GIBBS, AM Sir Gerald Ernest (1896-1992)

Scope and Content

Papers relating to Gibbs' early career, 1917-1927, including typescript copies [1972] of combat reports written by Gibbs, 17 Sqn, Macedonia, 1917-1918; typescript notes by Gibbs entitled 'Service experiences', 1926; typescript Staff College essay entitled 'Leadership and morale', 1927. Nine typescript texts of lectures by Gibbs, 1948-1972, on the RAF in World War Two, post war air power, India and the Indian Air Force and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), also 'Air power in modern war', by MRAF Arthur William Tedder, 1st Baron Tedder of Glenguin, 1947. Papers relating to Gibbs' career in the RAF, 1945-1954, including correspondence and typescript notes by Gp Capt I C Bird on the war efforts of India, South Africa and the Colonies [1948]; letter and graph by Wg Cdr J D Warne, dated 1949, on numbers of sorties flown and losses suffered by the Luftwaffe and the RAF during the Battle of Britain, 1940; typescript copies of correspondence between Gibbs and Adm Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma, Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, 1953; typescript report by Gibbs entitled 'Report on the progress and the policy problems of the Indian Air Force', 1954. Papers and correspondence, 1955-1984, including typescript article by Gibbs entitled 'The lessons of Skybolt, Britain's new defence plans', with letter from Sir Hugh (Nicholas) Linstead MP, 1963; typescript memorandum by MRAF Sir John Cotesworth Slessor entitled 'Integration of the Services within the new defence organisation', 1964; correspondence with Dr G Vincent Orange, History Department, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand, dated 1982, concerning research for A biography of Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Park GCB, KBE, MC, DFC, DCL (Methuen, London, 1984), with copy of letter from ACM Sir Keith Rodney Park, Air Commander-in-Chief, South East Asia to MRAF Sir Charles Frederick Algernon Portal, Chief of the Air Staff, relating to the possible replacement of Gibbs as Chief Air Staff Officer, Supreme Headquarters South East Asia Command [1945]. Copies of Gibbs' letters to the press, 1955-1982, relating chiefly to defence issues, service pensions, capital punishment, immigration and Rhodesia. Publications and articles, 1928-1961, including copy of Air Ministry Air Publication 1308 entitled A selection of lectures and essays from the work of officers attending the fifth course at the Royal Air Force Staff College, 1926-1927 (HMSO, London, 1928), including article by Gibbs 'Lecture on fighter squadrons in air defence'; article by Gibbs 'Aircraft types and strategical mobility', Journal of the Royal Air Force College, 1930; booklet by Gen Sir Archibald Percival Wavell entitled Generals and Generalship (reprinted from The Times, London, 1941); three editions of Impact magazine, subtitled 'US Tactical air power in Europe', May 1945, 'Strategic air victory in Europe', Jul 1945, and 'Air victory over Japan', Sep-Oct 1945; restricted pamphlet by MRAF Hugh Montague Trenchard, 1st Viscount Trenchard of Wolfeton, entitled 'Air power', 1946; restricted pamphlet by US Gen Carl A Spaatz and Professor Edward Mead Earle entitled 'American views on air power', 1947; article by ACM Sir Keith Rodney Park entitled 'Background to the Blitz, from Hawker Siddeley Review, Dec 1951; article by Gibbs 'The development of defence in NATO's second decade', The British Survey, Feb 1959; article entitled 'Maintaining the deterrent in the future', by Gibbs, The Aeroplane, Mar 1961.

Administrative / Biographical History

Born 1896; educated at Kingston Grammar School, Surrey; enlisted as a Pte in the 1/5 Bn, East Surrey Regt, 1914; served World War One, 1914-1918, in Egypt, India, Salonika and France; service on North West Frontier, India, 1915; commissioned into the 7 Bn, Duke of Edinburgh's (Wiltshire Regiment), 1915; transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, 1916, and the RAF, 1918; served with 17 Sqn, Royal Flying Corps (later 150 Sqn, RAF), 1917-1918; awarded MC, 1918; posted to 29 Sqn, 1918; Commanding Officer, 29 Sqn, 1918-1919; service with 70 Sqn, 1919; Flying Instructor, RAF Cadet College, Cranwell, Lincolnshire, 1920-1921; Adjutant, 6 Sqn, Iraq and Kurdistan, 1921-1923; 14 Sqn, Palestine and Transjordan, 1923-1924; service with 25 Sqn, UK, 1925-1926; graduated from RAF Staff College, Andover, Hampshire, 1927; Aide de Camp to MRAF Sir Hugh Montague Trenchard, 1927-1928; Sqn Ldr, 1930; Flight Commander and Flying Instructor, RAF Cadet College, Cranwell, 1928-1930; served in Air Staff Plans, Air Ministry, 1930-1934; Commanding Officer, 47 (Bomber) Sqn, Khartoum, Sudan, 1934-1935; Command of RAF detachment, Kenya, 1935-1936; Wg Cdr, 1936; Maintenance Planning, Air Ministry, 1936-1938; service in the Deputy Directorate of Equipment, Air Ministry, 1938-1940; served World War Two, 1939-1945; Air Cdre, 1940; Senior Air Staff Officer, 11 Group, Fighter Command, 1940-1941; Director of Overseas Operations, Air Ministry, 1942-1943; Senior Air Staff Officer, Headquarters 3 Tactical Air Force, South East Asia, 1943-1944; awarded CBE, 1945; Chief Air Staff Officer to V Adm Lord Louis (Francis Albert Victor Nicholas) Mountbatten, Supreme Commander South East Asia Command, 1945-1946; awarded CIE, 1946; Senior Air Staff Officer, Headquarters RAF Transport Command, 1946-1948; AVM, 1947; Head of Service Advisers to UK Delegation and Chairman, UK Members of Military Staff Committee, United Nations Organisation, 1948-1951; AM, 1951; Chief of Air Staff and Commander-in-Chief, Indian Air Force, 1951-1954; created KBE, 1954; retired 1954; died 1992. Publications: Survivor's story (Hutchinson, London, 1956).


The collection is arranged in sections as outlined above.

Access Information

Open, subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Acquisition Information

Presented to the Centre by Gibbs in 1982. Further accessions were loaned to the Centre by Gibbs for copying in 1982 and 1983.

Other Finding Aids

Summary guide entry on-line at, and detailed catalogue available in hard copy in the Centre's reading room.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Trustees of the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, attention of the Director of Archive Services.