Hugh Constantine

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Sir Hugh Constantine
Born(1908-05-23)23 May 1908
Southsea, Hampshire
Died16 April 1992(1992-04-16) (aged 83)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Air Force
Years of service1926–1964
RankAir Chief Marshal
Commands heldImperial Defence College (1961–64)
Flying Training Command (1959–61)
No. 25 (Training) Group (1954–56)
No. 5 (Bomber) Group (1945)
RAF Elsham Wolds (1941–42)
No. 214 Squadron (1939)
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Mentioned in Despatches (5)
Commander's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (Poland)

Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Alex Constantine, KBE, CB, DSO (23 May 1908 – 16 April 1992) was a Royal Air Force officer who became Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Flying Training Command.

RAF career[edit]

Educated at Christ's Hospital,[1] Constantine joined the Royal Air force as a cadet in 1926.[2] Early in his career, as a flight lieutenant, he commanded Number 3 Section of No.1 Armoured Car Company RAF.[2]

Constantine served in the Second World War initially as officer commanding No. 214 Squadron and then as station commander at RAF Elsham Wolds.[2] He continued his war service as senior air staff officer at Headquarters No. 1 Group in 1942, as deputy senior air staff officer at Headquarters RAF Bomber Command in 1943 and as air officer commanding No. 5 Group in 1945.[2] In this capacity he worked closely with Barnes Wallis and used Grand Slam bombs and Tallboy bombs against key industrial targets in Germany.[1]

After the war Constantine became chief intelligence officer with the Control Commission in Germany and was then appointed senior air staff officer at Headquarters No. 205 Group.[2] He went on to be director of intelligence (operations) at the Air Ministry in 1951, Air Officer Administration at Headquarters RAF Fighter Command in 1952 and air officer commanding No. 25 (Training) Group in 1954.[2] His final posts were as deputy chief of staff, plans & policy at Headquarters Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in 1956, air officer commanding-in-chief of Flying Training Command in 1959 and Commandant of the Imperial Defence College in 1961 before retiring in 1964.[2]

In retirement Constantine was granted an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Warwick.[3]


In 1937 Constantine became married to Helen; they had one daughter.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Fell, David William. "Hugh Constantine". Retrieved 9 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation – Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Constantine
  3. ^ Honorary Graduates University of Warwick
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Robert Scott
Commandant of the Imperial Defence College
Succeeded by
Sir Deric Holland-Martin
Preceded by
Sir Richard Atcherley
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Flying Training Command
Succeeded by
Sir Augustus Walker
Preceded by
Sir Ralph Cochrane
Air Officer Commanding No. 5 (Bomber) Group
Group disbanded