Thomas Prickett

Last updated

Sir Thomas Prickett
Born(1913-07-31)31 July 1913
Lindfield, Sussex
Died 23 January 2010(2010-01-23) (aged 96)
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Air Force
Years of service 1937–70
Rank Air Chief Marshal
Commands held Air Member for Supply and Organisation (1968–70)
Air Support Command (1967–68)
Transport Command (1967)
British Forces Cyprus (1964–66)
Near East Air Force (1964–66)
RAF Jever (1954–56)
RAF Tangmere (1949–50)
Battles/wars Second World War
Suez Crisis
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Flying Cross

Air Chief Marshal Sir Thomas Öther Prickett, KCB, DSO, DFC (31 July 1913 – 23 January 2010) was a bomber pilot in the Second World War and a senior Royal Air Force commander in the 1950s and 1960s. He was chief of staff to the air commander, Air Marshal Denis Barnett, for Operation Musketeer (the Anglo-French-Israeli plan for the invasion of Egypt to capture the Suez Canal during the Suez Crisis).

Distinguished Service Order UK military decoration

The Distinguished Service Order (DSO) is a military decoration of the United Kingdom, and formerly of other parts of the Commonwealth, awarded for meritorious or distinguished service by officers of the armed forces during wartime, typically in actual combat. Since 1993 all ranks have been eligible.

Distinguished Flying Cross (United Kingdom) military decoration of the United Kingdom

The Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) is the third-level military decoration awarded to officers, and since 1993 to other ranks, of the United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and other services, and formerly to officers of other Commonwealth countries, for "an act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty whilst flying in active operations against the enemy".

Royal Air Force Aerial warfare service branch of the British Armed Forces

The Royal Air Force (RAF) is the United Kingdom's aerial warfare force. Formed towards the end of the First World War on 1 April 1918, it is the oldest independent air force in the world. Following victory over the Central Powers in 1918 the RAF emerged as, at the time, the largest air force in the world. Since its formation, the RAF has taken a significant role in British military history. In particular, it played a large part in the Second World War where it fought its most famous campaign, the Battle of Britain.

Contents

RAF career

Educated at Haileybury, Prickett initially worked on sugar estates in India before deciding to join the Royal Air Force in 1937. [1] He served in the Second World War initially as a pilot with No. 148 Squadron flying Wellington bombers and latterly as a flight commander with No. 103 Squadron flying Lancaster bombers. [1] He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order following a very successful bombing raid on the Peenemünde Army Research Center. [2]

Haileybury and Imperial Service College school in Hertfordshire, England

Haileybury is an independent school near Hertford in England. Originally a major boys' public school, it is now co-educational, enrolling pupils at 11+, 13+ and 16+ stages of education. Over 780 pupils attend Haileybury, of whom more than 500 board.

India Country in South Asia

India, also known as the Republic of India, is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh largest country by area and with more than 1.3 billion people, it is the second most populous country and the most populous democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indian Ocean on the south, the Arabian Sea on the southwest, and the Bay of Bengal on the southeast, it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west; China, Nepal, and Bhutan to the northeast; and Bangladesh and Myanmar to the east. In the Indian Ocean, India is in the vicinity of Sri Lanka and the Maldives, while its Andaman and Nicobar Islands share a maritime border with Thailand and Indonesia.

No. 148 Squadron RAF

No. 148 Squadron of the Royal Air Force has been part of the RAF since the First World War.

After the war he was made Station Commander at RAF Tangmere before joining the Air Staff at Headquarters Middle East Air Force in 1951 and then becoming Station Commander at RAF Jever in Germany in 1954. [1] With the Suez Crisis unfolding in autumn 1956, he was appointed Chief of Staff for Operation Musketeer. [1] The planning for the operation was undertaken in great secrecy over a three-month period in a basement office at the Air Ministry. [2]

RAF Tangmere airport in the United Kingdom

RAF Tangmere which was in Tangmere, 3 miles (5 km) east of Chichester, West Sussex, England, was a Royal Air Force station famous for its role in the Battle of Britain. Famous Second World War aces wing commander Douglas Bader, and the then inexperienced Johnnie Johnson were at Tangmere in 1941.

Near East Air Force (Royal Air Force)

The former Royal Air Force Near East Air Force, more simply known as RAF Near East Air Force, was the Command organisation that controlled all Royal Air Force assets in the Eastern Mediterranean.

Suez Crisis diplomatic and military confrontation in late 1956 involving Egypt, Britain, France and Israel

The Suez Crisis, or the Second Arab–Israeli War, also named the Tripartite Aggression in the Arab world and Operation Kadesh or Sinai War in Israel, was an invasion of Egypt in late 1956 by Israel, followed by the United Kingdom and France. The aims were to regain Western control of the Suez Canal and to remove Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had just nationalized the canal. After the fighting had started, political pressure from the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Nations led to a withdrawal by the three invaders. The episode humiliated the United Kingdom and France and strengthened Nasser.

Returning to the UK he became Director of Air Staff Briefing at the Air Ministry in December 1956, Director of Policy at the Air Ministry early in 1958 and then Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters No. 1 Group in May 1958. [1] He went on to be Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) in 1960, Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Policy & Planning) in 1963 and Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Near East Air Force (including responsibility for British Forces Cyprus and Administration of the Sovereign Base Areas) in 1964. [1] His final appointments were as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Transport Command (subsequently renamed Support Command) in 1967 and as Air Member for Supply and Organisation in 1968 before he retired in 1970. [1]

Air Ministry former department of the British Government

The Air Ministry was a department of the Government of the United Kingdom with the responsibility of managing the affairs of the Royal Air Force, that existed from 1918 to 1964. It was under the political authority of the Secretary of State for Air.

No. 1 Group RAF Royal Air Force operations group

No. 1 Group of the Royal Air Force is one of the two operations groups in Air Command, the other being the No. 2 Group. Today, the group is referred to as the Air Combat Group, as it controls the RAF's combat fast-jet aircraft and has airfields in the UK, as well as RAF Support Unit Goose Bay in Canada. The group headquarters is located alongside Headquarters Air Command at RAF High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The current Air officer commanding No 1 Group is Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth.

British Forces Cyprus British Armed Forces stationed in the UK Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia

British Forces Cyprus (BFC) is the name given to the British Armed Forces stationed in the UK Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia on the island of Cyprus and at a number of related 'retained sites' in the Republic of Cyprus. The United Kingdom retains a military presence on the island in order to keep a strategic location at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, for use as a staging point for forces sent to locations in the Middle East and Asia. BFC is a tri-service command, with all three services based on the island reporting to it. At present, there are approximately 3,500 personnel serving in Cyprus.

In retirement he assisted the Duke of Richmond to redevelop the Goodwood estate. [2]

Frederick Gordon-Lennox, 9th Duke of Richmond racecar driver

Frederick Charles Gordon-Lennox, 9th Duke of Richmond, 9th Duke of Lennox, 9th Duke of Aubigny, 4th Duke of Gordon was a British peer, engineer, racing driver, and motor racing promoter.

Goodwood House country house in England, seat of the Duke of Richmond

Goodwood House is a country house and estate covering 4,900 hectares in Westhampnett, Chichester, West Sussex, England and is the seat of the Duke of Richmond. The house was built in about 1600 and is a Grade I listed building.

Family

In 1942 he married Betty, an American woman; they had a son and a daughter. [2] Following the death of his first wife, he married Shirley Westerman in 1985. [2]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation – Air Chief Marshal Sir Thomas Prickett
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Telegraph.co.uk – Air Force Obituaries- Air Chief Marshal Sir Thomas Prickett
Military offices
Preceded by
Unknown
Station Commander RAF Tangmere
1949–1952
Succeeded by
J A Kent
Preceded by
G Powell-Shedden
Station Commander RAF Jever
1954–1955
Succeeded by
Rochford Hughes
Preceded by
Sir Denis Barnett
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Near East Air Force
Commander British Forces Cyprus

1964–1966
Succeeded by
Sir Edward Gordon Jones
Preceded by
Sir Kenneth Cross
Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief RAF Transport Command
1967
Command renamed Air Support Command
Command formed by renaming RAF Transport Command Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Air Support Command
1967–1968
Succeeded by
Sir Lewis Hodges
Preceded by
Sir Charles Broughton
Air Member for Supply and Organisation
1968–1970
Succeeded by
Sir Neil Wheeler