31 January 1917 – Fifth Sea Lord


Godfrey Paine

Air Commodore Godfrey Paine, C.B. has left his post as Commander of the RNAS Central Depot and Training Establishment at Cranwell and has taken up post as Firth Sea Lord , making him responsible for all naval aviation.

The post is a new one recommended by the War Cabinet on 22 December 1916, to provide the Air Board with a Naval representative who has a status and authority to make decisions on the Navy in the same way as the Director-General of Military Aeronautics does for the RFC.

This follows criticism from various quarters, articulated more particularly by the Chair of the Air Board Lord Curzon in October 1916. who recommended that:

“the administration of the RNAS at the Admiralty should no longer be divided among the various Sea Lords, but made self-contained as was the administration of the Royal Flying Corps at the War Office. The officer who presides over the Naval Air Service should, said the Report, be made a member of the Board of Admiralty with authority and powers similar to those enjoyed by Sir David Henderson at the War Office.”

Commodore John Luce has replaced Paine at Cranwell.


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