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Please note: We require 7 days notice to retrieve this collection as part, or all of it, is held off-campus.

Identity statement

Reference code(s)
GB0099 KCLMA Oulton
OULTON, AVM Wilfred Ewart Oulton (1911-1997)
Created 1956-1996
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
1 box or 0.01 cubic metres


Name of creator(s)

Oulton, Wilfred Ewart, 1911-1997, Air Vice Marshal

Administrative / Biographical history

Born, 1911; educated University College, Cardiff (engineering) and RAF College Cranwell, 1927-1931; commissioned, 1931; served in flying boat squadron, Malta; studied and taught at School of Navigation, Manston; flying boat squadron at Pembroke Dock and in charge of research on navigational equipment, Ministry of Aircraft Production, 1939-1941; wartime service, 1941-1945, including training of British air crews and combined services liaison team, US, commanded 58 Squadron, set up RAF base on the Azores, in charge of the flying boat station, RAF Castle Archdale, Northern Ireland, Deputy Director Flying Control responsible for setting up air traffic control systems in post-war Britain; Director, Joint Anti-Submarine School, Londonderry, 1946-1948; Joint Services Staff College, 1948-1950; Air Attache, Argentina, Uraguay, Paraguay, 1950-1953; Director of Operations, Air Ministry, 1954-1956; commanded Joint Task Force GRAPPLE for first British thermonuclear weapons tests in the Pacific, 1956-1958; Senior Air Staff Officer, RAF Coastal Command HQ, 1958-1960; retired, 1960; upon retirement became Director of Defence Projects, EMI Electronics and established business consultancy, Medsales Executive; died, 1997. Publications: Christmas Island cracker (London, 1987)

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Papers presented as a gift to the Centre by his son, Air Commodore Peter D Oulton, in 2002

Content & structure

Scope and content

Correspondence, a television script, press cuttings and photographs relating to signals during World War Two, the Battle of the Atlantic and Operation GRAPPLE, 1956-1996; including correspondence and script for Westward Television documentary on the Battle of the Atlantic and Coastal Command during World War Two, 1969-1971; personal accounts, press cuttings and correspondence relating to the Battle of the Atlantic, 1990-1996; photographs of Operation GRAPPLE, British H-Bomb tests on Christmas Island, for which Oulton was Task Force Commander, 1956-1958; account of the role of Signals in the RAF Coastal Command expedition to the Azores, 1943-1944, written by Wg Cdr F J Mowbray, 1996.

System of arrangement

The collection comprises a single box arranged into sections as outlined above.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

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

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

Summary guide available online and in hardcopy in the Centre's Reading Room.

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals
King's College London College Archives



Decorations: CB, CBE, DSO, DFC

Description control

Archivist's Note

Source: Who's who.

Entry compiled by Geoff Browell as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

April 2003

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This catalogue may contain links to external data sources as part of the W3C Semantic Web initiative.


  • Battle of the Atlantic (1939-1945)
  • Communication process
  • Disasters
  • Group communication
  • International conflicts
  • Manmade disasters
  • Military communications
  • Military engineering
  • Military equipment
  • Military operations
  • Nuclear explosions
  • Nuclear weapons
  • Operation Grapple (1957-1958)
  • War
  • Wars (events)
  • Weapons
  • World War Two (1939-1945)
  • World wars (events)

Personal names

  • Mowbray, F J, fl 1943-1996, Wing Commander
  • Oulton, Wilfred Ewart, 1911-1997, Air Vice Marshal
  • Oulton, Wilfred Ewart, 1911-1997, Air Vice Marshal


  • Azores, Atlantic Ocean
  • Christmas Island, Oceania
  • Kiritimati, Line Group, Kiribati, Oceania

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