Lloyd Samuel Breadner

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Lloyd Samuel Breadner

Air Marshal Breadner in March 1945
Born(1894-07-14)July 14, 1894
Carleton Place, Ontario, Canada
DiedMarch 14, 1952(1952-03-14) (aged 57)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Service/branchRoyal Flying Corps
Royal Air Force
Royal Canadian Air Force
Years of service1915 – 1945
RankAir Chief Marshal
Battles/warsWorld War I
World War II
AwardsCompanion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Cross

Air Chief Marshal[note 1] Lloyd Samuel Breadner, CB, DSC (July 14, 1894 – March 14, 1952) was a Canadian military pilot and Chief of the Air Staff during World War II.

Early career[edit]

Breadner obtained his pilot's certificate at Wright Flying School and was commissioned in the British Royal Naval Air Service on December 28, 1915. During World War I he served on the Western Front as a fighter pilot in the No. 3 (Naval) Squadron. He was promoted to Flight Lieutenant (RNAS) on 31 December 1916. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on May 23, 1917. The citation read:

For conspicuous gallantry and skill in leading his patrol against hostile formations. He has himself brought down three hostile machines and forced several others to land. On the 6th April, 1917, he drove down a hostile machine which was wrecked while attempting to land in a ploughed field. On the morning of the 11th April, 1917, he destroyed a hostile machine which fell in flames, brought down another in a spinning nose dive with one wing folded up, and forced a third to land.

— London Gazette[1]

Squadron Commander Lloyd Breadner and 3 (Naval) Squadron were posted to RAF Walmer during the Winter of 1917/1918 . He was released from the RAF[note 2] with the rank of major[note 3] in March 1919.


He was commissioned promoted to Squadron Leader in 1920 and transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) on its formation in 1924. He became Controller of Civil Aviation in 1922, and later commanded Camp Borden from January 15, 1924, to September 23, 1925. He was promoted to Wing Commander on April 1, 1924. After attending RAF Staff College, he was the Director of the RCAF from February 15, 1928, to April 29, 1932. From 1932 until 1935 he commanded Trenton and then attended the Imperial Defence College. He was promoted to Group Captain on February 1, 1936, and to Air Commodore on August 4, 1938.

Breadner (fifth from left) at the Quebec Conference of 1943.

He became Chief of Air Staff on May 29, 1940, and having been promoted to Air Marshal on November 19, 1941, became Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief RCAF Overseas in January 1944. Breadner was promoted on his retirement on November 25, 1945, to Air Chief Marshal, the first Canadian to hold this rank.

On November 30, 1944, while he was Chief of Air Staff, his son, Flying Officer Donald Lloyd Breadner, was killed after an air gunnery exercise, while flying a de Havilland Mosquito from RCAF Station Debert, in Nova Scotia. He was the only son of Breadner and his wife, Mary Evelyn. They also had three daughters.[2]


References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ This rank was used by the 20th century Royal Canadian Air Force and replaced with the rank of General in 1968 with the unification of the Canadian Forces, a rank which has been retained in the 21st century Royal Canadian Air Force. See Category:Canadian Forces Air Command generals Royal Canadian Air Force generals for such officers. Breadner was one of only two Canadian Air Chief Marshals, the other being Frank Robert Miller.
  2. ^ The RNAS had been joined with the Royal Flying Corps in 1918
  3. ^ The RAF used Army-style ranks until mid-1919.
  1. ^ "No. 30088". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 May 1917. p. 5053.
  2. ^ "Donald Lloyd Breadner," Canadian Virtual War Memorial, http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/collections/virtualmem/Detail/2687294?DONALD%20LLOYD%20BREADNER

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by Director of the RCAF
1928 – 1932
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief of the Air Staff (RCAF)
1940 – 1943
Succeeded by
Preceded by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief RCAF Overseas
1944 – 1945
Succeeded by