John Grandy

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Sir John Grandy
Jgrandy.jpg
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir John Grandy
Born (1913-02-08)8 February 1913
Northwood, London
Died 2 January 2004(2004-01-02) (aged 90)
Slough, Berkshire
Allegiance  United Kingdom
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Years of service 1931–1971
Rank Marshal of the Royal Air Force
Commands held No. 219 Squadron
No. 249 Squadron
RAF Duxford
No. 210 Group RAF
No. 341 Wing
Northern Sector of Fighter Command
Central Fighter Establishment
RAF Germany
Bomber Command
Far East Command
Chief of the Air Staff
Battles/wars

World War II

Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order
Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order
Knight of the Venerable Order of Saint John
Mention in Despatches (2)
Other work Governor of Gibraltar
Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle

Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir John Grandy, GCB, GCVO, KBE, DSO, KStJ (8 February 1913 – 2 January 2004) was a senior officer in the Royal Air Force. He was the only officer who fought and commanded a squadron during the Battle of Britain to reach the post of Chief of the Air Staff. In the latter role he implemented the final stages of the RAF's withdrawal from the Persian Gulf and the Far East, oversaw the ordering and subsequent cancellation of the F-111 strike aircraft and handed over Britain's nuclear deterrent role to the Royal Navy.

RAF career[edit]

The son of Francis Grandy and his wife, Nell Grandy (née Lines), Grandy was educated at Northwood Preparatory School and the University College School in London,[1] and was commissioned into the Royal Air Force as a pilot officer on a probationary basis on 11 September 1931.[2] After completing flying training, he was posted as a pilot to No. 54 Squadron flying Bulldogs from RAF Hornchurch in August 1932.[3] He was confirmed in the rank of pilot officer on 11 September 1932[4] and promoted to flying officer on 11 June 1933.[5] He became Adjutant of No. 604 (County of Middlesex) Squadron at RAF Hendon in April 1935 and attended the Instructors' Course at the Central Flying School in January 1936.[3] He was promoted to flight lieutenant on 11 June 1936[6] and was posted to the University of London Air Squadron as Adjutant in January 1937.[3]

Grandy served in World War II initially as Squadron Commander at No. 13 Flying Training School.[3] In April 1940 he was given command of No. 219 Squadron flying Blenheims from RAF Catterick on night patrol duties[7] and then went on a month later to command No. 249 Squadron flying Hurricanes from RAF Church Fenton during the Battle of Britain.[8] His squadron shot down more German aircraft than any other squadron during the Battle of Britain, one of his pilots won the Victoria Cross and Gandy himself was shot down and hospitalised in September 1940.[8] In December 1940 he joined the Air Staff at Headquarters RAF Fighter Command and then transferred to the Staff at No. 52 Operational Training Unit.[3] He was promoted to Wing Commander on a temporary basis on 1 March 1941[9] and in November 1941 he was sent to RAF Duxford where he was given command of flying operations.[3] In February 1942, he was given overall command of RAF Duxford and he oversaw the establishment there of the RAF's first Typhoon Wing.[8] He was promoted to wing Commander on a war substantive basis on 12 August 1942[10] and mentioned in despatches on 1 January 1943.[11]

Grandy was given command of No. 210 Group RAF defending the Port of Tripoli in February 1943[8] and then went to Egypt to command No. 73 Operational Training Unit at RAF Abu Suwayr in September 1943.[3] Having been promoted to the temporary rank of group captain on 1 July 1944,[12] he became Officer Commanding No. 341 Wing fighting the Japanese in the Far East in February 1945.[13] He became Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters No. 232 Group in September 1945[3] and was awarded the Distinguished Service Order on 19 October 1945.[14]

After the War Grandy became Deputy Director of Operational Training at the Air Ministry from 1946 and became Air Attaché in Brussels in January 1949.[3] He was promoted to group captain on a substantive basis on 1 January 1950[15] before becoming Officer Commanding the Northern Sector of Fighter Command in November 1950.[3] He joined the Air Staff in the Operations Directorate at Headquarters Fighter Command in May 1952 and went on to be Commandant of the Central Fighter Establishment in December 1954.[3] He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the 1956 Birthday Honours[16] and promoted to air commodore on 1 January 1956.[17] He attended Imperial Defence College in early 1957 and then became Commander of Operation Grapple (the Hydrogen Bomb testing programme) in September 1957.[3] He was promoted to acting air vice marshal on 6 December 1957[18] and became Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) in October 1958.[3] He was confirmed in the rank of air vice marshal on 1 July 1958.[19]

Promoted to acting air marshal on 7 January 1961,[20] Grandy became Commander-in-Chief of RAF Germany as well as Commander of the Second Tactical Air Force in January 1961.[3] He was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1961 Birthday Honours[21] and confirmed in the rank of air marshal on 1 January 1962.[22] On return to the United Kingdom, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief Bomber Command on 1 September 1963[23] and, having been advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 1964 Birthday Honours,[24] he went on to become Commander-in-Chief, Far East Command during the latter stages of the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation on 28 May 1965.[25] He was promoted to air chief marshal on 1 April 1965.[26]

Advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the 1967 New Year Honours,[27] Grandy became Chief of the Air Staff on 1 April 1967.[28] He was the only officer who fought and commanded a squadron during the Battle of Britain to reach the post of Chief of the Air Staff.[29] As Chief of the Air Staff he implemented the final stages of the RAF's withdrawal from the Persian Gulf and the Far East, oversaw the ordering and subsequent cancellation of the F-111 strike aircraft and handed over Britain's nuclear deterrent role to the Royal Navy.[30] He retired on 31 March 1971[3] and was promoted to Marshal of the Royal Air Force on 1 April 1971.[31]

Later work[edit]

Grandy served as Governor of Gibraltar from 3 October 1973[32] to 30 May 1978[33] and then as Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle from 11 August 1978[34] to 9 February 1988.[35] He was appointed a Knight of the Venerable Order of Saint John on 31 January 1974[36] and a Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order in the 1988 New Year Honours.[37] He was also Chairman of the Trustees of the Imperial War Museum.[38] He died, following a stroke, at Wexham Park Hospital in Slough on 2 January 2004.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In 1937 he married Cecile Rankin (daughter of Sir Robert Rankin); they had two sons.[39] His interests included golf and his membership of the Royal Yacht Squadron.[1]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Sir John Grandy". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  2. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33755. p. 6108. 22 September 1931. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o "Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir John Grandy". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33864. p. 5893. 16 September 1932. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 33957. p. 4479. 4 July 1933. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: no. 34294. p. 3840. 16 June 1936. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  7. ^ Probert, p. 65
  8. ^ a b c d Probert, p. 66
  9. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35102. p. 1449. 11 March 1941. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 35736. p. 4384. 6 October 1942. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 35841. p. 35. 29 December 1942. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 36618. p. 3395. 18 July 1944. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  13. ^ Probert, p. 67
  14. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 37313. p. 5121. 16 October 1945. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 38795. p. 6167. 30 December 1949. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40787. p. 3101. 25 May 1956. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 40666. p. 7307. 27 December 1955. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41301. p. 773. 31 January 1958. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 41433. p. 4142. 1 July 1958. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  20. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42246. p. 183. 6 January 1961. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  21. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42370. p. 4151. 2 June 1961. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  22. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 42559. p. 69. 29 December 1961. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  23. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43097. p. 7363. 30 August 1963. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  24. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43343. p. 4939. 5 June 1964. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  25. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43663. p. 5276. 28 May 1965. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  26. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 43618. p. 3447. 2 April 1965. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  27. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44210. p. 3. 30 December 1966. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  28. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 44281. p. 3691. 31 March 1967. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  29. ^ "Squadron Leader J Grandy". Battle of Britain Monument. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  30. ^ Probert, p. 68
  31. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 45337. p. 3339. 5 April 1971. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  32. ^ The London Gazette: no. 46117. p. 12971. 1 November 1973. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  33. ^ The London Gazette: no. 47567. p. 7153. 13 June 1978. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  34. ^ The London Gazette: no. 47614. p. 9670. 11 August 1978. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  35. ^ The London Gazette: no. 51243. p. 1815. 16 February 1988. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  36. ^ The London Gazette: no. 46196. p. 1301. 31 January 1974. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  37. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 51171. p. 4. 30 December 1987. Retrieved 10 June 2012.
  38. ^ Probert, p. 69
  39. ^ "Obituary - Marshal of the RAF Sir John Grandy". The Telegraph. 6 January 2004. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 

Sources[edit]

  • Probert, Henry (1991). High Commanders of the Royal Air Force. HMSO. ISBN 0-11-772635-4. 
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Humphrey Edwardes-Jones
Commander-in-Chief RAF Germany
Also Commander of the Second Tactical Air Force

1961–1963
Succeeded by
Sir Ronald Lees
Preceded by
Sir Kenneth Cross
Commander-in-Chief Bomber Command
1963–1965
Succeeded by
Sir Wallace Kyle
Preceded by
Sir Varyl Begg
Commander-in-Chief Far East Command
1965–1967
Succeeded by
Sir Michael Carver
Preceded by
The Lord Elworthy
Chief of the Air Staff
1967–1971
Succeeded by
Sir Denis Spotswood
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir Varyl Begg
Governor of Gibraltar
1973–1978
Succeeded by
Sir William Jackson
Honorary titles
Preceded by
The Lord Elworthy
Constable and Governor of Windsor Castle
1978–1988
Succeeded by
Sir David Hallifax