Thread: Royal Air Force
View Single Post
Old 03-02-2015, 06:31 PM   #2
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Inactive
Posts: 36,483
Likes: 237 (190 Posts)
Lightbulb Trafford Leigh-Mallory

Leigh-Mallory at a squadron briefing in France in September 44...
Air Chief Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, KCB, DSO & Bar (11 July 1892 – 14 November 1944) was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force. Leigh-Mallory served as a Royal Flying Corps pilot and squadron commander during World War I.. Remaining in the newly formed RAF after the war, Leigh-Mallory served in a variety of staff and training appointments throughout the 1920s and 1930s..During the pre-Second World War build-up, he was Air Officer Commanding (AOC) No. 12 (Fighter) Group and shortly after the end of the Battle of Britain, took over command of No. 11 (Fighter) Group, defending the approach to London. In 1942 he became the Commander-in-Chief (C-in-C) of Fighter Command before being selected in 1943 to be the C-in-C of the Allied Expeditionary Air Force, which made him the air commander for the Allied Invasion of Normandy..In November 44, en route to Ceylon to take up the post of Air Commander-in-Chief South East Asia Command, his aircraft crashed in the French Alps and Leigh-Mallory, his wife and eight others were killed.He was one of the most senior British officers and the most senior RAF officer to be killed in the Second World War..Trafford Leigh-Mallory was born in Mobberley, Cheshire, the son of Herbert Leigh Mallory, (1856–1943), Rector of Mobberly, who legally changed his surname to Leigh-Mallory in 1914..

He was the brother of George Mallory, the noted mountaineer.. He was educated at Haileybury and at Magdalene College, Cambridge where he was a member of a literary club and where he made the acquaintance of Arthur Tedder, the future Marshal of the Royal Air Force.. He passed his Bachelor of Law degree and had applied to the Inner Temple in London to become a barrister when, in 1914, war broke out..Trafford married Doris Sawyer in 1915; the couple had two children..Leigh-Mallory immediately volunteered to join a Territorial Force battalion of the King's (Liverpool Regiment) as a private.. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant on 3 October 1914 and transferred to the Lancashire Fusiliers though officer training kept him in England when his battalion embarked.. In the spring of 1915, he went to the front with the South Lancashire Regiment and was wounded during an attack at the Second Battle of Ypres.. He was promoted to lieutenant on 21 June 1915..After recovering from his wounds, Leigh-Mallory joined the Royal Flying Corps in January 1916 and was accepted for pilot training.. On 7 July 1916, he was posted, as a lieutenant in the RFC,to No. 7 Squadron, where he flew on bombing, reconnaissance and photographic operations during the Battle of the Somme..He was then transferred to No. 5 Squadron in July 1916 before returning to England. He was promoted to temporary captain) on 2 November 1916..Leigh-Mallory's first combat command was No. 8 Squadron in November 1917.. In the period after the Battle of Cambrai, No. 8 Squadron was involved in army cooperation, directing tanks and artillery.. At the Armistice, Leigh-Mallory was mentioned in dispatches and awarded the Distinguished Service Order...

BOAC York operating a freight schedule at Heathrow in 1953...

Leigh-Mallory took command of 12 Group and proved an energetic organiser and leader.. On 1 November 1938, he was promoted to Air Vice-Marshal,one of the younger AVMs then serving in the RAF.. He was greatly liked by his staff, but his relations with his airfield station commanders was strained.. It was said of him that he "never went for popularity but he always stuck up for his staff.. He was madly ambitious but he never trimmed for the sake of ambition"..During the Battle of Britain, Leigh-Mallory quarrelled with Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park, the commander of 11 Group. Park, who was responsible for the defence of south east England and London, had stated that 12 Group was not doing enough to protect the airfields in the south-east.. Leigh-Mallory, on the other hand, had devised with Acting Squadron Leader Douglas Bader, a massed fighter formation known as the Big Wing, which they used, with little success, to hunt German bomber formations..One of the reasons for Leigh-Mallory's appointment to command 11 Group was that he was seen as an offensively-minded leader in the Trenchard mould. Once appointed he soon introduced wing-sized fighter sweeps into France, known as "rodeos"..(When accompanied by bombers to provoke enemy fighters, these were known as "Circus" operations)..On 16 August 1944, with the Battle of Normandy almost over, Leigh-Mallory was appointed Air Commander-in-Chief of South East Asia Command (SEAC) with the temporary rank of air chief marshal..But before he could take up his post he and his wife were killed en route to Burma when Avro York MW126,in which they were flying, crashed in the French Alps, killing all on board.. A court of inquiry found that the accident was a consequence of bad weather and might have been avoided if Leigh-Mallory had not insisted that the flight proceed in such poor conditions against the advice of his aircrew.. His replacement at SEAC was his Battle of Britain rival Air Marshal Sir Keith Park..He and his wife are buried, alongside 10 aircrew, in Le Rivier d'Allemont, a short distance below the site of the air crash...'t forget, the targets are my airfields, Leigh-Mallory.. And you're not getting fifty.. You're not even getting ten!.All that matters is to shoot them down in large numbers...
lightgiver is offline   Reply With Quote