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Philip Joubert de la Ferté

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferté
Air Marshal Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferté, KCB, CMG, DSO (Art.IWM ART LD 764).jpg
Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferté by Herbert James Gunn
Born(1887-05-21)21 May 1887
Darjeeling, India
Died21 January 1965(1965-01-21) (aged 77)
Uxbridge, England
AllegianceUnited Kingdom
Service/branchBritish Army (1907–18)
Royal Air Force (1918–43)
Years of service1907–43
RankAir Chief Marshal
Commands heldInspector-General of the RAF (1943)
Coastal Command (1936–37, 1941–43)
Air Forces in India (1937–39)
No. 11 Group (1936)
Fighting Area (1934–36)
RAF Staff College, Andover (1930–33)
No. 23 Group (1929–30)
No. 2 (Training) Group (1919)
RAF in Italy (1918–19)
14th (Army) Wing (1917–18)
21st Wing (1917)
Fifth Wing (1916–17)
No. 33 Squadron (1916)
No. 1 Squadron (1915)
No. 15 Squadron (1915)
Battles/warsFirst World War
Second World War
AwardsKnight Commander of the Order of the Bath
Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George
Distinguished Service Order
Mentioned in Despatches (5)
Knight of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus (Italy)
War Cross for Military Valor (Italy)
Commander of the Legion of Merit (United States)
Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Orange-Nassau (Netherlands)
Other workAuthor

Air Chief Marshal Sir Philip Bennet Joubert de la Ferté, KCB, CMG, DSO (21 May 1887 – 21 January 1965) was a senior commander in the Royal Air Force during the 1930s and the Second World War.

Early life

Joubert de la Ferté was born in Darjeeling, India to Colonel Charles Henry Joubert de la Ferté and Eliza Jane née Meville. He was of partial French descent, his paternal grandfather having emigrated to England in 1840. He was sent to England as a child where he attended Elstree School and later Harrow School.[1]

RAF career

Joubert de la Ferté joined the British Army attending the Royal Military Academy Woolwich and gaining his commission in 1907.[2] From 1907 to 1913 he served in the Royal Field Artillery, rising to the rank of lieutenant.[2] In 1913 he attended the Central Flying School and went on to serve in the Royal Flying Corps.[2] With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, he joined the British Expeditionary Force flying one of the first two operational sorties of the war.[2] In 1915 Joubert de la Ferté was appointed Officer Commanding, No. 15 Squadron RFC.[2] Later that year he took up command of No. 1 Squadron.[2] As the war progressed, Joubert de la Ferté commanded No. 33 Squadron and then several different wings.[2] On 1 April 1918 Joubert de la Ferté transferred to the Royal Air Force in the rank of lieutenant colonel and by the end of hostilities in 1918 he had command of the Royal Air Force in Italy.[2]

During the inter-war years, Joubert de la Ferté occupied several staff and command posts, rising through the ranks. Notably, he was appointed Air Officer Commanding No. 23 Group in 1929, Commandant of the RAF Staff College, Andover, in 1930 and Air Officer Commanding No. 11 Group in July 1936 before becoming Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Coastal Command in September 1936.[2]

At the start of the Second World War, Joubert de la Ferté was Air Officer Commanding Air Forces in India.[2] On his return to Great Britain he occupied a number of senior staff appointments and returned to his former post as Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief Coastal Command.[2] It was there that he pioneered several innovations. These included Planned Flying and Maintenance and the introduction of a torpedo version of the Beaufighter.[2] In February 1943 he became an Inspector-General of the RAF.[2]

On 23 November 1943, Joubert de la Ferté was appointed as the Deputy Chief of Staff (Information and Civil Affairs) at the South East Asia Command.[2] Two years later on 14 November 1945, Joubert de la Ferté retired from the RAF.[2]

In 1915 he married Marjorie Denison: they had two daughters.[1]


The following books by Joubert de la Ferté were published:

  • The Fated Sky: An Autobiography – Hutchinson (1952)
  • The Third Service – Thames and Hudson (1955)
  • Rocket – Hutchinson (1957)
  • Look at Aircraft – H Hamilton (1960)
  • Birds and Fishes - The Story of Coastal Command – Hutchinson (1960)
  • The Forgotten Ones: The Story of the Ground Crews – Hutchinson (1961)
  • Fun and Games – Hutchinson (1964)


  1. ^ a b Chilton, Edward; Goulter, Christina J. M. "Joubert de la Ferté, Sir Philip Bennet". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 20 November 2013.(subscription required)
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation – Air Chief Marshal Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferté
Military offices
Preceded by
Geoffrey Salmond
Officer Commanding No. 1 Squadron RFC
Succeeded by
G F Pretyman
Preceded by
Geoffrey Salmond
Officer Commanding Fifth Wing, RFC
Succeeded by
Amyas Borton
Preceded by
Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt
Commandant RAF Staff College, Andover
Succeeded by
Wilfrid Freeman
Title last held by
Ian Bonham-Carter
Air Officer Commanding No. 11 Group
1936– 1936
Succeeded by
Leslie Gossage
Preceded by
Sir Arthur Longmore
Commander-in-Chief Coastal Command
Succeeded by
Sir Frederick Bowhill
Preceded by
Sir Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt
Air Officer Commanding RAF India
post retitled AOC, Air Forces in India in 1938

Succeeded by
Sir John Higgins
Preceded by
Sir Frederick Bowhill
Commander-in-Chief Coastal Command
Succeeded by
Sir John Slessor
This page was last edited on 24 June 2021, at 13:38
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