Chris Moran


Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Hugh Moran, KCB, OBE, MVO, ADC, FRAeS (28 April 1956 – 26 May 2010) was a fast jet pilot and later a senior commander in the Royal Air Force. He was Commander-in-Chief of Air Command at the time of his unexpected death.

Sir Christopher Moran
Air Chief Marshal Moran
Birth nameChristopher Hugh Moran
Born(1956-04-28)28 April 1956
Urmston, Lancashire
Died26 May 2010(2010-05-26) (aged 54)
John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Air Force
Years of service1977–2010
RankAir Chief Marshal
Commands heldAir Command (2009–10)
No. 1 Group (2003–05)
RAF Wittering (1997–99)
No. IV Squadron (1994–96)
Battles/warsOperation Deliberate Force
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Officer of the Order of the British Empire
Member of the Royal Victorian Order
Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air
Elizabeth Jane Goodwin
(m. 1980⁠–⁠2010)

Early and family life


Moran was born in Urmston, Lancashire,[1] and educated at Bishop Ullathorne School in Coventry in the late sixties and early seventies[2] before attending the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology to study mechanical engineering.[3] In 1974, whilst studying at university, Moran became a university cadet in the Royal Air Force. He was commissioned an acting pilot officer on 16 December of that year, together with Stuart Peach, who also achieved the rank of air chief marshal.[4]

Moran graduated from UMIST in 1977 with a Bachelor of Science and went to RAF College Cranwell for his initial training with the RAF.[5] He was regraded as a pilot officer on 15 July 1977,[6] and was successively promoted to flying officer (15 January 1978)[7] and to flight lieutenant (15 October 1978).[8] He was later to earn a Master of Arts from King's College London.[9] In 1980 he married Elizabeth Jane Goodwin.[10]

Military career


After completing pilot training, Moran converted onto the Harrier with No. 233 Operational Conversion Unit. In 1980 Moran entered productive service, flying Harriers with No. IV Squadron. In 1983 he returned to No. 233 Operational Conversion Unit, attending a weapons instructors' course before returning to No. IV Squadron as a Qualified Weapons Instructor. Promoted to squadron leader in 1986, Moran was appointed as a flight commander on No. IV Squadron, serving in Belize, the Falkland Islands, and on HMS Illustrious. In 1985, he was also an exchange officer with the United States Marine Corps at Cherry Point, North Carolina.[5]

Moran commanded the Harrier squadron in the Harrier Operational Conversion Unit at RAF Wittering, and then attended the Advanced Staff Course in 1991. In the New Year Honours that year he was awarded a Queen's Commendation for Valuable Service in the Air.[11] After a brief posting to the Ministry of Defence he was appointed Equerry to HRH The Duke of Edinburgh.[5]

In 1994 Moran became the commanding officer of No. IV Squadron which was based in Germany. The same year Moran led his squadron to the Middle East for duties on Operation Warden which involved enforcing the no-fly zone over northern Iraq. In 1995 Moran and No. IV Squadron flew missions against the Bosnian Serbs as part of Operation Deliberate Force.[3]

Senior appointments


Promoted to group captain in 1996, he was appointed Staff Officer HQ 1 Group, and in the following year, station commander of RAF Wittering. After attending the Higher Command and Staff Course in 1999 Moran became Divisional Director at the Joint Services Command and Staff College, where he also completed a Master of Arts. As an air commodore he was then Director of Air Staff until 2002, and then the Chief of Defence Staff's liaison officer to the US Joint Staff in Washington, D.C. In the following year he became Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group as an air vice marshal. In 2005 he became Assistant Chief of Air Staff.[5]

In 2005, Moran was appointed to the board of the Civil Aviation Authority.[12]

He was promoted air marshal and became Deputy Commander Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum in May 2007, in succession to Lieutenant General David Judd. Air Chief Marshal Moran was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Air Command on 3 April 2009.[13] Moran was appointed a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 2009 New Year Honours.[14]



Moran's death was announced on the evening of 26 May 2010; he had collapsed following a triathlon at RAF Brize Norton that afternoon. He was taken to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford by air ambulance, but was pronounced dead on arrival. Moran was survived by his wife Elizabeth, Lady Moran, two daughters and a son.[15]


  1. ^ Davison, Phil (28 May 2010). "Obituary: Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Moran".
  2. ^ "Bishop Ullathorne – Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Moran". Archived from the original on 10 September 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Obituary: Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Moran". The Daily Telegraph. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 29 May 2010.
  4. ^ "No. 46432". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 December 1974. p. 12878.
  5. ^ a b c d Barrass, Malcolm (1 June 2010). "Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Moran". Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 1 June 2010.
  6. ^ "No. 47328". The London Gazette (Supplement). 20 September 1977. p. 11939.
  7. ^ "No. 47437". The London Gazette (Supplement). 16 January 1978. p. 607.
  8. ^ "No. 47670". The London Gazette (Supplement). 23 October 1978. p. 12646.
  9. ^ Royal Air Force (27 May 2010). "Death of Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Moran". Royal Air Force. Archived from the original on 6 April 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
  10. ^ The Times – Obituary: Air Chief Marshal Sir Christopher Moran
  11. ^ "No. 52382". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 1990. p. 27.
  12. ^ "Assistant Chief of the Air Staff appointed to the Board of the CAA". Government News Network. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 23 January 2007.
  13. ^ "Royal Air Force Air Rank Appointments List 06/08". Royal Air Force. Archived from the original on 4 April 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2008.
  14. ^ "No. 58929". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2008. p. 2.
  15. ^ "RAF chief Sir Christopher Moran dies after triathlon". BBC. 26 May 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010.
Military offices
Preceded by
D A Haward
Officer Commanding No. IV Squadron
Succeeded by
A S Kirkpatrick
Preceded by
J Connolly
Station Commander RAF Wittering
Succeeded by
A F P Dezonie
Preceded by Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group
Succeeded by
Preceded by Assistant Chief of the Air Staff
Succeeded by
Preceded by Deputy Commander Allied Joint Force Command Brunssum
Succeeded by
Preceded by Commander-in-Chief RAF Air Command
Succeeded by