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Richard Peirse

Richard Peirse, the son of an admiral, was born in Croydon, England, on 30th September, 1892. After studying at King's College, London, he joined the Royal Flying Corps. During the First World War he went to France as an aviator where he won the DSO in 1915. He also saw action at Gallipoli and Italy during the war.

After the war Peirse joined the recently formed Royal Air Force and was commander of British forces in Palestine and Transjordan from 1933 to 1936. Promoted to vice air marshal he became Director of Operations and Intelligence at the Air Ministry and Deputy Chief of Air Staff in 1937.

In October 1940 Peirse became commander in chief of Bomber Command. Charles Portal, chief of of the air staff, was disappointed with his performance of Peirse, and replaced him with J. E. A. Baldwin in January 1942. Peirse was moved to command the Allied air forces in South East Asia where he remained until being forced to resign by Lord Mountbatten in November 1944.

Peirse retired from the Royal Air Force as an air marshal at the end of the Second World War. Richard Peirse died on 6th August, 1970.




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