Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A/Cdre Augustus Henry Orlebar CBE AFC* 1897-1943

4th from right is A.H Orlebar

Augustus Henry Orlebar was educated at Rugby and served as an Officer with 1st/5th Bedfordshire Regiment at Gallipoli in 1915 before transferring to the RFC for pilot training in 1916. From 17 Sep 1916 he served as a Flying Officer with No 19 Sqn RFC. (BE12, Spad VII – Western Front), 1917 No 44 Sqn RFC. (Camel – Hainault Farm), 20 Dec 1917 Flight Commander with No 73 Sqn RFC. (Camel – Western Front), in 1918 he served briefly as an Instructor, before returning to active service in Aug 1918 as a Flight Commander with No 43 Sqn. (Camel, Snipe – Western Front). He shot down seven enemy aircraft during the war.

After the First World War he served with the Aeroplane Experimental Station, Martlesham Heath before taking up a permanent commission with the RAF and at the same time relinquishing his commission as a Lieutenant in the Bedfordshire Regiment on 1 August 1919.

In December 1929 he became OC Flying Boat Development Flight, during which he set a new air speed record of 357.7mph and in May 1931 OC RAF High Speed Flight,which won the Schneider Trophy for Britain in 1929 and 1931 thus securing the trophy as a permamnet possession.

At the out break of the Second World War he held the appointment of Director of Flying Training and then joined the Air Staff, HQ Fighter Command in October 1940

On 22 Jul 1941 he became AOC, No 10 (Fighter) Group and at the time of his death he held the position of Deputy Chief of Combined Operations, which he attained on 2 March 1943.