Air Commodore Edward Masterman, pictured wearing an early Observer Corps lapel badge on his suit jacket.
|Born||15 April 1880|
|Died||26 August 1957 (aged 77)|
|Service/||Royal Navy (c. 1894–1918)|
Royal Air Force (1918–29)
|Years of service||1894–1929|
|Commands held||No. 10 Group (1924–28)|
No. 7 Group (1923–24)
Central Flying School (1922)
No. 22 Group (1918–19)
Farnborough Airship Station (1914–15)
Naval Airship Section
HMS Vesuvius (1909–12)
|Battles/wars||First World War|
|Awards||Companion of the Order of the Bath|
Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Air Force Cross
|Other work||Commandant of the Observer Corps (1929–36)|
Air Commodore Edward Alexander Dimsdale Masterman, CB, CMG, CBE, AFC (15 April 1880 – 26 August 1957) was a senior officer in the Royal Air Force in the first half of the 20th century. After retiring from the RAF, he served as the first ever Commandant of the Observer Corps.
Masterman started his service career in the Royal Navy, attending the Britannia Naval College around 1894. He served on HMS Revenge in the late 1890s and early 1900s, and was promoted to lieutenant in January 1900. After attending Torpedo Specialist Course he in 1907 worked as a Russia interpreter on HMS Vernon.
During the First World War, Masterman served in the Royal Naval Air Service, commanding the Farnborough Airship Station and working in several technical posts; during this time he invented and patented the airship mooring mast with Barnes Wallis. With the establishment of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1918, Masterman transferred to the new service. Just before the end of the war, he was promoted to brigadier general and appointed General Officer Commanding No. 22 Group. His rank was commuted to air commodore when current RAF ranks were introduced. In 1922 Masterman was appointed as Commandant of the RAF's Central Flying School.
Between 1 March 1929 when he retired from the RAF and 1 April 1936, Masterman was the Commandant of the Observer Corps and was the first former RAF officer to hold this appointment. Headquarters Royal Observer Corps was located at Hillingdon House, RAF Uxbridge, only relocating to RAF Bentley Priory after Masterman retired. He was succeeded as Commandant Observer Corps by Air Commodore Alfred Warrington-Morris.
Following his retirement as Commandant, Air Commodore Masterman immediately rejoined the Royal Observer Corps as a civilian part-time volunteer with the rank of Observer Captain and served as the ROC's Western Area Commandant between 1937 and 1942, although by special permission of Warrington-Morris, he was permitted to wear his RAF Air Commodore's uniform and rank braid after April 1941 when the Observer Corps became the Royal Observer Corps and part of RAF Fighter Command.
| General Officer Commanding No. 22 Group
Title next held byDuncan Pitcher
| Commandant of the Central Flying School
| Air Officer Commanding No. 7 Group
J L Forbes
| Air Officer Commanding No. 10 Group
| Commandant Observer Corps
Alfred Warrington Morris