Royal Air Force - Air Vice-Marshal
Air Vice Marshal Neill C. Ogilvie-Forbes O.B.E
- Oder of the British Empire (Officer - Military) 2nd Type

- 1939-45 Star

- WWII Defense Medal

- WWII War Medal  (M.I.D.)

- Iraq Order of Rafidain (4th Class)
Neill Charles Ogilvie-Forbes was born 12 Dec 1900 to John Charles Mathias Ogilvie-Forbes, 9th of Boyndlie, Scotland.  Neill C. Ogilvie-Forbes was educated at the Oratory School and Trinity College Cambridge.

Neill was commisioned as a Pilot Officer 1 Nov 1922 and was soon promoted to Flying Officer 1 May 1923.

On 7 November 1923, Fg Off. Ogilvie-Forbes became an instructor at No. 2 Flight Training School, Digby, Lincolnshire.

Attended Fleet Fighter Course 4 Jan 1924 at RAF Base Leuchars, Scotland.  After training Fg. Officer Ogilvie-Forbes became pilot of No. 405 flight Fleet Air Arm and subsequently No. 406 Flight. The Fleet Air Arm were units that  embarked on Aircraft carriers and other fighting ships were part of the RAF until 1939. No. 405 and No. 406 Flights flew Fairey Flycatchers off carriers (see picture below).

From 6 Apr 1926 until 15 Jan 1929 Fg Off. Ogilvie-Forbes was either attending  RAF training courses or Instructing.  He was promoted to  Flight Lieutenant on 1 July 1928.

On 15 Jan 1929 Flt. Lt. Ogilvie-Forbes was posted as a pilot to No. 201 Squadron.  The No. 201 squadron was flying Supermarine Southampton reconnaissance planes. Flt. Lt. Ogilvie-Forbes remained with the squadron only three months when he was selected to transfer to the RCAF to oversee Canadian test flights.  

During his tenure with the RCAF, Flt. Lt Ogilvie-Forbes was involved in one of RCAF's most tragic air accidents involving the death of Lt Col.W.G. Barker VC, DSO, MC.  Lt Col Barker was Canada's air ACE of WWI with 50 kills to his credit.  According to the book "Barker VC" by Wayne Ralph, the Canadians took pocession of a new Fairchild KR-21 at the Rockcliff aerodrome. 






The Canadians were looking at the KR-21 bi-plane to be their new trainer The book states - "A talented test pilot on exchange from from the RAF, Flight Lieut Neil Ogilvie-Forbes, who was in charge of the Test Flight at the station, had put the machine [KR-21] through its paces, by looping, rolling and spinning it."  After the young RAF test pilot put the  KR-21 through its paces, Lt Col William Barker took the aircraft up for a flight.  As Lt Col was trying to perform a loop, the plane stalled and crashed killing the famous ace. The British Flt Lt was one of the first to arrive at the site of the crash and saw that the famed ace was dead.  A court of inquirey was held where Flt Lt Ogilvey-Forbes was a primary witness. According to the testimony, "The RAF exchange officer, Ogilvie-Forbes, side stepped wether the aircraft could have been recovered [from the stall] : 'As the machine went out of my sight and I did not see the end of the drive, I cannot express an opinion'.  He [Ogilvie-Forbes] did say that his flight in the KR-21 had been normal, and there was no difficulty in pulling out of high speed dives with the stabilizers set in the neutral position.  The machine was 'moderatly stable on all axes and light on controls'. "

Flt Ft. Ogilvie-Forbes was transfered ot the 13th Squadron, 1 April 1933 and subsequently to a training squadron on 20 April 1936.  Promotion to Squadron Leader came on 1 August 1936.   While as Sqn. Ldr, Neill was a part of the Navigation Staff, HQ Bomber Command and Navigation Officer for HQ No 3 Bomber Group.

Sqn. Ldr. Ogilvie-Forbes was appointed to head the training of the Iraqi Air Force on 14 January 1939.  This period of service was mired by multiple coups by the Iraqi Army and the Anglo-Iraq War.  During this period of service Ogilvie-Forbes was promoted to Wing Commander 1 July 1939 and subsequently Group Captain (temp) 1 Sep 1941. Grp. Capt. Ogilvie-Forbes was awarded the Order of Al Rafidain 4th Cl. Militray by the King of Iraq (LG 5 Sep 1941).

The remainder of his WWII service saw staff duties with HQ No 15 Reconnaissance Group and Deputy Director of Operations (Command unknown) where he was mentioned in despathces by Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief (LG 11 Jun 1942).  On 24 Sep 1945 he was appointed acting Air Commodore and assumed the position as the Air Attache to Brussels, Belgium. His rank of Air Commodore was made temporary on 1 Jan 1946. For his service during the war, Group Captain Neill  C. Ogilvie-Forbes was awarded the Order of the British Empire, Officer (LG 1 Jan 1946). Permanent promotion to Air Commodore was made on 1 July 1947.  As Air Commodore, Neill Ogilvie-Forbes  was  again assigned as the British Air Attache, but this duty was in Moscow, Soviet Union. On 18 Jan 1950, Neill was made Acting Air Vice Marshal and assigned as the Assistant Chief of Air Staff (Intelligence).

After a long and distinguished career with the Royal Air Force, Air Commodore Neill C. Ogilvie-Forbes O.B.E. retired at own request retaining the rank of Air Vice-Marshal on 5 July 1952.
Fairey Flycatcher
Fairey Flycatcher
Supermarine Southampton