Air Marshal Gerald Ernest Gibbs was the 3rd Air Chief of the Post-Independent Indian Air Force and was the third British officer, in succession, to hold the post. Born on 02 September 1896, Gibbs initially joined the British Army and served as an Infantry Officer. At the Outbreak of the First World War, Gibbs was one of the earliest officers who formed the core of the Royal Flying Corps. Gibbs saw action in World War 1 with the RFC and the RAF, after it was formed officially. Between Jan to May 1918, Gibbs shot down or shared in the capture of ten German aircraft, all the time flying an SE-5 biplane fighter. He was awarded the Military Cross and two bars for this effort.
After the war, he was deputed to RAF Cranwell, responsible for training a whole generation of famous RAF flyers. Gibbs was a flying instructor at Cranwell.