Edward; Goulter, Christina J. M. "Joubert de la Ferté, Sir Philip Bennet". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 20 November 2013. (subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation - Air Chief Marshal Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferté

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
W G H Salmond
Officer Commanding No. 1 Squadron Royal Flying Corps
19 August 1915 – 24 November 1915
Succeeded by
G F Pretyman
Preceded by
W G H Salmond
Officer Commanding Fifth Wing, RFC
July 1916 – February 1917
Succeeded by
A E Borton
Preceded by
E R Ludlow-Hewitt
Commandant RAF Staff College, Andover
1930 – 1933
Succeeded by
W R Freeman
Vacant
Title last held by
I M Bonham-Carter
Air Officer Commanding No. 11 Group
14 July 1936–7 September 1936
Succeeded by
E L Gossage
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Longmore
Commander-in-Chief Coastal Command
1936–1937
Succeeded by
Sir Frederick Bowhill
Preceded by
Sir Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt
Air Officer Commanding RAF India
post retitled AOC, Air Forces in India in 1938

1937–1939
Succeeded by
Sir John Higgins
Preceded by
Sir Frederick Bowhill
Commander-in-Chief Coastal Command
1941–1943
Succeeded by
Sir John Slessor