Peter Le Cheminant

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Sir Peter Le Cheminant
Royal Air Force Operations in the Middle East and North Africa, 1939-1943. CNA804.jpg
Wing Commander Le Cheminant briefs aircrews for a bombing raid on La Fauconnerie South, Tunisia (scene reconstructed after the event).
Born(1920-06-17)17 June 1920
Died8 April 2018(2018-04-08) (aged 97)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Air Force
Years of service1939–1979
RankAir Chief Marshal
Commands heldVice-Chief of the Defence Staff (1974–76)
Joint Warfare Establishment (1968–71)
RAF Geilenkirchen (1961–63)
No. 223 Squadron (1949–51)
No. 223 Squadron (1943–44)
Battles/warsSecond World War
Korean War
Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Flying Cross & Bar

Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter de Lacy Le Cheminant, GBE, KCB, DFC & Bar (17 June 1920 – 8 April 2018) was a senior commander of the Royal Air Force (RAF), who served as Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff from 1974 to 1976 and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces Central Europe from 1976 to until his retirement in 1979.

Military career[edit]

Educated at Elizabeth College (Guernsey) and the Royal Air Force College Cranwell, Le Cheminant was commissioned into the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a pilot officer (on probation) on 23 December 1939, shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War.[1] He was confirmed in his rank and promoted to flying officer (war-substantive) on 23 December 1940.[2] He was promoted to flight lieutenant (war-substantive) on 23 December 1941 and to the substantive rank of flight lieutenant on 23 June 1943.[3][4] An acting squadron leader by 1943, he was promoted to squadron leader (war-substantive) on 4 August 1943.[5]

Also in 1943, Le Cheminant was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC).[6] He was promoted to the permanent rank of squadron leader on 1 August 1947.[7] He also served in the Korean War and was awarded a Bar to his DFC in 1951.[8] He was promoted to wing commander on 1 July 1951 and to group captain on 1 July 1958.[9][10]

Promoted to air commodore on 1 January 1964, Le Cheminant was appointed Senior Air Staff Officer, Far East Air Force on 16 May 1966 with the acting rank of air vice marshal.[11][12] He was promoted to the permanent rank of air vice marshal on 1 January 1967,[13] and became Commandant of the Joint Warfare Establishment at Old Sarum on 20 November and Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Policy) on 1 May 1971.[14][15] Promoted air marshal on 4 July 1972,[16] he then became Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff in 1974.[8] He was promoted to air chief marshal on 2 February 1976 and appointed Deputy Commander-in-Chief of Allied Forces Central Europe on 5 February.[17][18] He relinquished the command on 1 June 1979 and retired from the RAF on 27 August.[19][20]

Le Cheminant was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the 1968 Birthday Honours,[21] and knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 1972 Birthday Honours.[22] He was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire in the 1978 Birthday Honours.[23]

Later career[edit]

Le Cheminant served as Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey from 1980 to 1985.[8] He was the only native Guernseyman to have held that post.[24] After his retirement he remained a keen Bisley marksman.[25] Le Cheminant died on 8 April 2018.[24]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "No. 34776". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 January 1940. p. 377.
  2. ^ "No. 35065". The London Gazette. 4 February 1941. p. 692.
  3. ^ "No. 35467". The London Gazette. 24 February 1942. p. 908.
  4. ^ "No. 37571". The London Gazette (Supplement). 21 May 1946. p. 2396.
  5. ^ "No. 36330". The London Gazette (Supplement). 14 January 1944. p. 311.
  6. ^ "No. 36108". The London Gazette (Supplement). 27 July 1943. p. 3383.
  7. ^ "No. 38035". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 August 1947. p. 3663.
  8. ^ a b c Debretts People of Today 1994
  9. ^ "No. 39271". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 June 1951. p. 3544.
  10. ^ "No. 41433". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 July 1958. p. 4142.
  11. ^ "No. 43210". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 January 1964. p. 77.
  12. ^ "No. 43999". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 May 1966. p. 6351.
  13. ^ "No. 44218". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 January 1967. p. 79.
  14. ^ "No. 44718". The London Gazette (Supplement). 19 November 1968. p. 12406.
  15. ^ "No. 45359". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 May 1971. p. 4534.
  16. ^ "No. 45718". The London Gazette (Supplement). 4 July 1972. p. 7981.
  17. ^ "No. 46814". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 February 1976. p. 1676.
  18. ^ "No. 46819". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 February 1976. p. 2057.
  19. ^ "No. 47864". The London Gazette (Supplement). 12 June 1979. p. 7401.
  20. ^ "No. 47972". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 October 1979. p. 12648.
  21. ^ "No. 44600". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 June 1968. p. 6301.
  22. ^ "No. 45678". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 June 1972. p. 6257.
  23. ^ "No. 47549". The London Gazette (Supplement). 3 June 1978. p. 6235.
  24. ^ a b Bailiwick Express (4 August 1943). "Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Le Cheminant has died | Bailiwick Express". Gsy.bailiwickexpress.com. Retrieved 10 April 2018.
  25. ^ "Top Marks". Thisisguernsey.com. 19 July 2005. Retrieved 10 April 2018.

Further reading[edit]

  • The Royal Air Force: A Personal Experience by Peter Le Cheminant, Ian Allan Publishing, 2001, ISBN 978-0-7110-2786-2
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir John Gibbon
Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff
1973–1975
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Leach
Preceded by
Sir Lewis Hodges
Deputy Commander-in-Chief Allied Forces Central Europe
1976–1979
Succeeded by
Sir John Stacey
Government offices
Preceded by
Sir John Martin
Lieutenant Governor of Guernsey
1980–1985
Succeeded by
Sir Alexander Boswell