Robert Leckie (RCAF officer)

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Robert Leckie
Born (1890-04-16)16 April 1890
Glasgow, Scotland
Died 31 March 1975(1975-03-31) (aged 84)
Ottawa, Canada
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy (1915–18)
Royal Air Force (1918–42)
Royal Canadian Air Force (1942–47)
Years of service 1915–47
Rank Air Marshal
Commands held Chief of the Air Staff (1943–47)
RAF Mediterranean (1938–40)
RAF Hendon (1933–35)
RAF Pembroke Dock (1931–33)
No. 210 Squadron (1931–33)
RAF Bircham Newton (1929–31)
No. 1 Wing RCAF (1919)
No. 228 Squadron (1918–19)
Battles/wars First World War
Second World War
Awards Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Service Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross
Canadian Forces Decoration
Grand Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta (Poland)

Air Marshal Robert Leckie, CB, DSO, DSC, DFC, CD (16 April 1890 – 31 March 1975) was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force and Chief of the Air Staff of the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1944 to 1947.

First World War service[edit]

Leckie learned to fly in Toronto and joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 1915.[1] During the First World War he flew anti-submarine patrols over the North Sea. Flying a Curtiss H12 flying boat on reconnaissance, Leckie downed the German zeppelin L22 near Terschelling on 14 May 1917.[1] Fifteen months later, during a nighttime raid on 6 August 1918, a German zeppelin formation under the command of Führer der Luftschiffe (FdL.) (Admiral, 2nd class) Peter Strasser attacked Boston, Lincolnshire, Norwich, and the Humber estuary. Flying in a DH.4 biplane, Major Egbert Cadbury (pilot) and Leckie (gunner) took part in the interception engagement and were credited with downing Zeppelin L70 just north of Wells-next-the-Sea on the Norfolk coast.[1] FdL. Strasser, head of the Imperial German Navy's zeppelin forces, was on board L70 and did not survive. By the end of the war, Leckie was a wing commander in the Royal Air Force (RAF).[1]

Interwar years and Second World War service[edit]

Between the wars, he directed flying operations for the Canadian Air Board, and oversaw the creation of mail and passenger air service throughout Canada. He later returned to the RAF, and by 1940 commanded the British air forces in the Mediterranean Sea from Malta.[1]

As the war expanded later that year, Leckie returned to Canada to take charge of training operations in Canada for the RAF. He was promoted to acting air vice marshal in 1941, and was later made substantive. In 1942 he transferred to the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF). In 1944 he became Chief of Air Staff, and was promoted to Air Marshal.[1] After his retirement from the RCAF, Leckie played an active role in the Canadian Air Cadet movement.[1] He died in Ottawa on 31 March 1975.[1]


External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Paul Maltby
Air Officer Commanding RAF Mediterranean
Succeeded by
Forster Maynard
Preceded by
Lloyd Breadner
Chief of the Air Staff (RCAF)
Succeeded by
Wilfred Curtis