Sir Ralph Alexander Cochrane

1895 - 1977

Air Chief Marshall of the Royal Air Force. Born in Springfield (Fife) into a naval family whose seat was at Crawford Priory, Cochrane entered the navy in 1912. He served in the Royal Naval Air Service 1914-18 and then transferred to the newly-formed Royal Air Force in 1919. Following various appointments, including heading the Royal New Zealand Air Force (1936-8), Cochrane took command of No. 3 and No. 5 Group of RAF Bomber Command. As such, he was responsible for planning bombing raids against German industry during World War II, including the 'Dambusters Raid' in 1943. Cochrane was knighted in 1945. He rose to become Vice Chief of the Air Staff in 1950 until he retired in 1952. He died in Burford (Oxfordshire).

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