Wing Commander Herbert James “Jimmy” KIRKPATRICK CB CBE DFC MiD

27 Croup Captain Kirkpatrick

Group Captain Herbert Kirkpatrick



Born: 30 Oct 1910
Retired from RAF :  5 Feb 1963                
Died : 26 Aug 1977
Buried : Dean Village, Edinburgh, Scotland


CB – 13 Jun 1957, CBE – 1 Jan 1945, DFC – 23 Nov 1941, MiD – 8 Jun 1944, MA.


Pilot Officer 27 Feb 1933 [27 Feb 1932],
Flying Officer 27 Aug 1933,
Flight Lieutenant 27 Aug 1936,
Squadron Leader 1 Apr 1939,
(T) Wing Commander: 1 Mar 1941
Acting Group Captain : June 1942
Wing Commander (WS) 29 Dec 1942,
Group Captain (WS): 27 Oct 1943,
Air Commodore 1 Jul 1954,
Acting Air Vice Marshall 1 Feb 1957,
Air Vice Marshall 1 Jul 1957.


1929: Member, Oxford University Air Sqn.
27 February 1932: Granted a Permanent Commission in the rank of Pilot Officer.
27 February 1933: U/T Pilot, No 2 FTS.
15 February 1934: Pilot, No 5 Sqn.
1935: Personal Assistant to AOC, RAF India.
24 April 1936: Attended Instructors’ Course, Central Flying School (graded B).
1936: Adjutant/QFI, Oxford University Air Sqn.
11 April 1939: Air Staff, HQ Fighter Command.
1940: Staff, Directorate of Ground Defence.
1940: CFI, Cambridge University Air Squadron.
10 April 1941: Attached via HQ No.3 Group to No.9 squadron No 9 Sqn
22 April 1941 : Ceased to be attached to No.9 Squadron
22 Apr 1941:   Officer Commanding, No 218 Sqn.
31 Dec 1941:  Posted to HQ No.3 Group
5 Jan 1942:    Air Staff, HQ No 3 Group (Differs from No.218 ORB)
29 Jun 1942:  RAF Station Wyton ORB gives conflicting dated (also gives 16th June) Posted to command RAF Wyton.
 5 Mar 1943:   SASO, HQ No 3 (Bomber) Group.

Post War
1946:   Served in Transport Command.
1948:   Senior Personnel Staff Officer, HQ Flying Training Command.
1949:   Directing Staff, RAF Staff College.
1951:   CFI, RAF Flying College.
1954:   Attended Imperial Defence College.
1954:   Director of Operational Requirements (A).
1957:   Assistant Chief of the Air Staff (Operational Requirements).
1957:   SASO, HQ 2 TAF.
1959:  Chief of Staff, HQ 2 ATAF.

DFC Citation

This officer has commanded the squadron for some time except for a few weeks due to an injury received while trying to save members of his squadron when an aircraft crashed and a bomb exploded. He had displayed great coolness, leadership and courage.”

The Times – 23 December 1941)


Local: from the parish of Kirkpatrick in Dumfriesshire. The family are descended from Ivone Kirkpatrick, temp. David I. On the 10th February, 1306, Robert Bruce, in company with Sir Roger de Kirkpatrick and other gentlemen, met Red John Cummin in the Grey Friars church at Dumfries. A dispute arising between them, Bruce stabbed Cummin twice before the high altar in the church, and rushing out pale and frightened, said, on being questioned as to the cause of his alarm, ” I doubt that I have slain the Red Cummin.” “Doubtest thou?” exclaimed Kirkpatrick, “I make sure,” and hastening into the church he dispatched the wounded Regent with his dagger. In commemoration of this action, King Robert conferred on the family for a crest, a hand holding a dagger in pale, distilling drops of blood, and for a motto: “I make sure.”


Kirkpatrick Crest

KIRKPATRICK CB CBE  (Father), Charles (1879-1955 Father)  of Pitlochry. Major-General (1929) in the Indian Army. Served with distinction in the Great War and on the NW Frontier. Aide de camp to George V

Known Operations

The incident mentioned in the DFC citation I have yet to find details on. The Casualty Cards record that Wing Commander Kirkpatrick was injured by bomb splinters on July 10th 1941. The bomb load of a crashed Vickers Wellington is believed to be cause, resulting in W/Cdr Kirkpatrick being sent to RAF Hospital Ely.  There is no recorded incidents in both 218 or 115 Squadron ORB or RAF Marham’s Station Records Book. This still remains a mystery. IF YOU CAN HELP PLEASE CONTACT ME.

No.9 Squadron
10th April 1941 Kiel Wellington T.2973 Target attacked*
17th April 1941 Berlin Wellington T.2973 Target attacked* 
No.218 Squadron  *2nd pilot S/Ldr Batchelor 
25th April 1941 Kiel Wellington P.9299 HA-R Target attacked,
3rd May 1941 Brest Wellington R.1008 HA-A Target attacked.
8th May 1941 Hamburg Wellington R.1496 HA-O Target attacked.
23rd June 1941 Cologne Wellington W.5457 HA-Z Target attacked, 
29th August 1941 Mannheim Wellington R.5111 HA-L Target attacked.
7th September 1941 Berlin Wellington R.5111 HA-L Target attacked,
29th September 1941 Le Havre Wellington W.5447 HA-C Target attacked.
12th October 1941 Nuremburg Wellington Z.8375 HA-Z Target attacked.
31st October 1941 Bremen Wellington Z.8375 HA-Z Target attacked.
15th November 1941 Kiel Wellington Z.8375 HA-Z Target attacked.
27th Novemver 1941 Dusseldorf Wellington Z.8375 HA-Z Target attacked.
16th December 1941 Brest Wellington Z.1101 HA-Z Target attacked.