Wednesday, December 09, 2009

A/Cdre F.R.D. Swain CB AFC 1903-1989

Air Commodore (Francis) Ronald Downs Swain.

Joined the RAF in 1922,initial training with 5FTS. On gaining his wings joined No2 Sqn as a pilot. Transferred to No11 Sqn in 1923. He became a QFI with No2 FTS in 1926. Posted to No 23Sqn as a Flight Commander in 1929 and then to No 6 Sqn at the same rank.
During 1933 he commanded the Cairo-Rhodesia Flight. In 1935 became a test pilot in the Experimental section at the RAE,during his time there, he was involved in high altitude experiments and on 28th September 1936 he set a new World Altitude Record of 49,967 feet in the Bristol 138A (Serial K4879).
In 1938 he attended RAF Staff College and during the war and the course of his remaining career was posted to various Staff positions. His last appointment was SASO/Deputy Head of the Air Staff,British Joint Services Mission,Washington D.C. He retired from the RAF in 1954 with the rank of AIr Commodore.