Air Chief Marshal Sir Peter Ted Squire, GCB, DFC, AFC, DL, FRAeS (7 October 1945 – 19 February 2018) was a senior Royal Air Force commander. He was a fast jet pilot in the 1970s, a squadron commander during the Falklands War and a senior air commander in the 1990s. Squire was Chief of the Air Staff from 2000 to 2003 during which time both Operation Veritas (in Afghanistan) and Operation Telic (in Iraq) were initiated. In retirement he became Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Imperial War Museum and Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Sir Peter Ted Squire
|Born||7 October 1945|
|Died||19 February 2018(aged 72)|
|Service/||Royal Air Force|
|Years of service||1966–2003|
|Rank||Air Chief Marshal|
|Commands held||Chief of the Air Staff (2000–03)|
Strike Command (1999–00)
No. 1 Group (1993)
RAF Cottesmore (1986–88)
No. 1 (F) Squadron (1981–83)
|Awards||Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath|
Distinguished Flying Cross
Air Force Cross
Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air
Born the son of Wing Commander Frank Squire and Margaret Pascoe Squire (née Trump), Peter Squire attended the independent King's School, Bruton in Somerset and was commissioned into the Royal Air Force on 15 July 1966. Following initial officer training at the RAF College Cranwell and subsequent flying training, he was promoted to flying officer on 15 January 1967 and sent to No. 20 Squadron based in Singapore to fly Hunters in 1968. He was promoted to flight lieutenant on 15 January 1969 and joined No. 4 Flying Training School in Anglesey in 1970.
Squire was awarded the Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air in the 1973 Birthday Honours and, having been promoted to squadron leader on 1 July 1973, he flew Harriers with No. 3 Squadron in Germany from 1975. He was awarded the Air Force Cross in the 1979 Birthday Honours.
Promoted to wing commander on 1 July 1980, Squire was appointed Commanding Officer of No. 1 (F) Squadron based at RAF Wittering flying Harriers in 1981. In 1982 Squire led members of his squadron in action in the Falklands campaign where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross. He flew with his squadron to CFB Goose Bay in Canada on 13 April 1982, on a six-hour flight using air-to-air refuelling (AAR), for an exercise. He departed for the Falklands on 3 May with his squadron from RAF St Mawgan to RAF Ascension Island where a few days later they boarded the Atlantic Conveyor. Arriving in the South Atlantic, he transferred from the Atlantic Conveyor to HMS Hermes a few days before the Atlantic Conveyor was sunk by two Exocet missiles. During bombing sorties in support of ground forces, on one occasion a bullet passed through his cockpit and temporarily distracted him before he found an alternative target. On 9 June, his aircraft suffered engine failure and was damaged during a crash landing at the forward operating base ashore. On 13 June, he was the first member of the RAF to launch a laser-guided bomb (LGB), with the target being illuminated by Major Mike Howes, in combat on Mount Longdon flying a Harrier GR3 with No. 1(F) Squadron. Four Harriers from his squadron of ten were lost, three to ground fire and one after an engine failure led to a heavy landing. His squadron was also the first to operate in a combat role from a British aircraft carrier since the Second World War. Later in the year he was forced to eject on 6 November near Cape Pembroke in the Falklands due to a Harrier's engine failure.
Squire became leader of the Command Briefing and Presentation Team and then went on to be Personal Staff Officer to the Air Officer Commanding RAF Strike Command in 1984. Promoted to group captain on 1 July 1985, Squire took up the appointment of Station Commander of RAF Cottesmore in 1986.
He became Director Air Offensive at the Ministry of Defence in 1989. Following his promotion to air commodore on 1 January 1990, he became Senior Air Staff Officer at HQ Strike Command and Deputy Chief of Staff Operations UK Air Forces in 1991 and received further promotion to air vice marshal on 1 July 1991.
Squire was appointed Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group in February 1993; however, after only a few months he was replaced by Air Vice Marshal John Day. Squire served as Assistant Chief of the Air Staff from 1994 and, having been promoted to air marshal on 9 February 1996, he became Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Programmes and Personnel) in 1996. He was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 1997 Birthday Honours. Appointed Air Aide-de-Camp to The Queen on 29 March 1999, he was promoted to air chief marshal and became Commander-in-Chief RAF Strike Command and Commander Allied Air Forces Northwestern Europe on 30 March 1999.
Squire became Chief of the Air Staff in 2000 and was advanced to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath in the 2001 New Year Honours. As Chief of the Air Staff he advised the British Government on the British air contribution to Operation Veritas in Afghanistan where air strikes were initiated by the UK in support of US-led military action in 2001 and then to Operation Telic in Iraq where the UK assisted with securing air superiority and carrying out missions such as targeting key Iraqi command and control centres in 2003. He retired on 5 December 2003.
In retirement Squire joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve. He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Imperial War Museum from 2003 to 2011 and Vice-Chairman of the Board of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission from 2005 to 2008. He was also a Governor at King's School, Bruton and a Deputy Lieutenant of Devon.
He died on 19 February 2018 at the age of 72.
- Who's Who 2010, A & C Black, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4081-1414-8
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- Order of the Bath Insignia, Heraldsnet . Retrieved 28 December 2013
P J Goddard
| Station Commander RAF Cottesmore
R D Elder
| Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group
| Assistant Chief of the Air Staff
Sir Thomas Boyd-Carpenter
| Deputy Chief of the Defence Staff (Programmes and Personnel)
Sir Malcolm Pledger
Sir John Allison
| Commander-in-Chief Strike Command
Sir Anthony Bagnall
Sir Richard Johns
| Chief of the Air Staff
Sir Jock Stirrup
Sir John Allison
| Air Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty The Queen
Sir Jock Stirrup
Sir Jock Slater
| Chairman Board of Trustees, Imperial War Museum
Sir Francis Richards