Bottomley, Norman Howard

    Date of birth:
    September 18th, 1891 (Ripponden/Yorkshire, Great Britain)
    Date of death:
    August 13th, 1970
    Nationality:
    British (1801-present, Kingdom)

    Biography

    Sir Norman Bottomley was educated at Halifax School and the University of Rennes in Brittany before being commissioned into the East Yorkshire Regiment in 1914 during World War I. He served with his Regiment until transferring to the Royal Flying Corps in 1915 and becoming a pilot with No. 47 Squadron.

    Between the wars Bottomley's appointments included service in the Middle East and the command of No. 4 (AC) Squadron RAF from 1928 and No. 1 (Indian) Group from 1934. Bottomley was Senior Air Staff Officer at Bomber Command headquarters between 1938 and 1940, continuing in that role at the start of the Second World War, and was then appointed Air Officer Commanding No. 5 Group in November 1940.

    He was moved to Deputy Chief of the Air Staff in 1941 and then Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operations) in 1942 before reverting to Deputy Chief of the Air Staff in 1943. He was one of the leading proponents of 'Area Bombing' being instrumental in its acceptance as policy. However, with the build up for Overlord well underway he tried to get Harris to changeover to precision bombing, a task which brought the two into conflict on a number of occasions. On 15 September 1945, he followed Sir Arthur 'Bomber' Harris as Commander-in-Chief Bomber Command, retaining command until 16 January 1947.

    Bottomley became Inspector-General of the RAF in 1947 and retired on 1 January 1948. From 1948 until 1956, he held the post of Director of Administration at the BBC.

    Promotions:
    (Army): - 2 Lt: 15 Aug 1914
    Lt: 12 Feb 1915
    Capt: 9 Apr 1916.

    (RAF):
    Capt: 1 Apr 1918
    Flt Lt: 1 Aug 1919
    Sqn Ldr: 30 Jun 1922
    Wg Cdr: 1 Jul 1929
    Act Gp Capt: 4 Oct 1934
    Gp Capt: 1 Jul 1935
    A/Cdre: 1 Nov 1938
    Act AVM: 4 Mar 1940
    (T) AVM: 1 Jul 1940
    AVM: 14 Apr 1942
    Act AM: 1 Aug 1943
    (T) AM: 16 Aug 1944
    AM: 1 Jan 1946
    ACM: 23 Mar 1947

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    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Captain
    Unit:
    No. 47 Squadron, Royal Flying Corps
    Awarded on:
    November 2nd, 1918
    Air Force Cross
    Awarded on:
    1935
    King George V's Silver Jubilee Medal 1935
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Group Captain
    Unit:
    No. 1 (Indian) Group, Royal Air Force
    Awarded on:
    May 11th, 1937
    Companion of the Indian Empire (CIE)
    Rank:
    Group Captain
    Unit:
    No. 1 (Indian) Group, Royal Air Force
    Awarded on:
    November 12th, 1937
    Mentioned in Despatches
    Rank:
    Group Captain
    Unit:
    No. 1 (Indian) Group, Royal Air Force
    Awarded on:
    December 21st, 1937
    Action:
    Recommendation:
    "Group Captain N. H. Bottomley, C.I.E., A.F.C., has commanded No. 1 (Indian) Group, Peshawar, during these operations from 16 June to 13 July 1937. He has been responsible for the direction of the operations and of the Air Forces engaged in Waziristan during that period. He has handled the Air Forces under his command with conspicuous ability and success. He has at all times displayed a high sense of devotion to duty. In order to keep himself in close touch with the progress of the operations, he has undertaken a great deal of flying duty including a number of reconnaissances at low altitude over the area of operations. He has in this way shown an excellent example to all those under his command. The success of the operations is in no small measure due to his personal conduct."
    Distinguished Service Order (DSO)
    Rank:
    Group Captain
    Unit:
    No. 1 (Indian) Group, Royal Air Force
    Awarded on:
    1937
    King George VI Coronation Medal
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    February 18th, 1938
    Mentioned in Despatches
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Air Vice-Marshal
    Awarded on:
    March 12th, 1941
    Action:
    Citation:
    "Air Vice-Marshal Bottomley is a first class Staff Officer, who had maintained the highest standard of ability and devotion to duty throughout six months of intensive operations. His tact, forethought and operational knowledge are outstanding and much of the success of this Command should be attributed to his personal efficiency, and to the example of patience and thoroughness which he has always set to his subordinates."
    Companion of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (CB)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Awarded on:
    June 8th, 1944
    Commander of The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (KCB/DCB)
    Period:
    Second World War (1939-1945)
    Rank:
    Air Marshal
    Unit:
    Deputy Chief of Air Staff, U.S. Strategic Air Force
    Awarded on:
    October 9th, 1945
    Action:
    Citation:
    "Air Marshal Sir Norman Bottomley, K.C.B., C.I.E., D.S.O., A.F.C., as Deputy Chief of Air Staff, United States Strategic Air Force from August 1942 to May 1945, demonstrated a high order of professional knowledge and administrative ability, which played a conspicuous and valuable part in the successful employment of the British and American Air Forces in Europe. His initiative and sound judgment, in both planning and execution of the combined bomber offensive, greatly contributed to the complete domination over the enemy established by the Air Forces."
    Legion of Merit - Chief Commander (LoM - CC)

    Sources