David Hawkins (RAF officer)

Air-Vice MarshalDavid Richard HawkinsCB, LVO, MBE, DL (5 April 1937 – 31 January 2019),[1] also known as David Hawkins-Leth, was a senior Royal Air Force officer who commanded the Royal Air Force Regiment in the 1990s. After his RAF service, he became an usher for Black Rod and a Deputy Lord Lieutenant for Greater London.

David Hawkins
Other name(s) David Hawkins-Leth
Born (1937-04-05)5 April 1937
Streatham, South London, England
Died 31 January 2019(2019-01-31) (aged 81)
London, England
Allegiance United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Air Force
Years of service 1955–1993
Rank Air vice-marshal
Service number 2767499
Commands held No. 37 Squadron RAF Regiment (1971–74)
RAF Regiment (1991–93)

. . . David Hawkins (RAF officer) . . .

Hawkins was born in Streatham, South London in April 1937 and educated at Worth School and Downside.[2][1]

Hawkins joined the RAF in 1955 as a gunner in the RAF Regiment,[3] but was awarded a short commission in 1956,[4] with the commissioning becoming permanent in 1959.[5] His infantry training was at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, with Hawkins being the last RAF officer to undergo the training there before the RAF took on training its own Regiment officers.[1] In 1971, he was appointed as the officer commanding No. 37 Squadron RAF Regiment, then based at RAF Catterick in North Yorkshire with frequent deployments to Northern Ireland. In 1974, he was the officer commanding the Queen’s Colour Squadron (QCS).[2] Whilst in command at QCS, he and his men appeared on the Generation Game with Bruce Forsyth, where they performed their drill manoeuvres for the contestants to emulate.[3] In 1977, he was awarded the Member of the British Empire.[6]

After being promoted to wing commander and then group captain, Hawkins undertook a number of staff posts at AAFCE and HQ Strike Command in High Wycombe, with other postings to RAF Catterick and one as the Director of Personal Services within the RAF HQ.[1] By 1991 and in the rank of air vice-marshal, he took on the role of the Commandant-General of the RAF Regiment.[1][2] In 1992, Hawkins was elevated to a Companion of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.[7]

In 1993, Hawkins relinquished his appointment as Commandant General of the RAF Regiment, and retired from active service, being succeeded by T G Thorn.[8]

. . . David Hawkins (RAF officer) . . .

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. . . David Hawkins (RAF officer) . . .