David Harcourt-Smith

Air Chief Marshal Sir David Harcourt-Smith, GBE, KCB, DFC (born 14 October 1931) is a former Royal Air Force officer who served as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief at RAF Support Command from 1984 to 1986. He is the author of Wings Over Suez, an account of air operations during the Sinai and Suez wars.

Sir David Harcourt-Smith
Born14 October 1931 (age 87)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Air Force
Years of service1952–1989
RankAir Chief Marshal
Commands heldSupport Command (1984–86)
Royal Air Force College Cranwell (1978–80)
RAF Bruggen (1972–74)
No. 6 Squadron (1969–70)
No. 54 Squadron (1963–65)
Battles/warsAden Emergency
AwardsKnight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire
Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Flying Cross
RelationsAir Vice Marshal Gilbert Harcourt-Smith (father)

RAF career

Educated at Felsted School and the Royal Air Force College Cranwell, Harcourt-Smith was commissioned into the Royal Air Force in 1952.[1] He served in the Aden Emergency, where he won the Distinguished Flying Cross for gallantry and devotion to duty in 1957.[2]

Harcourt-Smith was appointed Officer Commanding No. 54 Squadron in 1963 and Officer Commanding No. 6 Squadron in 1969 before moving on to be Station Commander at RAF Bruggen in 1972 and Commandant of the Royal Air Force College Cranwell in 1978.[1] He went on to be Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operational Requirements) in 1980, Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief at RAF Support Command in 1984 and Controller of Aircraft in 1986.[1] As Controller of Aircraft he oversaw the introduction of the Tucano training aircraft.[3] He retired in 1989.[1]


In 1957 Harcourt-Smith married Dorothy Mary Entwistle; they had two sons and one daughter.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Debrett's People of Today 1994
  2. ^ "No. 41243". The London Gazette. 29 November 1957. p. 7047.
  3. ^ MoD admits Tucano delay Flight International, 1 February 1985
Military offices
Preceded by
Sir Michael Beavis
Commander-in-Chief Support Command
Succeeded by
Sir John Sutton
1984 Birthday Honours

Queen's Birthday Honours are announced on or around the date of the Queen's Official Birthday in Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The dates vary, both from year to year and from country to country. All are published in supplements to the London Gazette and many are conferred by the monarch (or her representative) some time after the date of the announcement, particularly for those service people on active duty.

The 1984 Queen's Birthday honours lists for New Zealand and the Cook Islands were announced on 16 June 1984.

1989 New Year Honours

The New Year Honours 1989 were appointments by most of the Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries, and honorary ones to citizens of other countries. They were announced on 31 December 1988 to celebrate the year passed and mark the beginning of 1989 in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Mauritius, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Christopher and Nevis.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.

Controller Aircraft

Controller Aircraft (CA), originally Controller of Aircraft, is a senior (3 star) British Ministry of Defence appointment who is responsible for delivering an airworthy aircraft to the Services, whereupon the Service issues a Release to Service (RTS), releasing the aircraft into service. The difference between CA Release and RTS is normally one of Build Standard. Although usually held by a Royal Air Force officer, several civil servants have held the post in the 20th century. The incumbent is a member of the Air Force Board.

John Sutton (RAF officer)

Air Marshal Sir John Matthias Dobson Sutton, (9 July 1932 – 21 November 2014) was a Royal Air Force officer who served as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief at RAF Support Command from 1986 to 1989 and Lieutenant Governor of Jersey from 1990 to 1995.

List of Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire

Below is a List of Knights Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire from the Order's creation in 1917 to the present day. The names and titles of recipients are given as at the time of their appointment or promotion to Knight Grand Cross. The date of the award, as given in the announcement The London Gazette, is included in brackets after the names.

List of Old Felstedians

This is a list of notable Old Felstedians who are former pupils of Felsted School in Essex, England.

List of Royal Air Force air chief marshals

The following is a list of Royal Air Force air chief marshals. The rank of air chief marshal is a four-star officer rank and currently the highest rank to which RAF officers may be promoted to in a professional capacity. Throughout the history of the RAF there have been 140 RAF officers promoted to air chief marshal and at present two RAF officers hold the rank in an active capacity. These are Sir Stephen Hillier, the Chief of the Air Staff (the only dedicated RAF 4-star post) and Sir Stuart Peach who is the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee.

The rank was first used in 1922 when Sir Hugh Trenchard the then Chief of the Air Staff was promoted. Up until the mid-1930s there was usually only one RAF officer in the rank of air chief marshal. During World War II, with the great expansion of the RAF, the number of air chief marshals active at any one time rose to six by the end of the War. This number of air chief marshals was to remain approximately constant throughout the Cold War but after the British defence cuts of the mid-1990s there were only two dedicated 4-star RAF posts, namely the AOC-in-C, Strike Command and the Chief of the Air Staff. In 2007 with the reduction to a single command (Air Command) the RAF initially retained two air chief marshal posts (the AOC-in-C, Air Command and the Chief of the Air Staff) but in 2012 the post of AOC-in-C, Air Command was subsumed within the responsibilities of the Chief of the Air Staff leaving only a single dedicated RAF air chief marshal post.

Michael Beavis

Air Chief Marshal Sir Michael Gordon Beavis, (born 13 August 1929) is a former Royal Air Force officer who served as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Support Command from 1981 to 1984.

Order of the British Empire

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire is a British order of chivalry, rewarding contributions to the arts and sciences, work with charitable and welfare organisations,

and public service outside the civil service. It was established on 4 June 1917 by King George V and comprises five classes across both civil and military divisions, the most senior two of which make the recipient either a knight if male or dame if female. There is also the related British Empire Medal, whose recipients are affiliated with, but not members of, the order.

Recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire were originally made on the nomination of the United Kingdom, the self-governing Dominions of the Empire (later Commonwealth) and the Viceroy of India. Nominations continue today from Commonwealth countries that participate in recommending British (Imperial) honours. Most Commonwealth countries ceased recommendations for appointments to the Order of the British Empire when they created their own honours.

Peter Harding (RAF officer, born 1933)

Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Peter Robin Harding, (born 2 December 1933) is a retired Royal Air Force officer who served as a bomber pilot in the 1950s, a helicopter squadron commander in the 1960s and a station commander in the 1970s. He became Chief of the Air Staff in 1988 and served in that role during the Gulf War in 1991. He became Chief of the Defence Staff in December 1992 but resigned after his affair with Lady (Bienvenida) Buck, the wife of Conservative MP Antony Buck, became public.

RAF Support Command

Support Command was a command of the Royal Air Force.

It was formed on 31 August 1973 by the renaming of RAF Maintenance Command, with No. 90 (Signals) Group being added to it. Its responsibilities included all logistical and maintenance support requirements of the RAF. Among its first stations assigned may have been RAF Gan, transferred from Far East Air Force. It was renamed as RAF Support Command, and its role further increased, on 13 June 1977 when it absorbed Training Command, making it additionally responsible for all RAF ground and aircrew training.

In the 1980s the bunker at RAF Holmpton was converted to form a new Emergency War Headquarters for RAF Support Command.In 1994 the Command was split up, with many of its functions merging with those of the RAF Personnel Management Centre to form RAF Personnel and Training Command, and others being hived off into RAF Logistics Command.

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