Ludlow-Hewitt was originally commissioned into the Royal Irish Rifles, but transferred to the Royal Flying Corps before the First World War. During the war he served first as a pilot in No 1 Squadron Royal Flying Corps and then later as the Officer Commanding No 15 Squadron and No 3 Squadron on the Western Front.
In 1937 Ludlow-Hewitt was appointed Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief of Bomber Command. However Ludlow-Hewitt was replaced by Portal in April 1940 as he was not considered to be sufficiently ruthless to lead Bomber Command during the Second World War.
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