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Sir Thomas Williams
Born 27 September 1899
Died 10 June 1956
Allegiance Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
Service/branch Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
Years of service 1916–1956
Rank Air Marshal
Commands held No. 423 Flight
No. 406 Flight
RAF Andover
RAF Watton
AHQ Bengal
RAF Staff College, Bracknell
British Air Forces of Occupation
Battles/wars World War I
World War II
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Military Cross
Distinguished Flying Cross & Bar
Spouse(s) Patricia Williams (died 2011)

Air Marshal Sir Thomas Melling Williams, KCB, OBE, MC, DFC & bar (27 September 1899 – 10 June 1956) was an ace pilot in the Royal Flying Corps during World War I, scoring nine aerial victories. He was also a senior officer in the Royal Air Force during World War II and the following years.

Military careerEdit

Williams was commissioned into the 12th South African Infantry and was in action in German West Africa in 1916 and 1917.[1] He transferred into the Royal Flying Corps in 1917.[1] After training as a pilot, Williams was assigned to No. 65 Squadron in France, flying Sopwith Camels.[1] He achieved nine air victories.[2] By the end of the war, in 1918, he was a flight commander, a role he continued when he was assigned to the British force in North Russia, supporting anti-Bolshevik forces.[1] After the War he commanded No. 423 Flight and then No. 406 Flight of the Fleet Air Arm.[1] He was appointed Station Commander at RAF Andover in 1938 and served in World War II being one of the last RAF officers to escape from France to Britain in 1940, leaving from Brest with his Air Officer Commanding.[1] He continued his was service as Station Commander at RAF Watton from 1940, as Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters No. 2 Group from 1941 and then as Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters RAF Bomber Command from later that year.[1] After serving in the Far East and in India, Williams was appointed Air Officer Commanding the AHQ Bengal in 1943.[1] He became Deputy Commander at Headquarters Eastern Air Command at Air Command South East Asia in December 1943 and Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) in August 1944.[1]

After the War he became Commandant of the RAF Staff College, Bracknell and then Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief British Air Forces of Occupation before becoming Inspector-General of the RAF in 1951.[1] Williams' air force career was cut short by ill-health and he died in June 1956.[1]

Honours and awardsEdit

His honour and wards comprised:[1]

Military Cross (MC)Edit

T./2nd Lt. Thomas Melling Williams, Gen. List, attd. R.A.F.

For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. During recent operations he destroyed three enemy aircraft and drove down two out of control. He showed great skill and courage in his attacks, and set a fine example to all.

Supplement to the London Gazette, 16 September 1918 (30901/11035)

Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC)Edit

Lieut. (T./Capt.) Thomas Melling Williams, M.C.

During recent operations this officer rendered most gallant and valuable service, proving himself to be a very capable and inspiring leader. On one occasion, observing three enemy railway trains, he dived, and in face of very heavy machine-gun fire seriously damaged one by a direct hit with a bomb. He then descended almost to the ground, and attacked the personnel escaping from the ruined train, scattering them in all directions. On returning to his aerodrome his machine was found to be riddled with bullets.

Supplement to the London Gazette, 2 November 1918 (30989/12975)

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 "Air Marshal Sir Thomas Williams". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. 17 June 2007. http://www.rafweb.org/Biographies/Williams_TM.htm. Retrieved 23 November 2010. 
  2. The Aerodrome
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Philip Wigglesworth
Commander-in-Chief British Air Forces of Occupation
1948–1951
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Foster
As C-in-C Second Tactical Air Force
Preceded by
Sir James Robb
Inspector-General of the RAF
1951–1952
Succeeded by
S C Strafford

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