|Born||30 January 1891|
|Died|| 16 January 1978 86) (aged|
|Service/|| British Army (1914–18)|
Royal Air Force (1918–47)
|Years of service||1914–47|
|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.
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.
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 (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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 1914and 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, and was promoted squadron leader on 1 January 1922. 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. He served in Iraq (then a British protectorate) from 1933 to 1935, was promoted group captain in 1937, air commodore in 1940, and air vice marshal in 1942, serving as Director-General of Equipment at the Air Ministry. 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.
Second lieutenant is a junior commissioned officer military rank in many armed forces, comparable to NATO OF-1a rank.
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.
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.He represented BOAC on the Aircraft Requirements and Contracts Committee, which considered aircraft replacement jointly with British European Airways and British South American Airways. 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."
British European Airways (BEA), formally British European Airways Corporation, was a British airline which existed from 1946 until 1974.
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.
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.
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Arthur William Tedder, 1st Baron Tedder, was a senior Royal Air Force commander. He was a pilot and squadron commander in the Royal Flying Corps in the First World War and he went on to serve as a senior officer in the Royal Air Force during the inter-war years when he served in Turkey, Great Britain and the Far East. During the Second World War, as Air Officer Commanding RAF Middle East Command, Tedder directed air operations in the Mediterranean and North Africa, including the evacuation of Crete and Operation Crusader in North Africa. His bombing tactics became known as the "Tedder Carpet". Later in the war Tedder took command of Mediterranean Air Command and in that role was closely involved in the planning of the Allied invasion of Sicily and then the Allied invasion of Italy. When Operation Overlord—the invasion of France—came to be planned, Tedder was appointed Deputy Supreme Commander at Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force under General Eisenhower. After the war he served as Chief of the Air Staff, in which role he advocated increased recruiting in the face of many airmen leaving the service, doubled the size of RAF Fighter Command and implemented arrangements for the Berlin Airlift in 1948. After the war he held senior positions in business and academia.
Air Vice Marshal Sir Leonard Monk Isitt was a New Zealand military aviator and senior air force commander. In 1943 he became the first New Zealander to serve as the Chief of the Air Staff of the Royal New Zealand Air Force, a post he held until 1946. At the close of World War II, Isitt was the New Zealand signatory to the Japanese Instrument of Surrender. After the war, following retirement from the Air Force, he worked as chairman of Tasman Empire Airways.
Air Vice Marshal Sir Frederick Hugh Sykes, was a British military officer and politician.
Air Chief Marshal Sir William Geoffrey Hanson Salmond,, commonly known as Sir Geoffrey Salmond, was a senior commander in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War. Remaining in the Royal Air Force after the war, he held senior appointments in the Middle East, Great Britain and India. In 1933 Salmond served as Chief of the Air Staff for only a matter of days before being taken ill and subsequently dying from cancer.
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir William Forster Dickson, was a Royal Naval Air Service aviator during the First World War, a senior officer in the Royal Air Force during the inter-war years and a Royal Air Force commander during and after the Second World War. Dickson was Chief of the Air Staff in the mid-1950s, in which role his main preoccupation was the establishment of the V Force and the necessary supporting weapons, airfields and personnel. He also served as the first Chief of the Defence Staff in the late 1950s.
Marshal of the Royal Air Force Sir Thomas Geoffrey Pike, was a senior officer in the Royal Air Force. He served in the Second World War as a night fighter squadron commander and then as a station commander. He was Chief of the Air Staff in the early 1960s and, in that role, deployed British air power as part of the British response to the Brunei Revolt. Also, in the face of escalating costs, he implemented the cancellation of the British Blue Streak ballistic missile system but then found the RAF was without any such capability when the Americans cancelled their own Skybolt ballistic missile system. He went on to be Deputy Supreme Commander Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in the mid-1960s.
Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Edmund Charles Peirse, was a senior Royal Air Force commander.
Air Vice Marshal Sir William Sefton Brancker,, commonly known as Sir Sefton Brancker, was a senior officer of the Royal Flying Corps and later Royal Air Force, and pioneer in British civil and military aviation.
Air Marshal Sir John Rowlands, was a senior Royal Air Force commander and a recipient of the George Cross for his work in bomb disposal during the Second World War. He later worked in the development of Britain's nuclear weapons programme.
Air Vice Marshal Amyas Eden Borton, was a pilot and commander in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War and a senior commander in the Royal Air Force during the 1920s. He saw active service on the Western Front, in Palestine and in Iraq. In the latter part of his career, Borton was the second Commandant of the RAF College at Cranwell before becoming the Air Officer Commanding RAF Inland Area.
Air Marshal Sir Peter Roy Maxwell Drummond, was an Australian-born senior commander in the Royal Air Force (RAF). He rose from private soldier in World War I to air marshal in World War II. Drummond enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force in 1914 and the following year saw service as a medical orderly during the Gallipoli Campaign. He joined the Royal Flying Corps in 1916 and became a fighter ace in the Middle Eastern theatre, where he was awarded the Military Cross and the Distinguished Service Order and Bar. Transferring to the RAF on its formation in 1918, he remained in the British armed forces for the rest of his life.
Air Vice Marshal Sir Cecil Arthur Bouchier served with the British Army, Royal Flying Corps, Indian Air Force and Royal Air Force from 1915 to 1953. He was Air Officer Commanding British Commonwealth Air Forces as part of the Occupation Force in Japan from 1945 to 1948.
Air Chief Marshal Sir John Barraclough was a Royal Air Force pilot during the Second World War who went on to become Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff.
Harry George Smart, is best known as the commander of RAF Habbaniya during the first part of the Anglo-Iraqi War. Smart was an officer in the British Army, the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Air Force. He served during the First World War, during the interwar period, and during the Second World War.
Air Vice Marshal Charles Humphrey Kingsman Edmonds, was air officer of the Royal Air Force (RAF).
Air Marshal Sir Francis John Linnell, was a senior Royal Air Force commander during the Second World War. He was Controller of Research and Development of the Ministry of Aircraft Production during the development of the Bouncing bomb, the weapon eventually employed in Operation Chastise. 'Jack' was dubbed Sir Francis in the desert in front of the British press by King George VI and posthumously appointed Commander of the Legion of Merit by U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Air Vice Marshal Reginald Leonard George Marix, was a British aviator, originally with the Royal Naval Air Service, who later reached air officer rank in the Royal Air Force. He is credited with being the first pilot to destroy a Zeppelin, when in October 1914 he bombed the airship sheds at Düsseldorf. A flying accident in 1916 ended his flying career, but he remained in the Royal Air Force, serving in various staff positions, and during the Second World War commanded two reconnaissance groups, and from 1943 to 1945 the group responsible for ferrying aircraft from North America to Europe.
Rear-Admiral Sir Matthew Sausse Slattery, was a British naval officer, military aviator and businessman. He was the managing director and chairman of Short Brothers and Harland, chairman of British Overseas Airways Corporation and latterly served as chairman of Hawthorn Leslie and Company. He was also a board member of Bristol Aeroplane Company and The National Bank.
Athelstan Sigfrid Mellersh Rendall OBE, known to his friends as Flaps Rendall, was a British pilot.