Thomas Kennedy (RAF officer)

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Sir Thomas Kennedy
Born(1928-05-19)19 May 1928
Hawick, Scotland
Died18 November 2013(2013-11-18) (aged 85)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Air Force
Years of service1946–86
RankAir Chief Marshal
Commands heldAir Member for Personnel (1983–86)
Royal Air Force Germany (1981–83)
RAF Brize Norton (1970–71)
No. 99 Squadron (1965–67)
Battles/warsBerlin Airlift
Korean War
Suez Crisis
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath
Air Force Cross & Bar

Air Chief Marshal Sir Thomas Lawrie "Jock" Kennedy, GCB, AFC & Bar, DL (19 May 1928 – 18 November 2013) was a senior Royal Air Force officer. He served as Deputy Commander of RAF Strike Command from 1979 to 1981, and Air Member for Personnel from 1983 to 1986. Following his retirement from the military, he served as Lord Lieutenant of Rutland.

Early life[edit]

Kennedy was born on 19 May 1928 in Hawick, Roxburghshire, Scotland.[1] He was educated at Hawick High School.[2] He was a member of the Boy Scouts.[3]

Military career[edit]

In April 1946, Kennedy joined the Royal Air Force as an airman as part of his National Service. He served for six months before being selected for officer training.[1] Having attended Royal Air Force College Cranwell, he was commissioned on 8 April 1949 as a pilot officer.[4] He was awarded the Philip Sassoon Memorial Trophy for best all-round cadet at Cranwell.[1] He was promoted to flying officer on 9 April 1950 with seniority from 8 April 1949,[5] and to flight lieutenant on 8 October 1951.[6] In the 1953 Coronation Honours, Kennedy was awarded the Air Force Cross (AFC).[7]

Kennedy was appointed Deputy Commandant of the RAF Staff College, Bracknell in 1971,[8] Director of Air Support Operations in 1973[8] and Air Officer Commanding No. 18 Group in 1977.[8] He went on to be Deputy Commander-in-Chief, RAF Strike Command in 1979[8] and was appointed to the combined posts of Commander-in-Chief Royal Air Force Germany and Commander Second Tactical Air Force in 1981.[8] His last appointment was as Air Member for Personnel in 1983 before retiring in 1986.[8]

Later life[edit]

In retirement, Kennedy became a Director of Dowty Group.[9] He served as controller of the RAF Benevolent Fund from 1988 to 1993 during which time more than £20 million was raised.[3]

He served as Deputy Lieutenant of Leicestershire[10] and later became Lord Lieutenant of Rutland.[11]

He died on 18 November 2013.[1]

Personal life[edit]

In 1959, Kennedy married Margaret Ann Parker. Together they had three children: one son and two daughters.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d "Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Kennedy – obituary". The Telegraph. 21 November 2013. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  2. ^ Steven, Alasdair (23 November 2013). "Obituary: Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Kennedy, AFC (and bar), pilot". The Scotsman. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  3. ^ a b c Keleny, Anne (25 February 2014). "Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Kennedy: RAF airman who evacuated POWs in the Korean War, took part in the Berlin Airlift and flew over Suez and Rhodesia". The Independent. Retrieved 26 February 2014.
  4. ^ "No. 38605". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 May 1949. p. 2285.
  5. ^ "No. 38912". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 May 1950. p. 2423.
  6. ^ "No. 39381". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 November 1951. p. 5914.
  7. ^ "No. 39863". The London Gazette (Supplement). 26 May 1953. p. 2989.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Senior Royal Air Force Appointments
  9. ^ UK: Filling in the foxholes – Ex-military men in the arms trade Management Today, 1 May 1992
  10. ^ Burke's Peerage
  11. ^ "No. 54728". The London Gazette. 8 April 1997. p. 4181.
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Robert Freer
Deputy Commander-in-Chief Strike Command
Succeeded by
Sir Peter Bairsto
Preceded by
Sir Peter Terry
Commander-in-Chief RAF Germany
Also Commander of the Second Tactical Air Force

Succeeded by
Sir Patrick Hine
Preceded by
Sir Charles Ness
Air Member for Personnel
Succeeded by
Sir Anthony Skingsley