AOC 5 Group, 1940-1
From Senior Air Staff Officer at Bomber Command headquarters between 1938 and 1940, Norman Bottomley was appointed AOC 5 Group in November 1940 and was later promoted to Deputy Chief of the Air Staff in 1943. At the war’s end he succeeded Bomber Harris as C-in-C Bomber Command.
Born in Yorkshire on 18 September 1891, Norman Bottomley was educated at Halifax School and the University of Rennes in Brittany before being commissioned into the Yorkshire Regiment with which he served until transferring to the RFC in 1915. Between the wars his appointments included service in the Middle East and the command of 4 (AC) Squadron and 1 (Indian) Group. Bottomley’s appointment as SASO at Bomber Command in 1938 marked the beginning of a rapid rise towards C-in-C by 1945. He became Inspector-General of the RAF in 1947 and retired the following year. Sir Norman Bottomley died on 13 August 1970, aged seventy-eight.