Richard Collard

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Group Captain Richard Charles Marler Collard, DSO, DFC (25 August 1911 – 9 August 1962) was a British Royal Air Force officer and politician. His sudden death at the age of 50 occurred less than three years after he was first elected to the House of Commons.

Joining the RAF

Collard was the son of a stockbroker, and was educated at Haileybury College. On leaving school he enlisted in the Royal Air Force and was commissioned as an officer. Serving with No. 4 Squadron and No. 615 Squadron, he then became a flying instructor. He also played Rugby league in the RAF first team.

Wartime service

At the outbreak of war in 1939, Collard joined the Advanced Air Striking Force which was based in France. After the withdrawal from France, he transferred to Bomber Command for a while, and then to the Middle East in command of No. 37 Squadron and No. 12 Squadron. In 1941, he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and in 1942, he received the Distinguished Service Order. He also had the Norwegian Liberty Cross.

Post-war

During a bomber raid on Duisberg in 1942, Collard was shot down and taken prisoner by the Germans. He remained there until the end of the war, then rejoined the RAF. In 1946, he commanded the Avro Lancaster goodwill tour of the United States, and became commander of RAF Stradishall in Suffolk until 1948. He spent the next year in charge of development at the Central Bomber Establishment. He was then posted to the middle east to serve as Group Captain...
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