Richard Hamblin

Air Commodore Richard Kaye Hamblin (16 December 1906 – 30 August 1988) was a Royal Air Force pilot and as one of The Few was part of No. 17 Squadron RAF flying the Hawker Hurricane during the Battle of Britain.

Richard Kaye Hamblin
Birth nameRichard Kaye Hamblin
Born(1906-12-16)16 December 1906
Fyzabad, India
Died30 August 1988(1988-08-30) (aged 81)
Alton, Hampshire, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Air Force
Years of service1924–1956
RankAir Commodore
Service number16223
UnitNo. 17 Squadron RAF

No. 56 Squadron RAF
No. 31 Squadron RAF
No. 5 Squadron RAF

No. 142 Squadron RAF
Commands heldNo. 17 Squadron RAF
No. 85 Squadron RAF
No. 142 Squadron RAF
Battles/warsWorld War II
AwardsOrder of the British Empire (CBE)


Hamblin was born on 16 December 1906[1] at Fyzabad in India.[1] By the time of the 1910 Census of Lymington in Hampshire he was a four-year-old living with his grandfather a retired Indian civil servant.[2]

Hamblin joined the Royal Air Force in 1926 as a flight cadet. On 30 July 1926 he was posted to No. 56 Squadron RAF as a pilot.[1] In 1930 he attended the Electrical and Wireless School to train as a signals officer.[1][3] In October 1932 he was posted to No. 31 Squadron RAF in India[4] eventually becoming a flight commander with No. 5 Squadron RAF and was promoted to Squadron Leader before leaving India.[5]

In 1938 he was appointed commanding officer of No. 142 Squadron RAF[5] operating the Fairey Battle, this was followed by a staff appointment in the Deputy Directorate of War Organisation.[1] During the Battle of Britain he flew operations with No. 17 Squadron RAF.

In November 1941 he was appointed Officer Commanding No. 85 Squadron RAF operating the Douglas Havoc.[1] On 12 November 1942 Hamblin married a Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) Elizabeth Bond at Durham Cathedral.[6] Hamblin was mentioned in dispatched four times during the war and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1946.[1][7]

After the war he was back to staff duties including officer commanding AHQ West Africa, AOA at No. 2 Group and Director of Personnel from 1954 until he retired in 1956 as an Air Commodore.[1]

Hamblin died on 30 August 1988 in Hampshire.[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Air Commodore R K Hamblin (16223)". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. 16 June 2007. Retrieved 26 March 2010.
  2. ^ 1910 Census of Lymington, RG14/5792, Richard Kaye Hamblin aged 4, Rope Hill, Boldre, Lymington, Hampshire.
  3. ^ "R.A.F. Appointments". Official Appointments and Notices. The Times (43306). London. 7 May 1930. col D, p. 10.
  4. ^ "R.A.F. Appointments". Official Appointments and Notices. The Times (46264). London. 14 October 1932. col F, p. 4.
  5. ^ a b "Royal Air Force Squadron Leaders' Posts". Official Appointments and Notices. The Times (47976). London. 23 April 1938. col C, p. 6.
  6. ^ "Marriages". Marriages. The Times (49378). London. 28 October 1942. col B, p. 7.
  7. ^ "No. 37407". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1946. p. 33.