Roderick Carr

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Air Marshal
Sir Charles Roderick Carr
Air Mshl Sir Roderick Carr.jpg
Sir Roderick Carr
Born 31 August 1891
Died 15 December 1971 (aged 80)
Bampton, Oxfordshire, England
Allegiance British Empire
Service/branch  Royal Air Force
Years of service c. 1914 – 1 February 1947
Rank Air Marshal
Commands held Commander in Chief, Air Headquarters India
RAF Brize Norton
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Force Cross
Mention in Despatches
Other work Divisional Controller, Ministry of Civil Aviation

Air Marshal Sir Charles Roderick Carr KBE CB DFC AFC (31 August 1891 – 15 December 1971) was a senior Royal Air Force commander from New Zealand. He held high command in World War II and served as Chief of the Indian Air Force.

Military career[edit]

Born in Feilding, New Zealand he served as an airman in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force during World War I. In 1919 he went to Russia to fight on the anti-Bolshevist side in the civil war, where he won his DFC for action against the enemy. The citation was as follows:

On the l7th June, 1919, this officer flew a scout machine over the enemy aerodrome at Puchega, at an average height of only 50 feet, for thirty minutes. During this time he succeeded in setting fire to a Nieuport enemy machine, to a hangar which contained three aeroplanes (all of which were destroyed), drove all the personnel off the aerodrome, and killed some of the mechanics.

In 1921 he was a part of Ernest Shackleton's final Antarctic expedition. On his return he was granted an RAF short service commission in the rank of Flying Officer.

In 1927, Carr and Flight Lieutenant L.E.M. Gillmann attempted a non-stop flight to India, in a specially modified Hawker Horsley aircraft carrying much extra fuel and taking off at a weight of over 14,000 lb (6,350 kg). Carr and Gillmann took off from RAF Cranwell on 20 May 1927, but ran out of fuel en route, ditching in the Persian Gulf near Bandar Abbas, Iran. Despite this they had covered a distance of 3,420 mi (5,506 km), which was sufficient to set a new world distance record, but which was beaten in turn within a few hours by Charles Lindbergh's solo Atlantic flight between New York and Paris in the Spirit of St. Louis, covering 3,590 mi (5,780 km).[1]

During World War II Sir Roderick served in RAF Bomber Command as Air Officer Commanding 4 Group for the majority of the Second World War. Carr was promoted and appointed Deputy Chief of Staff (Air) at the Supreme Headquarters of the Allied Expeditionary Force in the final stages of the North West Europe Campaign. His War services were recognised with the award of Commandeur of the Legion of Honour and the Croix de Guerre by the President of France.[2] Sir Roderick later became Air Officer Commanding, India Command ("Chief of the Indian Air Force").

Sir Roderick died at Bampton, Oxfordshire, aged 80.

List of honours[edit]


  1. ^ Mason, Francis K. Hawker Aircraft since 1920. London:Putnam, Third edition, 1991. ISBN 0-85177-839-9., pp.12–13.
  2. ^ M. Brewer, 'New Zealand and the Legion d'honneur: Officiers, Commandeurs and Dignites', The Volunteers: The Journal of the New Zealand Military Historical Society, 35(3), March 2010, p.137.

External links[edit]

Military offices
Preceded by
Meredith Thomas
Commander in Chief, Air Headquarters India
Succeeded by
Sir Hugh Walmsley
as Commander in Chief, RAF India
Heraldic offices
Preceded by
Sir Herbert Heath
King of Arms of the Order of the British Empire
Succeeded by
Sir George Gordon-Lennox