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Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Commander of the
Royal Canadian Air Force
Roundel of Canada.svg
Roundel of Canada
Al Meinzinger

since 4 May 2018
 Royal Canadian Air Force
TypeCommissioned Officer
StatusCurrently constituted
Reports toChief of the Defence Staff
Term lengthAt Her Majesty's pleasure
First holderErnest Lloyd Janney
DeputyCommander of 1 Canadian Air Division
WebsiteOfficial website

The Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force (French: commandant de l'Aviation royale canadienne) is the institutional head of the Royal Canadian Air Force. This appointment also includes the title Chief of the Air Force Staff and is based at National Defence Headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario.

History of the position

With the creation of the Canadian Aviation Corps in 1914, a provisional commander was appointed. This small and short-lived organization was dissolved in 1915 and it was not until 1918 that the Canadian Air Force came into being under the authority of its Officer Commanding. The Canadian Air Force was reconstituted in 1920 and the officer in command (Air Commodore Tylee) held the title of Air Officer Commanding. It was also from 1920 to 1922 that Air Vice-Marshal Sir Willoughby Gwatkin served as Inspector-General of the Canadian Air Force although formally command was held by Tylee. Tylee's successors, not being air officers, only held the title of Officer Commanding. In 1922, the senior Air Force post was redesignated as the Director and in 1924, when the Canadian Air Force was granted its Royal prefix, the officer appointed to command the Air Force continued to hold the title of Director.[1]

From 1932 to 1938 the title of Senior Air Officer was used. In late 1938, the Air Force became an independent service and its professional head was retitled Chief of the Air Staff, bringing the Canadian higher command arrangements and nomenclature into line with that of the British and Australian air forces. The title of Chief of the Air Staff was used throughout World War II and well into the Cold War years. However, in 1964, the post was abolished as part of a plan to integrate the Canadian Forces and authority over aviation units was no longer vested in a single post. This arrangement was eventually judged to be impractical and in 1975 the air units of the Canadian Forces were placed within Air Command under the authority of a lieutenant-general with the title Commander of Air Command. In 1997 the Commander of Air Command was re-designated the Chief of the Air Staff, a title which continued in use until 2011. In 2011 Air Command was renamed the Royal Canadian Air Force at which time the appointment was renamed to its present incarnation.[2]

Evolution of the position

Dates Title Rank(s) held Air service
1914–1915 Provisional Commander Captain Canadian Aviation Corps
1918–1920 Officer Commanding Lieutenant Colonel Canadian Air Force
(first creation)
1920–1922 Air Officer Commanding
Officer Commanding
Air Commodore
Wing Commander
Canadian Air Force
(second creation)
1922–1924 Director Wing Commander
1924–1932 Squadron Leader to Group Captain Royal Canadian Air Force
(first creation)
1932–1938 Senior Air Officer Wing Commander to Air Vice-Marshal
1938–1964 Chief of the Air Staff Air Vice-Marshal to Air Marshal
1964–1975 no single air commander not applicable no single air power organization
1975–1997 Commander Lieutenant-General Air Command
1997–2011 Chief of the Air Staff
2011– Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Chief of the Air Force Staff Royal Canadian Air Force
(second creation)


The following table lists all those who have held the post of Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force or its preceding positions. Ranks and honours are as at the completion of their tenure:[1]

No. Portrait Name Took office Left office Time in office
Provisional Commander
1Janney, E.L.Captain
E.L. Janney
191419150–1 years
Officer Commanding
1Bishop, W.A.Lieutenant-Colonel
W.A. Bishop
191819180 years
Air Officer Commanding
1Tylee, A.K.Air Commodore
A.K. Tylee
192019210–1 years
Officer Commanding
1Redpath, R.F.Wing Commander
R.F. Redpath
192119210 years
2Scott, J.S.Wing Commander
J.S. Scott
192119220–1 years
1Gordon, J.L.Wing Commander
J.L. Gordon
192219241–2 years
2Barker, W.G.Wing Commander
W.G. Barker
192419240 years
3Scott, J.S.Group Captain
J.S. Scott
192419283–4 years
4Breadner, L.S.Wing Commander
L.S. Breadner
192819323–4 years
5Cuffe, A.A.L.Squadron Leader
A.A.L. Cuffe
193219320 years
Senior Air Officer
1Gordon, J.L.Group Captain
J.L. Gordon
193219330–1 years
2Johnson, G.O.Wing Commander
G.O. Johnson
193319330 years
3Croil, G.M.Air Vice Marshal
G.M. Croil
193419383–4 years
Chief of the Air Staff
1Croil, G.M.Air Vice Marshal
G.M. Croil
193819401–2 years
2Breadner, L.S.Air Marshal
L.S. Breadner
194019432–3 years
3Leckie, R.Air Marshal
R. Leckie
194419472–3 years
4Curtis, W.A.Air Marshal
W.A. Curtis
194719535–6 years
5Slemon, C.R.Air Marshal
C.R. Slemon
195319573–4 years
6Campbell, H.L.Air Marshal
H.L. Campbell
195719624–5 years
7Dunlap, C.R.Air Marshal
C.R. Dunlap
196219641–2 years
Commander of Air Command
1Carr, W.K.Lieutenant-General
W.K. Carr
(born 1923)
197519782–3 years
2MacKenzie, G.A.Lieutenant-General
G.A. MacKenzie
197819801–2 years
3Lewis, K.E.Lieutenant-General
K.E. Lewis
198019832–3 years
4Manson, P.D.Lieutenant-General
P.D. Manson
(born 1934)
198319851–2 years
5McNaughton, D.M.Lieutenant-General
D.M. McNaughton
(born 1934)
198519860–1 years
6Ashley, L.A.Lieutenant-General
L.A. Ashley
(born 1937)
198619881–2 years
7Sutherland, F.R.Lieutenant-General
F.R. Sutherland
(born 1942)
198919911–2 years
8Huddleston, D.Lieutenant-General
D. Huddleston
199119931–2 years
9Clements, G.S.Lieutenant-General
G.S. Clements
(born c.1941)
199319951–2 years
10DeQuetteville, A.M.Lieutenant-General
A.M. DeQuetteville
199519971–2 years
Chief of the Air Staff
1Kinsman, D.N.Lieutenant-General
D.N. Kinsman
(born c.1945)
199720002–3 years
2Campbell, L.C.Lieutenant-General
L.C. Campbell
(born c.1947)
200020032–3 years
3Pennie, K.R.Lieutenant-General
K.R. Pennie
(born c.1949)
200320051–2 years
4Lucas, J.S.Lieutenant-General
J.S. Lucas
(born 1952)
200520071–2 years
5Watt, A.Lieutenant-General
A. Watt
200720091–2 years
6Deschamps, A.Lieutenant-General
A. Deschamps
200920111–2 years
Chief of the Air Force Staff and Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force
1Deschamps, A.Lieutenant-General
A. Deschamps
201120120–1 years
2Blondin, Y.Lieutenant-General
Y. Blondin
201220152–3 years
3Hood, M.J.Lieutenant-General
M J Hood
(born 1967)
July 2015May 20182–3 years
4Meinzinger, A.D.Lieutenant-General
A D Meinzinger
May 2018Incumbent1–2 years

See also


  1. ^ a b "Commanders Canada's Air Force". Royal Canadian Air Force Association. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  2. ^ Canadian Navy, Air Force 'Royal' Again With Official Name Change Huffington Post, 15 August 2011


  • Johnson, Vic. "Canada's Air Force Then and Now". Airforce magazine. Vol. 22, No. 3. 1998. ISSN 0704-6804.

External links

This page was last edited on 18 May 2020, at 19:13
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