Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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Bomber Command Bases


The expansion of Bomber Command in 1942/3 began to put a severe strain on the organisational administration of it's units resulting in the introduction of an intermediate level of command between Group HQ's and Station.  Thus in March 1943 was born the Base system.  A Base consisted of a Base Station with one or two sub-stations.  Each Base was commanded by an Air Commodore and initially identified by the name of the Base Station and the role of the Base, e.g. Topcliffe Training Base, Leeming Operational Base.  However, from September 1943 Bases were re-designated by a two-number identifier, the first number indicating the Group and the second the number of the Base within that Group, the first in each Group being the Group's training Base.  Maps showing the locations of the bases are available in the Members' Area.

Basic crew training was undertaken at Operational Training Units (OTU), controlled by the three training Groups and did not come under this system.  However, having completed crew training, usually on Wellingtons, conversion to the four engined 'heavies' was conducted at a Heavy Conversion Unit (HCU).  These HCU's were located at the group's training base until November 1944, when all HCU's were transferred to No 7 (Training) Group.  On transfer the Base identifier changed, with the first number becoming a 7, still indicating the Group but the second number now indicated the base's original Group, e.g. 71 came from No 1 Group and 75 came from No 5 Group.

Besides the three training Groups (No's 91, 92 and 93), No's 8 and 100 Groups did not use this system

No 1 Group

No 11 Base - Lindholme

This was formed on 1 July 1943 at Lindholme, being numbered No 11 on 16 September 1943.   It controlled the stations at Blyton (1 Jul 1943 - 5 Nov 1944; No 1662 HCU), Faldingworth (1 Jul - 16 Dec 1943; No 1667 HCU), Lindholme (1 Jul 1943 - 5 Nov 1944; No 1656 HCU and No 1 LFS) and Sandtoft (10 Dec 1943 - 5 Nov 1944; No 1667 HCU).  It was transferred to No 7 Group and redesignated No 71 Base on 3 November 1944.

xx xxx xxxx                        ? 

 

No 12 Base - Binbrook,

This was formed on 25 April 1943 at Binbrook, being numbered No 12 on 16 September 1943, disbanding on 12 April 1945.   It controlled the stations at Binbrook (25 Apr 1943 - 12 Apr 1945; No 460 Sqn), Grimsby/Waltham (25 Apr 1943 - 12 Apr 1945; No 100 Sqn), Kelstern (18 Aug 1943 - 12 Apr 1945; No 625 Sqn) and Wickenby (25 Apr - 16 Dec 1943; No 12 Sqn)

3 May 1943?                      A/Cdre A M Wray

 

No 13 Base - Elsham Wold,

This was formed on 1 December 1943 at Elsham and disbanded on 15 December 1945.   It controlled the stations at Elsham Wold (1 Dec 1943 - 15 Dec 1945; Nos 103 and 576 Sqns),  Kirmington (1 Dec 1943 - 15 Dec 1945; Nos 166 and 153 Sqns), North Killingholme (1 Dec 1943 15 Dec 1945; No 550 Sqn).

1 Feb 1943                        A/Cdre R Ivelaw-Chapman (shot down 7 May 1944)

xx May 1944                    

xx Dec 1944                      A/Cdre G P H Carter

 

No 14 Base -Ludford Magna,

This was formed on 16 December 1943 at Ludford Magna and disbanded on 25 October 1945.   It controlled the stations at Ludford Magna (16 Dec 1943 - 25 Oct 1945; No 101 Sqn), Faldingworth (16 Dec 1943 - 25 Oct 1945; No 300 Sqn), Wickenby (16 Dec 1943 - 25 Oct 1945; No 12 and 626 Sqns).

24 Dec 1943                        A/Cdre R S Blucke

 

No 15 Base - Scampton,

This was formed on 7 October 1944 at Scampton from No 52 Base and disbanded on 20 October 1945.   It controlled the stations at Scampton (7 Oct 1944 - 20 Oct 1945; Nos 153 and 625 Sqns), Dunholme Lodge (7 Oct 1944– 20 Oct 1945; No 170 Sqn), Fiskerton (7 Oct 1944 - 20 Oct 1945; Nos 150 and 576 Sqns) and Hemswell (1 Dec 1944 - 20 Oct 1945; Nos 150 and 170 Sqns).

xx xxx xxxx                        ? 

 

No 3 Group

No 31 Base - Stradishall

This was formed at Stradishall, on 26 April 1943 being designated No 31 Base on 16 September1943.  Stradishall itself was home to No 1657 HCU, whilst its satellites were Chedburgh (Nos 214, 614 and 218 Sqns and No 1653 HCU), Feltwell until 7 August 1944 (No 192 Sqn and No 3 LFS),  Ridgewell until 1 June 1943 (90 Sqn),  Waterbeach until 25 August 1943 (No 1651 HCU), Wratting Common from 30 April (No 90 Sqn, No 1651 HCU and No 195 Sqn), Shepherd’s Grove from 11 May 1944 (No 1657 HCU), Birch from 31 July 1944 and Gosfield and Matching from October 1944.  It transferred to No 7 Group as No 73 Base on 1 November 1944.

xx xxx 1943                        A/Cdre J Silvester

xx xxx xxxx                         A/Cdre H I Cozens?  

No 32 Base - Mildenhall,

This was formed on 1 March 1943 at Mildenhall, being numbered No 32 on 16 September 1943 and disbanded on 15 November 1945.   It controlled the stations at Mildenhall (24 Mar 1943 - 15 Nov 1945; Nos 15 and 622 Sqns), Birch (26 Sep - 15 Nov 1945; no units), East Wretham (24 Mar - 7 Aug 1943; No 115 Sqn and No 1678 HCU), Gosfield (26 Sep - 15 Nov 1945; no units), Lakenheath (24 Mar 1943 - 1 May 1944; Nos 149 and 199 Sqns), Methwold (19 Sep 1943 - 15 Nov 1945; Nos 149 and 218 Sqns), Newmarket (24 Apr 1943 - 28 Feb 1945; No 75 Sqn, No 1483 Flt, BDU and No 1688 Flt), Tuddenham (1 Sep 1943 - 15 Nov 1945; Nos 149 and 218 Sqns).

xx xxx 1943                        ?

 

No 33 Base - Waterbeach

This was formed on 125 August 1943 at Waterbeach, being numbered No 33 on 16 September 1943 and disbanded on 1 September 1945.   It controlled the stations at Waterbeach (25 Aug 1943 - 1 Sep 1945; No 1651 HCU, No 1678 HC Flt and No 514 Sqn), Mepal (25 Aug 1943 - 1 Sep 1945; No 75 Sqn), Witchford (25 Aug 1943 - 1 Sep  1945; Nos 196, 513, 115 and 195 Sqns).

xx Oct 1943                        A/Cdre O R Gayford

xx Aug 1944                        ?

 

No 4 Group 

No 41 Base -Marston Moor,

This was formed on 5 March 1943 at Marston Moor, being numbered No 41 on 16 September 1943 but was transferred to No 7 Group as No 74 Base on 7 November 1944.   It controlled the stations at Marston Moor (23 Mar 1943 - 7 Nov 1944; No 1552 HCU), Rufforth (23 Mar 1943 - 7 Nov 1944; No 1663 HCU), Riccall (23 Mar 1943 - 7 Nov 1944; No 1658 HCU) and Acaster Malbis (1 Nov 1943 - 7 Nov 1945; spare airfield).

xx xxx 1944                        A/Cdre C D Adams

xx xxx 1944

 

No 42 Base - Pocklington,

This was formed on 1 March 1943 at Pocklington, being numbered No 42 on 16 September 1943 and disbanded on 1 September 1945.   It controlled the stations at Pocklington (24 Mar 1943 - 1 Sep 1945; No 102 Sqn), Elvington (24 Mar 1943 - 1 Sep 1945, Nos 77, 346 and 347 Sqns), Melbourne (24 Mar 1943 - 15 Apr 1944, No 10 Sqn), Full Sutton (27 Apr 1944 - 1 Sep 1945; No 77 Sqn).

24 Mar 1943                         A/Cdre G A Walker

 

No 43 Base - Driffield,

This was formed on 6 June 1943 at Driffield, being numbered No 43 on 16 September 1943 and disbanded on 1 September 1945.   It controlled the stations at Driffield (6 Jun 1943 - 1 Sep 1945; Nod 466 and 462 Sqns), Leconfield (6 Jun 1943 - 1 Sep 1945; Nos 466, 196, 640, 96 and 51 Sqns), Lissett (6 Jun 1943 - 1 Sep 1945; No 158 Sqn).

6 Jun 1943                           A/Cdre F W Walker

xx Apr 1944                         A/Cdre J R Whitley

 

No 44 Base - Holme-on-Spalding Moor,

This was formed on 15 April 1944 at Holme-on-Spalding Moor and disbanded on 1 September 1945.   It controlled the stations at Holme-on-Spalding Moor (15 Apr 1944 - 1 Sep 1945; No 76 Sqn), Melbourne (15 Apr 1944 - 1 Sep 1945; No 10 Sqn), Breighton (15 Apr 1944 - 1 Sep 1945; No 78 Sqn).

 1 May 1943                       A/Cdre G S Hodson

19 Oct 1944                        A/Cdre D L Thomson

 

No 5 Group

No 51 Base - Swinderby,

This was formed on 5 March 1943 at Swinderby, being numbered No 51 on 16 September 1943 but was transferred to No 7 Group as No 75 Base on 3 November 1944.   It controlled the stations at Swinderby (15 Mar 1943 - 7 Nov 1944; No 1660 HCU), Barkston Heath (15 Mar - 1 Nov 1943; USAAF use), Winthorpe (15 Mar 1943 - 3 Nov 1944;No 1661 HCU), Wigsley (15 Mar 1943 - 3 Nov 1944; No 1654 HCU), Syerston (21 Nov 1943 - 1 Oct 1944; No 5 LFS).  Formed 15 Mar 1943, transferred to No 7 Group, 30 November 1944.

15 Mar 1943                        A/Cdre I E Bussell

 

No 52 Base - Scampton,

This was formed on 10 May 1943 at Scampton, being numbered No 52 on 16 September 1943 but was transferred to No 1 Group on 7 October 1944 and redesignated No 15 Base.   It controlled the stations at Scampton (10 May 1943 - 7 Oct 1944; Nos 57 and 617 Sqns), Fiskerton (10 May 1943 - 7 Oct 1944; No 49 Sqn), Dunholme Lodge (10 May 1943 - 7 Oct 1944; Nos 44 and 619 Sqns).

xx xxx 1943                        ?

 

No 53 Base - Waddington,

This was formed on 14 November 1943 at Waddington and disbanded on 15 November 1945.   It controlled the stations at Waddington (14 Nov 1943 - 15 Nov 1945; Nos 463 and 467 Sqns), Skellingthorpe (14 Nov 1943 - 15 Nov 1945; Nos 50 and 61 Sqns) and Bardney (14 Nov 1943 - 15 Nov 1945; Nos 9 and 189 Sqns).

24 Mar 1943                      A/Cdre J L Kirby?

xx xxx xxxx:                        A/Cdre A Hesketh

 

No 54 Base - Coningsby,

This was formed on 1 January 1944 at Coningsby, and disbanded on 15 November 1945.   It controlled the stations at Coningsby (1 Jan 1944 - 15 Nov 1945; Nos 61, 619, 83 and 97 Sqns), Woodhall Spa (1 Jan 1944 - 15 Nov 1945; Nos 617 and 627 Sqns), Metheringham ((1 Jan 1944 - 15 Nov 1945; No 106 Sqn).

xx xxx 1944                        A/Cdre A C H Sharp

 

No 55 Base - East Kirkby,

This was formed on 15 April 1944 at East Kirkby and disbanded on 15 November 1945.   It controlled the stations at East Kirkby (15 Apr 1944 - 15 Nov 1945; Nos 57 and 630 Sqns) Spilsby (15 Apr 1944 - 15 Nov 1945; Nos 207 and 44 Sqns), Strubby (15 Apr 1944 - 15 Nov 1945; Nos 619 and 227 Sqns).  Between 15 April and mid September 1944 Strubby was loaned to No 16 Group and houses Nos 280, 144 and 404 Sqns.

xx xxx 1944                        ?

 

No 56 Base - Syerston,

This was formed on 1 October 1944 at Syerston and disbanded on 25 April 1945.   It controlled the stations at Syerston (1 Oct 1944 - 25 Apr 1945; No 5 LFS and No 49 Sqn), Fulbeck (1 Oct 1944 - 25 Apr 1945; Nos 49 and 189 Sqns) and Balderton (1 Oct 1944 - 25 Apr 1945; No 227 Sqn).  Formed 30 October 1944.  Disbanded October 1945.

xx Dec 1944                    A/Cdre J W F Merer 

 

No 6 (RCAF) Group

No 61 Base - Topcliffe, 

This was formed on 25 March 1943 at Topcliffe as No 6 (RCAF) Group Training Base, being renamed No 61 Base on 16 September 1943, it was transferred to No 7 Group on 9 November 1944 as No 76 Base.    It controlled the stations at Topcliffe (25 Mar 1943 - 9 Nov 1944; No 1659 HCU), Dishforth (25 Mar 1943 - 9 Nov 1944; No 1664 HCU), Dalton (25 Mar 1943 - 9 Nov 1944; Nos 424 and 428 Sqns, No 1666 HCU and Nos 1691/5 Flts) and Wombleton (1 Aug 1943 - 9 Nov 1944; No 1666 HCU and No 1679 HC Flt).

 5 Apr 1943                        A/Cdre C M McEwen RCAF

25 Jun 1943                        A/Cdre B F Johnson RCAF

17 Feb 1944                       A/Cdre R E McBurney RCAF

16 May 1944                      A/Cdre F G Wait RCAF

 1 Sep 1944                        A/Cdre J L Hurley RCAF

19 Sep 1944                       A/Cdre F R Miller RCAF

 

No 62 Base - Linton on Ouse,

This was formed  18 June 1943 as Linton-on-Ouse Operational Base but was renamed No 62 Base on 16 September 1943.  It disbanded on 14 July 1945, when all it’s units were transferred to Eastern Air Command as part of the proposed ‘Tiger Force’.  It controlled the stations at Linton-on-Ouse (18 Jun 1943 - 14 Jul 1945; Nos 426 and 408 Sqns), East Moor (18 Jun 1943 - 14 Jul 1945; No 49 Sqn, No 1679 HC Flt, Nos 431 and 415 Sqns) and Tholthorpe (18 Jun 194 - 14 Jul 1945; Nos 434, 431, 420 and 425 Sqns)

18 Jun 1943                        A/Cdre C M McEwen RCAF

29 Feb 1944                       A/Cdre A D Ross RCAF

28 Jun 1944                        A/Cdre J E Farquier RCAF

19 Sep 1944                       A/Cdre J L Hurley RCAF

31 May 1945                      A/Cdre J G Kerr RCAF

 

No 63 Base - Leeming

This was formed on 1 May 1944 at Leeming and disbanded on 30 August 1945.  It controlled the stations at Leeming (1 May 1943 - 30 Aug 1945; Nos 427 and 429 Sqns) Skipton on Swale (1 May 1944 - 30 Aug 1945; Nos 424 and 433 Sqns), Dishforth (6 Apr - 30 Aug 1945; No 1695 Flt).

 1 May 1944                       A/Cdre J G Bryans RCAF

13 Jan 1945                        A/Cdre F R Miller RCAF

30 May 1945                      A/Cdre J G Kerr RCAF

 

No 64 Base - Middleton St George

This was formed on 1 May 1944 at Middleton St George, disbanding on 14 June 1945, when all it’s units were transferred to Eastern Air Command as part of the proposed ‘Tiger Force’ It controlled the stations at Middleton St George (1 May 1944 - 14 Jun 1945; Nos 419 and 428 Sqns) and Croft (1 May 1944 - 14 Jun 1945; Nos 431 and 434 Sqns).

 1 May 1944                       A/Cdre R E McBurney RCAF

22 Jan 1945                        A/Cdre C R Dunlap RCAF

25 Apr 1945                       A/Cdre H B Godwin RCAF

30 May 1945                      A/Cdre H T Miles RCAF

 

No 7 Group

No 71 Base - Lindholme

This was formed on 5 November 1944 by redesignating No 31 Base at Lindholme when No 7 Group took control of all the Bases housing the Heavy Conversion Units and disbanded on 15 November 1945.  It controlled the stations at Lindholme (5 Nov 1944 - 15 Nov 1945; No 1656 HCU), Blyton (5 Nov 1944 - 15 Nov 1945; No 1662 HCU), Sandtoft ((5 Nov 1944 - 15 Nov 1945; No 1667 HCU), Sturgate (1 Dec 1944 - 15 Nov 1945; no units)

xx xxx 1944                        ?

 

No 72 Base - Bottesford

This was formed on 7 October 1944 at Bottesford when No 7 Group took control of all the Bases housing the Heavy Conversion Units and disbanded on 1 April 1945  It controlled the stations at Bottesford (7 Oct 1944 - 1 Apr 1945; No 1668 HCU), Langer (7 Oct 1944 - 1 Apr 1945; No 1669 HCU) and Saltby (7 Oct 1944 -20 Mar 1945; no units).

xx xxx 1944                        ?

 

No 73 Base - North Luffenham

This was formed on 1 November 1944 by redesignating No 31 Base at Stradishall when No 7 Group took control of all the Bases housing the Heavy Conversion Units.  However at the same time the Base was re-located to RAF North Luffenham, with Stradishall (No 1657 HCU) becoming a satellite.  North Luffenham was home to No 1653 HCU whilst the other stations were Woolfox Lodge (No 1651 HCU), Bottesford (No 1668 HCU) and Langer (No 1669 HCU), the last two only joining the Base on 1 April 1945.  No 1657 HCU disbanded on 15 December 1944 and Stradishall reverted to No 3 Group.  The Base was disbanded on 1 August 1945.

xx Nov 1944                        A/Cdre C D Adams

 

No 74 Base - Marston Moor

This was formed on 7 November 1944 by redesignating No 41 Base at Marston Moor when No 7 Group took control of all the Bases housing the Heavy Conversion Units and disbanded on 10 June 1945 It controlled the stations at Marston Moor (7 Nov 1944 - 10 Jun 1945; No 1652 HCU),  Rufforth (7 Nov 1944 - 10 Jun 1945; No 1663 HCU), Riccall (7 Nov 1944 - 10 Jun 1945; No 1658 HCU), Acaster Malbis (7 Nov 1944 - 10 Jun 1945; no units), Stradishall (7 Nov - 15 Dec 1944; No 1657 HCU). 

xx xxx 1944                        ?

 

No 75 Base - Swinderby,

This was formed on 3 November 1944 by redesignating No 51 Base at Swinderby when No 7 Group took control of all the Bases housing the Heavy Conversion Units and disbanded on 1 October 1945 It controlled the stations at Swinderby (3 Nov 1944 - 1 Oct 1945; No 1660 HCU), Winthorpe (3 Nov 1944 - 1 Oct 1945; No 1661 HCU) and Wigsley (3 Nov 1944 - 1 Oct 1945; 1654 HCU).

30 Nov 1944                        A/Cdre E I Bussell

 

No 76 Base - Topcliffe,

This was formed on 9 November 1944 by redesignating No 61 Base at Topcliffe when No 7 Group took control of all the Bases housing the Heavy Conversion Units and disbanded on 1 September 1945 It controlled the stations at Topcliffe (9 Nov 1944 - 1 Sep 1945; 1659 HCU), Dalton (9 Nov 1944 - 1 Sep 1945; No 1695 Flt), Dishforth (9 Nov 1944 - 1 Sep 1945; No 1664 HCU), Wombleton (9 Nov 1944 - 1 Sep 1945; No 1666 HCU)

9 Nov 1944                        A/Cdre F R Miller RCAF  

13 Jan 1945                        A/Cdre J G Kerr RCAF  

1 Aug 1945                        A/Cdre N W Timmerman RCAF  

 

AOCs of unknown bases:

1944 - 1945                        A/Cdre H H Down

1944 - 1944, 1944 - 1945                        A/Cdre H V Satterley (No 5 Group?)

1944 - 1945                        A/Cdre G P H Carter

1944 - 1945                        A/Cdre S L G Pope

Possible Base Commanders?

A/Cdre A McKee (24 Mar 1943)

J H N Whitworth     

This page was last updated on 29/05/14 using FrontPage 2003©

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