Desmond Hughes


Air Vice-Marshal Frederick Desmond Hughes, CB, CBE, DSO, DFC & Two Bars, AFC (6 June 1919 – 11 January 1992) was a Royal Air Force officer who served as Air Officer Commanding at No. 18 Group.

Desmond Hughes
Born(1919-06-06)6 June 1919
Died11 January 1992(1992-01-11) (aged 72)
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchRoyal Air Force
Years of service1939–1974
RankAir Vice-Marshal
Battles/warsSecond World War
AwardsCompanion of the Order of the Bath
Commander of the Order of the British Empire
Distinguished Service Order
Distinguished Flying Cross and Two bars
Air Force Cross

RAF career


Educated at Campbell College, Belfast and Pembroke College, Cambridge, Hughes joined the Royal Air Force as a cadet at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell in September 1939 and was commissioned in October 1939.[1] He served with No. 264 Squadron during the Battle of Britain and became an accomplished night fighter being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross in April 1941,[2] a bar to his Distinguished Flying Cross in April 1943[3] and a second bar to his Distinguished Flying Cross in September 1943.[4] He became officer commanding No. 604 Squadron in July 1944 during the latter stages of the Second World War.[1][5]

After the war Hughes joined the directing staff at the RAF Staff College, Bracknell in 1954, before becoming officer commanding RAF Geilenkirchen in 1959 and then Director of Air Staff Plans at the Air Ministry in January 1963.[1] He went on to be Air Officer Administration at Headquarters RAF Flying Training Command in September 1966, Air Officer Commanding at No. 18 Group in October 1968 and Commandant of the RAF College in March 1970.[1] His last appointment was as Senior Air Staff Officer at Headquarters Near East Air Force in October 1972 before retiring in June 1974.[1][5]


  1. ^ a b c d e "Air Vice-Marshal F D Hughes". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
  2. ^ "No. 35139". The London Gazette. 18 April 1941. p. 2212.
  3. ^ "No. 35976". The London Gazette (Supplement). 9 April 1943. p. 1681.
  4. ^ "No. 36187". The London Gazette (Supplement). 24 September 1943. p. 4305.
  5. ^ a b "Frederick Desmond Hughes" (PDF). 600 Squadron Association. Retrieved 24 January 2022.
Military offices
Preceded by Air Officer Commanding No. 18 Group
Succeeded by
Sir Robert Craven