British Military Aviation in 1922

1 February
The Royal Air Force Iraq Command is formed, with Air Vice Marshal Sir
John Salmond as the first Air Officer Commanding Iraq.

17 February
Royal Air Force Ireland is reformed under the command of Group Captain
I.M. Bonham-Carter, but the life of this command is short, disbanding
in 1923.

1 April
The Royal Air Force Staff College opens at Andover with Air Commodore
H.R.M. Brooke-Popham as the first commandant. Of the 29 students that
comprise No.1 Course, six go on to become Commanders-in-Chief and one,
Squadron Leader C.F.A. Portal, becomes Chief of the Air Staff.

troops enter the Allied controlled demarcation zone around Gallipoli and
encamp at Chanak. Allied governments are determined to prevent Turkey
occupying Chanak and reinforcements, including a number of Royal Air Force
(RAF) units, are rushed to the area.

Elements from Nos. 4, 25, 56, 203 207, 208, and 267 Squadrons are formed
into the Constantinople Wing, which supports the garrison until the crisis
is settled in August 1923.

5 September
After the First World War, Turkey makes strenuous attempts to extend its
control to Mesopotamia (renamed Iraq in September 1921), going as far
as massing troops on the Turkish-Iraqi border
and infiltrating irregular forces into Iraq.

By August 1922, irregulars, working with the local Kurdish tribes, have
occupied Rowanduz and are probing towards Rania and Sulaimaniya. During
the month, a mixed column of Imperial troops and levies, sent to restore
the situation, are forced to retreat and it is subsequently decided to
evacuate Sulaimaniya. Eighteen Royal Air Force (RAF) transport aircraft
participate in the evacuation, which begins on this date.

30 September
Following earlier British reverses during September 1922, a Turkish Army
detachment crosses into Iraq and established a post at Koi Sanjak, within
40 miles of Kirkuk. After an ultimatum dropped on the post is ignored,
air action begins against Koi Sanjak and the neighbouring villages and
the Turkish detachment is forced to withdraw.


The Royal Air Force (RAF) assumes military control of Iraq and throughout
the winter of 1922-23, irregular posts are located and attacked from the

These attacks form the first effective check on Turkish aspirations with
air supply operations conducted in support of Royal Air Force squadrons
operating from Kirkuk.