John D'Albiac

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Sir John Henry D'Albiac
Royal Air Force- Fighter Command, Tactical Air Force, 1943-1945. CH10618.jpg
John D'Albiac as Commander of the Tactical Air Force during the Second World War
Born(1894-01-28)28 January 1894
Died20 August 1963(1963-08-20) (aged 69)
Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Marines (1914–18)
Royal Air Force (1918–47)
Years of service1914–47
RankAir Marshal
Commands heldSecond Tactical Air Force (1943–44)
No. 2 Group (1942–43)
No. 222 Group (1942)
British Forces in Iraq (1941–42)
British Forces in Greece (1940–41)
RAF Palestine and Transjordan (1939–40)
RAF Scopwick (1918–19)
Battles/warsFirst World War
Second World War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Mentioned in Despatches
Grand Commander of the Order of the Phoenix (Greece)
Commander of the Legion of Merit (United States)
Grand Officer of the Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands)
Other workAerodrome Commandant, London Heathrow Airport

Air Marshal Sir John Henry D'Albiac, KCVO, KBE, CB, DSO (28 January 1894 – 20 August 1963) was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force during the Second World War. Notably he was the British air commander for the Battle of Greece.


Air Commodore D'Albiac, Air Officer Commanding British Forces in Greece, sitting at his desk in his Headquarters at the Grande Bretagne Hotel, Athens.

D'Albiac was educated at the Seabrook Lodge School in Kent, Framlingham College and the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. He was commissioned into the Royal Marine Artillery in 1914 but seconded to the Royal Naval Air Service during the following year.[1] In 1916, whilst serving in France as an aeroplane observer, D'Albiac was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.[1] After serving as Station Commander at RAF Scopwick he transferred to the RAF on its establishment in 1918 and served on the Staff at Headquarters RAF Trans-Jordania from 1922 and as a Flight Commander in No. 99 Squadron from 1926.[1]

During the Second World War D'Albiac served as Air Officer Commanding RAF Palestine and Transjordan from August 1939, Air Officer Commanding British Forces in Greece from November 1940[2] before returning to be Air Officer Commanding RAF Palestine and Transjordan from May 1941 again.[1] He continued his war service as Air Officer Commanding British Forces in Iraq from June 1941,[3] Air Officer Commanding No. 222 Group in Ceylon from March 1942 and Air Officer Commanding No. 2 Group in the UK from December 1942.[1] He was then made Air Officer Commanding Second Tactical Air Force in June 1943, Deputy Commander of the Mediterranean Tactical Air Force in February 1944 and the Director-General of Personnel in November 1944.[1] He retired in 1947.[1]

In later life D'Albiac was the Aerodrome Commandant at London Heathrow Airport and the Deputy Chairman of the Air Transport Advisory Council.[1] He died in Beaconsfield on 20 August 1963.[1]



  • Churchill, Winston (1950). The Second World War, Volume III, The Grand Alliance. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.
  • Lyman, Robert (2006). Iraq 1941: The Battles for Basra, Habbaniya, Fallujah and Baghdad. Campaign. Oxford, New York: Osprey Publishing. p. 96. ISBN 1-84176-991-6.

External links[edit]

Military offices
New title
Formation established
Commander Second Tactical Air Force
Succeeded by
Sir Arthur Coningham
Preceded by
Alan Lees
Air Officer Commanding No. 2 Group
Succeeded by
Basil Embry
Preceded by
Harry Smart
Air Officer Commanding British Forces in Iraq
Succeeded by
Hugh Champion de Crespigny