William Cushion

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William Cushion
Born(1891-01-30)30 January 1891
Lakenham, Norwich
Died 16 January 1978(1978-01-16) (aged 86)
Fulham, London
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch British Army (1914–18)
Royal Air Force (1918–47)
Years of service 191447
Rank Air Vice Marshal
Commands held No. 40 Group (1940–42)
No. 4 Stores Depot (1935–38)
Battles/wars First World War
Second World War
Awards Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Companion of the Order of the Bath
Other work Executive with BOAC

Air Vice Marshal Sir William Boston Cushion, KBE, CB (30 January 1891 – 16 January 1978) was a British Army and Royal Air Force officer and an executive of the British Overseas Airways Corporation.

British Army land warfare branch of the British Armed Forces of the United Kingdom

The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part of British Armed Forces. As of 2018, the British Army comprises just over 81,500 trained regular (full-time) personnel and just over 27,000 trained reserve (part-time) personnel.

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.

British Overseas Airways Corporation airline

British Overseas Airways Corporation (BOAC) was the British state-owned airline created in 1939 by the merger of Imperial Airways and British Airways Ltd. It continued operating overseas services throughout World War II. After the passing of the Civil Aviation Act of 1946, European and South American services passed to two further state-owned airlines, British European Airways (BEA) and British South American Airways (BSAA). BOAC absorbed BSAA in 1949, but BEA continued to operate British domestic and European routes for the next quarter century. A 1971 Act of Parliament merged BOAC and BEA, effective 31 March 1974, forming today's British Airways.

Contents

Early life

The son of William Cushion, of Surlingham, near Norwich, Cushion was educated at Gresham's School, Holt, where he was a member of the school's Officer Training Corps, and at Faraday House, London. [1]

Surlingham village in the United Kingdom

Surlingham is a village and civil parish in South Norfolk situated on the Broads. It lies approximately 6½ miles south-east of Norwich on the south bank of the River Yare between Bramerton and Rockland St Mary. In the 2001 census it contained 266 households and a population of 637, increasing to 725 at the 2011 census. Although Surlingham is part of South Norfolk District, as in other broadland villages those areas of the village adjacent to the river and broads fall into the executive area of the Broads Authority.

Norwich City and non-metropolitan district in England

Norwich is a historic city in Norfolk, England. Situated on the River Wensum in East Anglia, it lies approximately 100 miles (160 km) north-east of London. It is the county town of Norfolk and is considered the capital of East Anglia, with a population of 141,300. From the Middle Ages until the Industrial Revolution, Norwich was the largest city in England after London, and one of the most important.

Greshams School school

Gresham’s School is an independent coeducational boarding school in Holt in Norfolk, England. Gresham's School is one of the top 30 International Baccalaureate schools in England.

Career

Originally he studied electrical engineering but at the start of the First World War Cushion was commissioned as a second lieutenant into the 22nd Battalion the Manchester Regiment on 3 December 1914 [2] and attached to the Royal Flying Corps in 1915. During the First World War he served in France from 1915 to 1918. After the war, in 1919, he received a permanent commission into the Royal Air Force, serving as a flight lieutenant from 1919 to 1921, [1] and was promoted squadron leader on 1 January 1922. [3] He served in India from 1922 until 1927, was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire that year and was promoted wing commander on 1 January 1929. [1] [4] [5] He served in Iraq (then a British protectorate) from 1933 to 1935, was promoted group captain in 1937, [6] air commodore in 1940, [7] and air vice marshal in 1942, serving as Director-General of Equipment at the Air Ministry. [1] He was advanced to Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1942, appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1944 and knighted as a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1947. [1] [8]

Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces, comparable to NATO OF-1a rank.

Manchester Regiment

The Manchester Regiment was a line infantry regiment of the British Army in existence from 1881 until 1958. The regiment was created during the 1881 Childers Reforms by the amalgamation of the 63rd Regiment of Foot and the 96th Regiment of Foot as the 1st and 2nd battalions; the 6th Royal Lancashire Militia became the 3rd (Reserve) and 4th battalions and the Volunteer battalions became the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th battalions.

Royal Flying Corps former air warfare service of the British Army

The Royal Flying Corps (RFC) was the air arm of the British Army before and during the First World War, until it merged with the Royal Naval Air Service on 1 April 1918 to form the Royal Air Force. During the early part of the war, the RFC supported the British Army by artillery co-operation and photographic reconnaissance. This work gradually led RFC pilots into aerial battles with German pilots and later in the war included the strafing of enemy infantry and emplacements, the bombing of German military airfields and later the strategic bombing of German industrial and transport facilities.

After retirement from the Royal Air Force, Cushion was an executive of the British Overseas Airways Corporation from 1946, taking charge of General Services from 1948. [9] He represented BOAC on the Aircraft Requirements and Contracts Committee, which considered aircraft replacement jointly with British European Airways and British South American Airways. [10] He retired from BOAC on 30 September 1956, after an announcement in May: "The Corporation desires to place on record its great appreciation of the notable contributions of Sir Victor Tait, Sir Harold Whittingham, and Sir William Cushion to the progress and development of B. O. A. C." [11]

British European Airways airline

British European Airways (BEA), formally British European Airways Corporation, was a British airline which existed from 1946 until 1974.

British South American Airways former airline

British South American Airways (BSAA) was a state-run airline in the United Kingdom in the late 1940s responsible for services to the Caribbean and South America. Originally named British Latin American Air Lines it was renamed before services started in 1946. BSAA operated mostly Avro aircraft: Yorks, Lancastrians and Tudors and flew to Bermuda, the West Indies, Mexico and the western coast of South America. After two high-profile aircraft disappearances it was merged into the British Overseas Airways Corporation at the end of 1949.

Air Marshal Sir Harold Edward Whittingham was a British physician notable for a distinguished medical career in the Royal Air Force and contributions to Aviation medicine. After graduating from the University of Glasgow, he was the first pathologist and Assistant Director of Research at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research in Glasgow.

Private life

In 1917, Cushion married Esther Jane Kenyon-Spooner, and they had two daughters. He was a member of the Hurlingham Club and at the time of his death was living in London SW6. [1]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 CUSHION, Air Vice-Marshal Sir William Boston in Who Was Who, online edition by Oxford University Press, December 2007
  2. London Gazette, Issue 29078, 20 February 1915 (supplement) page 1816 online
  3. Flight magazine dated 5 January 1922, online
  4. Flight magazine dated 30 June 1927 online
  5. London Gazette, Issue 33453, 1 January 1929 Page 71 online
  6. London Gazette, Issue 34414, 2 July 1937, page 4254 online
  7. London Gazette, Issue 34765, 2 January 1940 page 25 online
  8. London Gazette, Issue 36309, 31 December 1943, Page 4 online
  9. B.O.A.C. Plans and Reorganization in Flightmagazine dated 29 July 1948
  10. Aircraft Requirements Committee in Flight magazine dated 22 April 1948, online
  11. Flight magazine dated 1 June 1956 online