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Air Marshall Sir Richard Williams, KBE , CB, DSO is widely regarded as the ‘father’ of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF). He was the first military pilot trained in Australia, and went on to command Australian an British fighter units in World War 1. a proponent for air power inde-pendent of other branches of the armed services, Williams played a leading role in the establish-ment of the RAAF and become it first Chief of the Air Staff in 1922.

Williams was a lieutenant in the Army when he learned to fly at Point Cook, Victoria in 1914. As a pilot with the Australian Flying Corps (AFC) in World War 1, Williams rose to command No 1 Squadron AFC, and later 40th Wing RAF. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Order and fin-ished the war a lieutenant colonel.

Afterwards he campaigned for an Australian Air Force run separately to the Army and Navy, which came into being on 31st March 1921.