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216 Squadron RAF, he made the first non-stop flight from Khartoum to Cairo, re-filling his fuel tanks by hand from cans stored recklessly inside the aircraft’s cockpit.
the hiatus in his career ended in January 1939, just prior to World War II when he was summoned to a Headquarters staff posting as the Plans 3 Officer at the Directorate of Operational Plans at Adastral House.
In the summer of 1914 he and his twin brother were sent to St.
Aubyns Preparatory School at Rottingdean, and four years later both boys entered the Orange dormitory at Wellington College where Percy was continually referred to as Bernard Minor incorrectly throughout his time at Wellington College.
82 Squadron (1940)Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire Companion of the Order of the Bath Commander of the Royal Victorian Order Distinguished Service Order Mentioned in Despatches (3) Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) Bronze Star Medal (United States) (30 August 1904 – 8 February 1979) was an Anglo-Irish aristocrat who served as a senior commander in the Royal Air Force in the mid-20th century.
He was a squadron, station and group commander during the Second World War, and the fifth Commandant of the Royal Observer Corps after the war, he was awarded the American Distinguished Flying Cross and Bronze Star Medal in 1946.
as AOC he very unofficially continued to fly on operational sorties, removing his air commodore rank badges and flying instead in a flying officer’s uniform.
In December 1945 the Earl became the fifth Commandant of the Royal Observer Corps, taking over from the retiring Air Commodore Finlay Crerar.
There was also little money attached to his inheritance and the main element, Castle Bernard outside Bandon and eighteen miles south west of Cork, was derelict after being burned down by the IRA four years earlier in 1920.
The new Earl eventually received £123,000 (£4.7 million in today's terms) compensation for the damage to the family seat, which remains a ruin.
The earl built a modern and modestly sized mansion alongside the castle ruins.
Having introduced the concept of annual ROC summer training camps in 1948 the Earl had formally opened the first two camps at RAF Thorney Island; in 1953 he returned as Air Vice-Marshal The Earl of Bandon to inspect the sixth annual camp at RAF Waterbeach and address the observers as a visiting VIP guest of honour.
In 1953 he was tasked with the formidable duty of planning the flypast for the Coronation Review of the RAF at RAF Odiham which took place on 15 July, this involved scheduling 640 aircraft to pass the reviewing point in 27 minutes.
The speed of the newly introduced jet aircraft exercised the minds of the ROC senior officers as they strived to adapt to a modern environment.