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Air Marshal of Britain Dies at 66
Air Marshal of Britain Dies at 66
Published by Scott
13 August 2008
Air Marshal of Britain Dies at 66

Air Marshal Of Britain Dies at 66

   LONDON (AP) — Air Marshal Sir Leonard Slatter, the man who directed Britain's air arm in the Battle of the Atlantic, has died. Slatter, a notable figure in Britain's wartime aviation history, was 66.
   He was a South African, born at Durban on Dec, 8, 1894. He came to Britain when he was 16. A month after the outbreak of World War I, he joined the fledgling Royal Naval Air Service, and thus began a career that was to take him to the highest rungs of British military aviation.
   Slatter was twice decorated during World War I for conspicuous gallantry and for his part in the bombing of the German seaplane
base at Ostend in 1918 from a height of 400 feet in the face of antiaircraft fire.

Fought in Russia

   In 1919, after transferring to the Royal Air Force, Slatter went to Russia and took part in operations in support of the White Russians. In 1926, he was selected to form and command the High Speed Flight from which the team was chosen to represent the Royal Air Force in the air speed record competition at Venice the following year. Another highlight in his career
between the wars was a solo flight he made to South Africa in 1929 in an old "string and canvas" biplane.
   As his career advanced, Slatter took turns at commanding various squadrons and served at sea with aircraft carriers.

Served in Iraq

   The outbreak of World War II found him as senior staff officer of No. 1 Bomber Group. In 1940, he was posted to air force headquarters in Iraq as air officer in charge. He commanded the RAF in the Eritrea-Abyssinia campaign in 1940-41.
   In 1943 he came back to his most important role—directing the battle against Nazi U-boats terrorizing Atlantic convoys. He was named air officer commanding No. 15 Group Coastal Command. Under his direction, coastal command flying boats and bombers helped ensure that vital materials from North America were brought safely to Britain. And the scales were tipped against the U-boats.
   Slatter took over as air officer of Coastal Command in 1945 and held the appointment until 1948.

The Stars and Stripes (European) - Tuesday, April 18, 1961, p23



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