Gilbert Nicholetts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Sir Gilbert Nicholetts
Born 9 November 1902
Died 7 September 1983
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Years of service 1921–1959
Rank Air Marshal
Commands held No. 228 Squadron
RAF Haifa
RAF Shallufa
Central Photographic Establishment
No. 21 Group
AHQ Malta
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Air Force Cross & Bar

Air Marshal Sir Gilbert Edward Nicholetts KBE CB AFC & Bar (9 November 1902 – 7 September 1983) was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force during the 1950s.

RAF career[edit]

After education at Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, Nicholetts joined the Royal Air Force in 1921.[1] He developed a career in flying boat units and with the Fleet Air Arm, then under RAF control. In the late 1920s he was based in the Far East, flying the Short Singapore.[1]

In 1933, as a navigation specialist, he established a long-distance flight record from England to South Africa as aircrew on the Fairey Long-range Monoplane, being awarded the Air Force Cross.[1]

He was appointed Officer Commanding No. 228 Squadron just at the start of World War II.[1] Based at Alexandria, Egypt, flying a Short Sunderland, Nicholetts personally commanded the RAF reconnaissance flight preceding the November 1940 Fleet Air Arm Taranto raid.[2] He went on to be Station Commander at RAF Haifa and then RAF Shallufa, before later being taken prisoner by the Japanese in the 1942 Dutch East Indies.[1] After the War he became Senior Air Service Officer at Headquarters No. 25 (Armament) Group and then Air Officer Commanding the Central Photographic Establishment before becoming Director of Organisation at the Air Ministry in 1948.[1] He was then made Senior Air Service Officer at Headquarters RAF Coastal Command in 1951, Air Officer Commanding No. 21 Group in 1953 and Air Officer Commanding AHQ Malta in 1956.[1] His last appointment was as Inspector-General of the RAF[3] in 1958 before retiring in 1959.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation - Air Marshal Sir Gilbert Nicholetts
  2. ^ Newton & Hampshire Taranto NEL 1975 pp94-5 ISBN 0450019926
  3. ^ Royal Visit to Air Trainers Flight International, 20 June 1958
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Walter Dawson
Inspector-General of the RAF
1958 – 1959
Succeeded by
Sir John Whitley