Funeral of Air Marshal Sir Charles Read KBE, CB, DFC, AFC (Ret-d)
24 September 2014
The funeral for Air Marshal Sir Charles Read KBE, CB, DFC, AFC (Ret-d) was held at 2.30pm today in Coffs Harbour.
Chief of Air Force, Air Marshal Geoff Brown, AO, paid tribute to Sir Charles, noting his contribution to the development of Australia’s modern Air Force.
“It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sir Charles Read,” Air Marshal Brown said.
“During World War II Sir Charles served with distinction as a Beaufighter pilot. He led Number 31 Squadron and Number 77 Wing in the South West Pacific. Sir Charles’ achievements earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross and a mention in dispatches.
“Sir Charles dedicated 38 years to the Royal Australian Air Force. He demonstrated his leadership in the post-war years holding a variety of senior leadership roles in Australia and with the Royal Air Force in Britain.”
Sir Charles served as Chief of Air Staff (now Chief of Air Force) from 1972 to 1975. He joined the Air Force in 1937 and began his career flying with No 3 Squadron and No 22 Squadron at RAAF Station Richmond.
Post-war, Sir Charles commanded the Australian First Tactical Air Force, led Number 24 (Commonwealth) Squadron Royal Air Force and was Commanding Officer of Central Flying School, followed by various staff appointments at Headquarters Training Command. He was Officer Commanding Number 82 (Bomber) Wing, the Commandant of RAAF Academy and Officer Commanding RAAF Base Point Cook and Officer Commanding RAAF Base Richmond. He was awarded the Air Force Cross in 1960 and appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1964.
During his tenure as Chief of Air Staff he saw the introduction of the F-111C into service, having previously been involved in the selection of the bomber. Sir Charles became a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 1976.
An image of Sir Charles can be found at: http://images.defence.gov.au/S20142876
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