Air Commodore W Sowrey

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Fatboy Coxy

Airman 1st Class
122
56
Aug 24, 2019
Hi all

Can anyone shed any more light on Air Commodore W Sowrey. He's part of the famous Sowrey family. I know he was born 8 Aug1894 and died 15 Feb 1968. The senior posts he held were

25 Jul 1940 - Officer Commanding, AHQ East Africa
19 Oct 1940 - AOC, AHQ East Africa.
15 Dec 1941 - AOC, No 207 (Training) Group.
Commanded RAF/AHQ East Africa during Abyssinian Crisis where the SAAF Wing under his command formed a 'Close Support Flight', which developed techniques similar to those later to be known as 'Cab Rank' used during the latter part of the war.

Source
W Sowrey_P

I have a couple of questions
That's quite a claim, developing the 'Close Support Flight', how much was he responsible for that, and who else can claim that along with him?

And what happened to him afterwards, I believe he retire in September 1942, at 48!
 
Hi all

Can anyone shed any more light on Air Commodore W Sowrey. He's part of the famous Sowrey family. I know he was born 8 Aug1894 and died 15 Feb 1968. The senior posts he held were

25 Jul 1940 - Officer Commanding, AHQ East Africa
19 Oct 1940 - AOC, AHQ East Africa.
15 Dec 1941 - AOC, No 207 (Training) Group.
Commanded RAF/AHQ East Africa during Abyssinian Crisis where the SAAF Wing under his command formed a 'Close Support Flight', which developed techniques similar to those later to be known as 'Cab Rank' used during the latter part of the war.

Source
W Sowrey_P

I have a couple of questions
That's quite a claim, developing the 'Close Support Flight', how much was he responsible for that, and who else can claim that along with him?

And what happened to him afterwards, I believe he retire in September 1942, at 48!
Hi
The book 'The Sowreys' by Grahame Pitchfork, if you can get access to a copy, is a useful source, some extracts below:
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Bill Sowrey engaged in a 'counter-air' campaign to reduce the Italian air force which led on to and enabled the CAS. Not long before he retired Bill Sowrey had suffered badly from malaria when in Egypt, which may be one of the reasons to retire.
The East African air campaign is covered quite well in Section One of 'Dust Clouds in the Middle East' by Christopher Shores.

Mike
 
Its interesting that in the book "The Right of the Line, The Royal Air Force in the European War 1939-1945" by John Terraine on page 332, we have the Greeks complaining that the RAF contingent sent to support Greece in November 1940, wasn't doing enough to support the Army in the winter of 1940-41. The commander, Air Vice Marshal J H D'Albiac was focused on attacking the strategic targets of Italian air bases, and that direct support to an army was not "proper use of air power". In return, the King of the Hellenes pointed out to the British Air Attache, that they (Greek Air Force) were flying up to six sorties a day, while the RAF was doing one. Their successes were greater, but their losses also and so the RAF would have to take over all air operations, as the Greek Air Force would be inoperative. This at a time when Sowrey was having success with army air co-operation.

Ironically, D'Albiac went on to command the Second Tactical Air Force in June 1943, before being made Deputy Commander of the Mediterranean Tactical Air Force in February 1944.
 

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