Hugh Pughe Lloyd

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Sir Hugh Lloyd
Hugh Lloyd with Beaufighter March 1944 IWM TR 1593.jpg
Air Vice Marshal Lloyd, AOC Mediterranean Allied Coastal Air Forces, stands beside the Bristol Beaufighter in which he flew to Britain, 18 March 1944
Born 12 December 1894
Leigh, Worcestershire
Died 14 July 1981
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Years of service 1915–1953
Rank Air Chief Marshal
Commands held No. 9 Squadron
RAF Marham
Northwest African Coastal Air Force
Mediterranean Allied Coastal Air Force
Tiger Force
Far East Air Force
Bomber Command
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Military Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross

Air Chief Marshal Sir Hugh Pughe Lloyd GBE, KCB, MC, DFC (12 December 1894 – 14 July 1981) was a senior Royal Air Force commander.

RAF career[edit]

Lloyd joined the Royal Engineers as a sapper in 1915 during World War I:[1] he was wounded in action three times before enlisting as a cadet in the Royal Flying Corps in 1917 and joining No 52 Squadron,[1] flying the RE.8 on army co-operation missions. After the war, he remained with the RFC (which became the Royal Air Force in 1918) on a permanent commission.[1]

In January 1939 he became Officer Commanding No. 9 Squadron,[1] equipped with Wellingtons. Later in 1939, with World War II under way, he was promoted to Group Captain and given command of RAF Marham.[1] His stay at RAF Marham was brief and in November 1939 he was appointed to the staff of No. 3 Group and, in May 1940, he became Senior Air Staff Officer at No. 2 Group.[1]

On 1 June 1941, he was appointed Air Officer Commanding in Malta,[1] with the difficult task of protecting the island from German and Italian air attacks as well as attacking Axis shipping delivering supplies to Rommel's Afrika Korps in North Africa. However, his lack of knowledge of fighter tactics[citation needed] and the dominance of the Messerschmitt Bf 109F against the outdated Hawker Hurricane, prolonged the Siege of Malta. When Generalfeldmarschall Albert Kesselring was appointed to lead the Axis air-offensive from December 1940, RAF Command at last reacted. After installing a fighter control room similar to those in the UK, from April 1942 they assigned the island two squadrons of Supermarine Spitfires totaling 47 aircraft, which led later that year to the Allies moving to an offensive campaign.

He was assigned to RAF headquarters in the Middle East as Senior Air Staff Officer in 1942 and commanded the Northwest African Coastal Air Force[2] and then the Mediterranean Allied Coastal Air Force in 1943.[1] His role there was to carry out harrying of enemy transport by land and sea.[3] In February 1945 he began planning and eventually took command of Tiger Force,[1] a Commonwealth heavy bomber force which was intended to join the air offensive against Japan but was disbanded shortly after the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki effectively ended the war.[4]

Postwar years[edit]

After two years as senior instructor at the Imperial Defence College, he was made Air Officer Commanding Air Command Far East, later retitled Far East Air Force.[1] He was made Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Bomber Command in February 1950 before he retired in June 1953.[1]

Lloyd was President of the London Welsh Trust, which runs the London Welsh Centre, from 1962 until 1964.[5]

Honours and awards[edit]


  • Lloyd, Sir Hugh, Briefed to attack: Malta's Part in African Victory (Hodder & Stoughton, 1949) (which inspired the film Malta Story)
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir George Pirie
AOC-in-C Air Command Far East
Redesignated AOC-in-C Far East Air Force from 1 June 1949 onwards

Succeeded by
Sir Francis Fogarty
Preceded by
Sir Aubrey Ellwood
Commander-in-Chief Bomber Command
Succeeded by
Sir George Mills