Ivor Broom spent much of his childhood in the Rhondda but was educated at the Boys' County School in Pontypridd.
When he was 17, Broom passed the Civil Service exam and began work with the Inland Revenue. He learned to fly in 1940, while the Battle of Britain was being fought, and the next year was posted to No. 114 Squadron; here he flew in Blenheim low-level daylight operations against Channel and North Sea shipping, and targets along the French and Dutch coasts as well as in Germany.
After 12 operations he and his crew were allocated to No 105 Squadron and then No 107 Squadron, the last remaining Blenheim Squadron in Malta. The Squadron remained there without relief for five months carrying out low level attacks on the shipping. Very few of the original crews survived the detachment, in fact he was commissioned during this period, when 107 Squadron had lost all their officers and for a short time was the only officer, other than the CO, in the Squadron. In early 1943 he became one of the first Mosquito instructors in the Pathfinder Force and later moved to No 571 Squadron with the Light Night Strike Force. He then formed No 163 Squadron as acting Wing Commander. He was awarded a bar to his DFC for a low level moonlight mining attack on the Dormund - Ems Canal from 50ft and then a second bar for getting a 4000lb bomb into the mouth of a railway tunnel during the final German Ardennes offensive. During his time on Mosquitoes his navigator was Tommy Broom, together they formed an inseparable combination nicknamed "The Flying Brooms".
Remaining with the RAF after WWII and in accordance with peacetime rules for a much smaller Air Force, he was reduced in rank first to Squadron Leader and then to Flight Lieutenant in 1948. Promoted to Air Marshal in 1974 he became the Head of the UK National Air Traffic Services and was the first serving officer to be appointed to the Board of the Civil Aviation Authority. Retiring from the RAF in 1979 he has been actively engaged in civil aviation since then.
He was president of the Mosquito Aircrew Association from 1993, and a former president of the Pathfinder Association.
Broom also worked energetically for the Royal Air Forces Association, the RAF Benevolent Fund, the Blenheim Society, the Aircrew Association and the Bomber Command Association. He was a member of the Civil Aviation Board (1974-77), and chairman of Farnborough Aerospace Development Corporation from 1985 to 1992.
November 9th, 1941: Pilot Officer (probation/emergency)
October 1st, 1942 Flying Officer (Probation)
November 9th, 1943: Flight Lieutenant (war sub)
April 25th, 1945: Squadron Leader (war sub)
September 1st, 1945: Flight Lieutenant (commission)
January 1st, 1950: Squadron Leader
January 1st, 1956: Wing Commander
July 1st, 1960: Group Captain
July 1st, 1965: Air Commodore
January 1st, 1970: Air Vice-Marshal
May 11th, 1974: Acting Air Marshal
July 1st, 1974: Air Marshal
Post World War Two-decorations:
May 31st, 1956: Air Force Cross (Wing Commander)
January 1st, 1969: CBE (Air Commodore)
January 1st, 1972: CB (Air Vice-Marshal)
June 14th, 1975: KCB - on the occasion of the Celebration of Her Majesty's Birthday (Air Marshal)
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