Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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RAF Home Commands formed between 1936 - 1938


[Balloon | Bomber | Coastal | FighterMaintenance  | Training]

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Training Command

Training Command Badge

With the expansion of the RAF in the 1930’s the existing Command system of Air Defence of Great Britain controlling all bomber and fighter units in the UK, Inland Area controlling all training and Army Co-operation units in the UK and Coastal Area  controlling Maritime units was becoming unwieldy and a new functional Command system was devised. The first of these new functional commands was Training Command, formed at Bentley Priory near Stanmore in Middlesex on 1 May 1936.  It moved to Buntingsdale Hall, Market Drayton, Shropshire on 13 July 1936 and finally Shinfield Park, Reading from 15 January 1940.

However, the continued growth of the RAF required further expansion and on 27 May 1940 Training Command was split into Flying Training and Technical Training Commands a situation that continued until 1 June 1968 when the two separate commands were amalgamated back into Training Command.  Training Command was finally absorbed into RAF Support Command on 13 June 1977.

Motto:    Terra Caeloque Docemus

 

 

1 May 1936                 AM Sir Charles Burnett

1 Jul 1939                    ACM Sir Arthur Longmore

1 May 1936                 AM Sir Charles Burnett

 1 Jul 1939                   ACM Sir Arthur Longmore

27 May 1940 - 1 Jun 1968 see FTC & TTC

 1 Jun 1968                  AM Sir John Davis

 1 Apr 1969                 AM Sir Leslie Mavor

21 Dec 1972                AM Sir Neville Stack

31 Jan 1976                 AM Sir Rex Roe

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Command available in the Member Areas

 

Bomber Command

Bomber Command Badge

With the expansion of the RAF in the 1930’s the existing Command system of Air Defence of Great Britain controlling all bomber and fighter units in the UK, Inland Area controlling all training and Army Co-operation units in the UK and Coastal Area  controlling Maritime units was becoming unwieldy and a new functional Command system was devised.

Bomber Command was formed from the bomber element of ADGB on 14 July 1936 at Hillingdon House, Uxbridge in Middlesex but on 13 March 1940 moved into new purpose built accommodation at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.  During world War Two, Bomber Command was one of the few ways in which the RAF and Allied forces could take offensive action against the Third Reich, but its personnel paid a heavy price for undertaking this task with over 55,000 of them being lost.

Post-war the Command became the world’s first major user of jet powered bombers when the English Electric Canberra was brought into service to replace the piston engined Lincolns and Washingtons.  The Command adopted the Nuclear Deterrent role in the mid 1950’s with the introduction of the V-Force consisting of Valiants, Vulcans and Victors.  However, the shrinking size of the RAF in 1960’s saw a further revision of the RAF Command system and Bomber Command was disbanded on 30 April 1968 on being absorbed into Strike Command as No 1 (Strike) Group.

 

Motto:    Strike Hard Strike Sure

Bomber Command losses in WW2

14 Jul 1936                                             ACM Sir John Steel

12 Sep 1937                                           ACM Sir Edgar Ludlow-Hewitt

3 Apr 1940                                             AM Sir Charles Portal

5 Oct 1940                                             AM Sir Richard Peirse

8Jan 1942                                              AVM J E A Baldwin (Acting AOC in C whilst AOC No 3 Group)

22 Feb 1942                                           ACM Sir Arthur Harris

15 Sep 1945                                           AM Sir Norman Bottomley

16 Jan 1947                                            AM Sir Hugh Saunders

 8 Oct 1947                                            AM Sir Aubrey Ellwood

 2 Feb 1950                                            AM Sir Hugh Lloyd

 9 Apr 1953                                            AM Sir George Mills

22 Jan 1956                                            AM Sir Harry Broadhurst

20 May 1959                                          AM Sir Kenneth Cross

 1 Sep 1963                                            AM Sir John Grandy

19 Feb 1965                                           AM Sir Wallace Kyle

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Command available in the Member Areas

Fighter Command

Fighter Command BadgeBentley Priory, Stanmore, Middlesex.

Formed on 14 Jul 1936.  Between 15 Nov 1943 and 15 Oct 1944 it was temporarily renamed Air Defence of Great Britain.  Disbanded 30 Apr 1968 on being absorbed into Strike Command as No 11 (Air Defence) Group.

Motto:    Offence Defence

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14 Jul 1936                       ACM Sir Hugh Dowding

25 Nov 1940                    AM Sir Sholto Douglas

28 Nov 1942                    AM Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory

15 Nov 1943                    AM Sir Roderic Hill

14 May 1945                    AM Sir James Robb

17 Nov 1947                    AM Sir William Elliott

19 Apr 1949                     AM Sir Basil Embry

 7 Apr 1953                      AM Sir Dermot Boyle

 1 Jan 1956                       AM Sir Hubert Patch  

 8 Aug 1956:                     AM Sir Thomas Pike

30 Jul 1959                       AM Sir Hector McGregor

18 May 1962                    AM Sir Douglas Morris

 3 Mar 1966                      AM Sir Frederick Rosier

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Command available in the Member Areas

Coastal Command

Coastal Command BadgeLee-on-Solent, Hampshire; Eastbury Park, Northwood, Middlesex. (from 8 Aug 1939).

Formed from Coastal Area on 14 Jul 1936.  Disbanded 28 Nov 1969 on being absorbed into Strike Command as No 18 (Maritime) Group.

Motto:    Constant Endeavour

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14 Jul 1936                           AM Sir Arthur Longmore

1 Sep 1936                           AM Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferte

18 Aug 1937                         AM Sir Frederick Bowhill

14 Jun 1941                          ACM Sir Philip Joubert de la Ferte

Air Officers of  Coastal Command in March 1942 at Northwood (Crown Copyright© expired)

L – R: (rank at time of photo)

1.  Air Vice Marshal Brian Edmund BAKER (AOC designate 16 Group) (from 1.4.42)

2.  Air Commodore William Harold  PRIMROSE (AOC Iceland)

3.  Air Vice Marshal James Milne ROBB (AOC 15 Group)

4.  Air Vice Marshal Albert DURSTON (AOC 18 Group)

5.  Air Commodore Sturley Philip SIMPSON (AOC Gibraltar)

6.  Air Chief Marshal Philip JOUBERT de la Ferte (AOC-in-C Coastal Command)

7.  Air Vice Marshal Geoffrey BROMET (AOC 19 Group)

8.  Air Commodore Ian Thomas  LLOYD (AOC 16 Group)

9.  Air Commodore Henry George SMART (AOC  17  Group)

5 Feb 1943                           AM Sir John Slessor

20 Jan 1944                          ACM Sir Sholto Douglas

30 Jun 1945                          AM Sir Leonard Slatter

 1 Nov 1948                         AM Sir John Baker

 1 Jan 1950                           AM Sir Charles Steele

 8 Jun 1951                           AM Sir Alick Stevens

15 Nov 1953                        AM Sir John Boothman

 5 Apr 1956                          AM Sir Brian Reynolds

 1 Jun 1959                           AM Sir Edward Chilton

10 Aug 1962                         AM Sir Anthony Selway

22 Jan 1965                          AM Sir Paul Holder

 2 Sep 1968                          AM Sir John Lapsley

Coastal Command and Maritime Air Association

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Command available in the Member Areas

 

Maintenance Command

Maintenance Command BadgeAir Ministry, London; RAF Andover, Hampshire. (from 7 Aug 1938); Amport House, Amport St Mary’s, Andover. (from 15 Sep 1939). 

Formed 1 April 1938 to control UK based maintenance units.  Renamed Support Command 31 Aug 1973.

Motto:    Service

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31 Mar 1938                          AM Sir John Bradley

 5 Oct 1942                            AM Sir Grahame Donald

9 Apr 1947                             AM Sir Cyril Cooke

15 Oct 1949                           AM Sir Thomas Warne-Browne

20 Dec 1952                           AM Sir Leslie Harvey

16 Jan 1956                            AM Sir Richard Jordon

 5 May 1958                           AM Sir Douglas Jackman

 1 Mar 1961                           AM Sir Leslie Dalton-Morris   

 4 Jun 1963                             AM Sir Norman Coslett

 2 Jul 1966                              AM Sir Kenneth Porter

13 Apr 1970                           AM Sir John Rowlands

 2 Jun 1973                             AM Sir Reginald Harland

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Command available in the Member Areas

 

Balloon Command

Balloon Command BadgeKelvin House, Cleveland Street, London W1; Manor House, Station Road, Stanmore, Middlesex. (from ?); Old Church Lane, Stanmore (from 1 Sep 1939?)

 

Formed 1 Nov 1938 to control all UK based Barrage Balloon units.

Motto:    Vi Et Ictu

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1 Nov 1938                     AVM O T Boyd

1 Dec 1940                     AM Sir Leslie Gossage

1 Feb 1944                      AVM W C C Gell

13 Feb 1945                    A/Cdre P L Lincoln

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Command available in the Member Areas

 

[Balloon | Bomber | Coastal | FighterMaintenance  | Training]

All Unit badges on this page are courtesy of Steve Clements

This page was last updated on 18/12/14 using FrontPage XP© 

© Crown Copyright is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of Her Majesty’s Stationery Office

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Home Commands formed 1920 - 1935      1920 - 1935                                                                                      1939 - 1957       Home Commands formed 1939 - Current