|Owen Tudor Boyd|
|Born||August 30, 1889|
|Died||5 August 1944(aged 54)|
Royal Air Force
|Years of service||1916 – 1944|
RAF Balloon Command|
No. 1 Group RAF
No. 24 Squadron RAF
No. 72 Squadron RAF
No. 66 Squadron RAF
First World War|
Second World War
Companion of the Order of the Bath|
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Air Force Cross
Mention in Despatches (2)
Air Marshal Owen Tudor Boyd CB, OBE, MC, AFC (30 August 1889 – 5 August 1944) was an officer in the British Army Royal Flying Corps (RFC) during most of the First World War. Boyd was an officer in the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the latter part of the War, then in the interwar period, and also served during the Second World War.
Education and pre-war[edit | edit source]
Boyd was educated at the Royal Military College, Sandhurst. On 20 January 1909, he was appointed to a commission on the unattached list before entering the Indian Army in the same year. Boyd was an officer with the Indian Army's 5th Cavalry.
First World War I[edit | edit source]
From 25 April 1916, Boyd saw service in the European War as a flying officer with the Royal Flying Corps. Later in 1916, he was a pilot on the Western Front with No. 27 Squadron; on 9 July, he was promoted to Flight Commander.
Interwar years[edit | edit source]
From 18 January 1919, Boyd was an Officer Commanding and a Staff Officer (Acting Lieutenant-Colonel). On 1 August, he was awarded a permanent commission as a Major. By 21 January 1920, he was a Staff Officer with the Mesopotamian Wing Headquarters. He was also involved as a Staff Officer with the Directorate of Operations and Intelligence.
On 26 February 1923, he was made the Commandant of the School of Army Co-operation. Starting 21 January 1926, he attended the Army Staff College, Camberley. By 21 January 1928, he was on the directing staff of the college.
On 4 January 1930, Boyd became the Deputy Director of Staff Duties.
On 7 August 1931, Boyd was the Officer Commanding, RAF Aden. By 16 April 1934, he was Secretary of State for Air for the Headquarters Fighting Area. By 24 October 1935, he was Air Officer Commanding, Central Area.
Second World War[edit | edit source]
In 1938, as an Air Vice-Marshal, Boyd became Commander-in-Chief RAF Balloon Command. On 1 December 1940, he was replaced by Air Marshal Sir Leslie Gossage at RAF Balloon Command. Boyd was then promoted to Air Marshal and appointed Deputy to the Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (AOC-in-C) Middle East.
On his way to Egypt, Boyd was to stop in Malta. However, the aircraft in which he and his staff were passengers was forced down over enemy-controlled Sicily by a group of Italian fighters. After destroying his confidential papers by setting his own aircraft on fire, Boyd became a prisoner of war (POW). He spent much of the war in the Castle Vincigliata (Castello di Vincigliata) camp near Florence, Italy.
When Italy capitulated in September 1943, Boyd and two British Army generals (Philip Neame and Richard O'Connor, both captured in North Africa in 1941), made use of the general confusion and escaped from their Italian captors. After some time in the Italian countryside, all three men successfully reached the Allied lines.
Of all of RAF Bomber Command's wartime group commanders, Boyd spent the shortest time in command of his appointed group. In late July 1944, he was divorced. Little more than a week later, on 5 August, he was dead from a heart attack.
Promotion Dates[edit | edit source]
|Second Lieutenant||20 January 1909||British Army|
|Lieutenant||20 April 1911||British Army|
|Captain||1 September 1915||British Army|
|Acting Major||26 October 1916||British Army|
|Acting Major||1 April 1918||Royal Air Force|
|Acting Lieutenant Colonel||18 January 1918||Royal Air Force|
|Squadron Leader||1 August 1919||Royal Air Force|
|Wing Commander||1 January 1923||Royal Air Force|
|Group Captain||1 July 1930||Royal Air Force|
|Air Commodore||1 July 1934||Royal Air Force|
|Air Vice-Marshal||1 July 1937||Royal Air Force|
|Acting Air Marshal||8 November 1940||Royal Air Force|
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- "Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation : Air Marshal O T Boyd". http://www.rafweb.org/Biographies/Boyd.htm. Retrieved 29 November 2008.
- "Prize Catch". 2 December 1940. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,772477,00.html. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
- "Generals Free". 31 January 1944. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,803165,00.html. Retrieved 14 September 2007.
External references[edit | edit source]
- Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation - Air Marshal O T Boyd
- "Prize Catch.". Time Magazine. Monday, 2 December 1940. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,772477,00.html. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
- "Generals Free.". Time Magazine. Monday, 31 January 1944. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,803165,00.html. Retrieved 15 July 2009.
C T MacLean
As Air Officer Commanding Aden Command
|Officer Commanding RAF Aden
1931 – 1934
C F A Portal
As Officer Commanding Aden Command
H R Nicholl
|Air Officer Commanding Central Area
1935 – 1936
|Formation renamed as No. 1 Group|
J C Quinnell
Quinnel's command was redesignated No. 6 Group in 1936
|Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group
S W Smith
|Air Officer Commanding Balloon Command
1938 – 1940
Sir Leslie Gossage
A P Ritchie
|Air Officer Commanding No. 93 Group
G S Hodson
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