Open main menu

Air Marshal Sir Roy David Austen-Smith, KBE, CB, CVO, DFC (born 28 June 1924) is a former Royal Air Force air marshal who served as Commander of British Forces Cyprus.

Sir Roy Austen-Smith
Born (1924-06-28) 28 June 1924 (age 95)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Air Force
Years of service1943–81
RankAir Marshal
Commands heldBritish Forces Cyprus
Royal Air Force College Cranwell
RAF Wattisham
No. 57 Squadron
No. 73 Squadron
Battles/warsSecond World War
Malayan Emergency
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Royal Victorian Order
Distinguished Flying Cross

RAF careerEdit

Educated at Hurstpierpoint College, Austen-Smith joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1943 during the Second World War.[1] He received an emergency commission as a pilot officer (on probation) on 7 April 1944,[2] and was confirmed in his rank and promoted to flying officer (war-substantive) on 8 October.[3] Austen-Smith was posted to his first operational unit, No. 41 Squadron, on 27 March 1945, and fought front line actions with 125 Wing through the Netherlands and Germany until the cessation of hostilities in May 1945. He remained with the unit until 31 March 1946, and was promoted to flight lieutenant (war-substantive) on 7 April 1946, subsequently receiving an extended-service commission in the rank of flying officer on 15 August.[4][5] He was promoted to the substantive rank of flight lieutenant on 7 October 1947,[6] and was granted a permanent commission in the RAF on 15 January 1948, in the same rank.[7]

Austen-Smith served as a Flight Commander with No. 33 Squadron in Malaya from 1950 to 1953, when he was posted to the RAF College at Cranwell. He was promoted to squadron leader on 1 October 1954 and became Officer Commanding No. 73 Squadron in 1956.[8][1] He was promoted to wing commander on 1 July 1960,[9] and became Officer Commanding No. 57 Squadron in 1964.[1] Promoted to group captain on 1 January 1966,[10] he went on to be Station Commander at RAF Wattisham in 1968.[1]

Austen-Smith was promoted to air commodore on 1 January 1970.[11] He was posted for special duty with the Air Staff on 14 February 1972, with the acting rank of air vice-marshal.[12] He was appointed the Commandant of the Royal Air Force College Cranwell in September 1972 and was promoted to the substantive rank of air vice-marshal on 1 January 1973.[13][14] He was appointed Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters Near East Air Force in November 1975.[1][15] After that he became Commander of British Forces Cyprus and Administrator of the Sovereign Base Areas in April 1976,[16] and Head of the British Defence Staff in Washington, D.C. in 1978. He was promoted to air marshal on 1 July 1979,[17] and retired on 1 November 1981 after a 38-year career.[18][19]

In retirement Austen-Smith served as a Gentlemen Usher to the Queen.[1]

HonoursEdit

Austen-Smith was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) in March 1953, for service during the Malayan Emergency.[20] He was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath, Military Division (CB) in the 1975 Birthday Honours.[21] He was knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, Military Division (KBE) in the 1979 Birthday Honours,[22] and as a Gentleman Usher to the Queen, appointed a Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in the 1994 New Year Honours.[23]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f Who's Who 2010, A & C Black, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4081-1414-8
  2. ^ "No. 36570". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 June 1944. p. 2924.
  3. ^ "No. 36776". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 October 1944. p. 5027.
  4. ^ "No. 37553". The London Gazette. 30 April 1946. p. 2129.
  5. ^ "No. 37784". The London Gazette (Supplement). 8 November 1946. p. 5526.
  6. ^ "No. 38120". The London Gazette (Supplement). 7 November 1947. p. 5307.
  7. ^ "No. 38264". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 April 1948. p. 2468.
  8. ^ "No. 40289". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 October 1954. p. 5553.
  9. ^ "No. 42080". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 June 1960. p. 4577.
  10. ^ "No. 43863". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1965. p. 77.
  11. ^ "No. 45013". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 January 1970. p. 221.
  12. ^ "No. 45610". The London Gazette (Supplement). 28 February 1972. p. 2505.
  13. ^ "No. 45787". The London Gazette (Supplement). 25 September 1972. p. 11363.
  14. ^ "No. 45867". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 January 1973. p. 100.
  15. ^ "No. 46734". The London Gazette (Supplement). 10 November 1975. p. 14213.
  16. ^ "No. 46868". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 September 1976. p. 5059.
  17. ^ "No. 47911". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 July 1979. p. 9361.
  18. ^ "Ministry of Defence and Senior Tri-Service Appointments" (PDF). Retrieved 7 June 2015.
  19. ^ "No. 48803". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 November 1981. p. 14925.
  20. ^ "No. 39793". The London Gazette. 6 March 1953. p. 1300.
  21. ^ "No. 46593". The London Gazette (Supplement). 6 June 1975. p. 7371.
  22. ^ "No. 47869". The London Gazette (Supplement). 15 June 1979. p. 6.
  23. ^ "No. 53527". The London Gazette. 30 December 1993. p. 4.
Military offices
Preceded by
John Aiken
Commander British Forces Cyprus
1976–1978
Succeeded by
Reynell Taylor
Preceded by
Sir Rollo Pain
Head of the British Defence Staff in Washington, D.C.
1978–1981
Succeeded by
Anthony Boam