Group Captain Robin (Bob) Dixon
Bob Dixon was a graduate of 88 Entry (B Sqn) and served for 42 years in the Royal Air Force and Royal Auxiliary Air Force, completing a wide variety of logistics and air transport appointments which included service in the Far East, Middle East and Africa. Following command of the United Kingdom Mobile Air Movements Squadron at RAF Lyneham when it played a significant role in the Ethiopian Famine Relief Airlift, Bob was awarded the OBE.
Bob completed a post-Graduate Course in Management Science and attended the RAF Advanced Staff College and Senior Air Warfare courses. Promoted to Group Captain in 1987, he commanded the RAF’s largest depot in Stafford with its 2,000 civilian and service personnel and a wide range of supply and engineering functions. His last appointment in the RAF was as the Director of Petroleum as well as Chairman of the NATO Pipeline Committee.
Taking early retirement from the RAF in 1994 to seek new challenges, he became a consultant in Logistics to a leading logistics and distribution company and to a major charter airline. He also joined the Royal Auxiliary Air Force and commanded 4624 Movements Squadron RAuxAF at RAF Brize Norton for 6 years.
From 2001 until 2014 Bob was the Chief Executive of the European Airshow Council (EAC). This is a pan-European association that ‘promotes excellence and safety at Airshows in Europe’. He also worked with the Royal International Air Tattoo in Fairford for 10 years and was a consultant to several airshows in the UK and continental Europe.
Fellow 88 Entrant Clive Upton offered these words that typified Bob:
At Cranwell, there were four of us 88 Entry equippers under the tutelage of Messrs Jim Burridge, Adrian Impey and Colin Spencer. We were quietly enjoying the summer sunshine under the shade of the trees when suddenly a grounded pilot from 87 bounced in amongst us and our lives were never the same again. Brimming with enthusiasm for the Service and life, he was an excellent raconteur, full of ideas, both part developer and a pilot of the Cranwell hovercraft, challenging (and later a passion for) old cars… Citroens and Mercedes in particular.
In our careers, Bob and I shared tours at RAF Changi, RAF Abingdon and MoD. Bob was always engaging, energetic, full of humour and reaching for the sky. There were few boundaries in life that could contain him.
Bob was married to Sue, who was born in Cranwell Village, and whose father was an RAF College Bandsman for 34 years.
Bob passed away on the 14th April after a fairly short battle with lung cancer.