Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

Home Page

About this site

Quick Menu

Main Menu

Members' Area (Subscription service)

What's New

Help Needed?

Shop online from Amazon

Lopoking for ex-colleagues?

E-mail me

Please sign my guest book

Pleae read my guest book

Glossary

Bibliography

Links Page

Text links are shown below

This site has been 'Labelled with ICRA' to indicate the child friendly nature of the material contained in it

Link to Servicepals.com

In Association with Amazon.co.uk


Woodfield Publishing

- Home Page -

- About this site -

- Quick Menu -

- Main Menu -

- Members' Area -

- What's New -

- Help Needed -

- Online Store -

- Reunions -

- Contact Me -

- Sign Guest Book -

- View Guest Book -

- Glossary -

- Bibliography -


Operational Training Units 


No 1 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit

Formed 1 April 1940 at Silloth within No 17 Group from the Coastal Command Landplane Pilots Pool.  Initially it trained crews for all Coastal Command landplanes and was equipped with Ansons, Hudsons, Blenheims and Beauforts.  When other OTUs were established for the other types, No 1 concentrated on training Hudson crews.

The unit moved to Thornaby on 23 March 1943 and also took on the training of Liberator, Fortress and Halifax crews.  The Hudson training commitment was transferred to No 5 (C) OTU on 16 October 1943 and three days later No 1 disbanded, the Halifax, Fortress and Liberator training being transferred to No 1674 HCU

 Aircraft & Markings

 

No 1 Operational Training Unit, India

Formed 1 June 1942 at Risalpur as part of No 1 (Indian) Group.  It was tasked with acclimatising pilots in flying in Indian conditions using Harvards, Mohawks and Hurricanes.  Disbanded by being re-designated No 151 OTU on 28 Jul 1942

Aircraft & Markings

 

 No 2 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit

 

Formed within No 17 Group, Coastal Command at Catfoss on 1 October 1940.  It was tasked with training twin engined fighter and strike crews.  It was equipped with Blenheims for this role together with a few Ansons.  Beaufighters began to arrive in June 1941 but it was well into 1942 before these took over totally from the Blenheims. 

Other stations used as RLGs from time to time included Driffield, Sherburn-in-Elmet, Hutton Cranswick and Lissett.  Eventually the unit was training crews to operate in four home based strike squadrons, four in Middle East based squadrons and three out in the Far East. As the requirement for Beaufighter crews diminished it was decided to transfer all training to No 132 OTU and No 2 disbanded on 15 February 1944. 

Codes used: - 

ZR Dates unknown

 Aircraft & Markings

 

 No 3 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit

Formed at Chivenor on 27 November 1940, this unit took over, from No 1 (C) OTU, the training of Anson and Beaufort crews.  It had originally been planned that this unit would train Wellington and Whitley crews with Beaufort training moving to No 5 (C) OTU but failure to complete new airfields resulted in the Wellington/Whitley element moving to Kinloss with the Beauforts staying at Chivenor.  On 29 July 1941 the Wellington/Whitley element moved to Cranwell from Silloth retaining the designation No 3 (C) OTU whilst the Beaufort element was re-designated No 5 (C) OTU.

Various airfields were used by the unit including, Skellingthorpe, Bottesford, Wellingore, Langham, Squires Gate, Barkston Heath, Steeple Morton and Templeton. The unit moved to Haverfordwest in June 1943, the Ansons left in July and the Whitleys had gone by August leaving just the Wellingtons.  A Polish Flight moved in on 5 November 1943 but on 4 January 1944, the unit disbanded, its tasking being taken over by No 6 OTU.

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 4 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit

This OTU provided Flying Boat crews for Coastal Command and was formed within No 17 Group at Stranraer on 16 Mar 1941 having previously been designated the Flying Boat Training Squadron.  Equipped with Singapore IIIs initially, these were later supplemented with Stranraers, Catalinas and Lerwicks.

In June 1941 the unit moved to Invergordon and in December Sunderlands arrived.  In February 1942 the tasks of the unit were split into two with initial training being carried out at Stranraer and operational training remaining at Invergordon but in November the Stranraer element returned to  Invergordon  following expansion of the station, which was renamed Alness in February 1943.  In Oct 1943 the Catalinas were transferred to No 131 OTU, leaving No 4 to concentrate on Sunderland training. From September 1944, land based support aircraft were operated from Evanton and later Tain.  The OTU re-located south to Pembroke Dock in August 1946 and disbanded on being re-designated No 235 OCU on 31 July 1947.

 Codes used: -

TA Mar 1941 - ?, ? Jul 1947
QZ Allocated but not used

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 5 Operational Training Unit

Originally formed as the No 12 Group Pool in Fighter Command on 15 March 1940 at Aston Down.  Initially equipped with a few Gladiators and Blenheims, it was soon operating up to 40 hurricanes, 24 Blenheims as well as Masters and Defiants.  A few Spitfires were used between May and August 1940 and during the period (July) the OTU was transferred to No 10 Group.  The unit was disbanded by being renamed No 55 OTU on 1 November 1940.

It was planned to reform the unit as No 5 (Coastal) OTU, within No 17 Group at Turnberry to train Beaufort crews, but due to failure to complete the airfield on time the unit actually reformed at Chivenor on 1 August 1941, taking over the Beauforts from No 3 (C) OTU.  As well as Beauforts, the OTU also used Ansons and Oxfords.  Between 3 - 16 May 1942, the unit moved to its intended location of Turnberry, where Hampdens were added to the unit's inventory.

The unit moved again on 29 December 1942, this time to Long Kesh in Northern Ireland, using Maghaberry as a satellite from February to September 1943.  During 1943 a number of changes took place, In February, No 3 (Anson) Preliminary Training Flight was transferred to No 10 Radio School, by November, Beaufort training was being cut back due to successes in the Mediterranean and Hampdens were replaced by Venturas and Hudsons were transferred from No 1 (C) OTU.  Early in February 1944 the unit moved back to Turnberry and in April it took over No 1 Torpedo Training Unit and Beaufighters began to replace Beauforts.  In May 1944 the ASR Training Unit was absorbed from Thornaby and the unit was now operating Beaufighters, Venturas, Hudsons,  Warwicks, Oxfords and Martinets.  By the time it disbanded on 1 August 1945, it had also added Wellingtons and a Spitfire.  When it closed the Warwick commitment was transferred to No 6  (C) OTU.

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 6 Operational Training Unit

Originally formed in No 11 Group, Fighter Command on 6 March 1940 at Sutton Bridge.  Tasked with the training of fighter pilots, it was equipped with Hurricanes and Gladiators as well as small numbers of Harvards, Masters and Battles.  It was disbanded on 1 November 1940 by being re-designated No 56 OTU.

Seven months later it reformed when No 2 School of Army Co-operation at Andover was re-designated on 1 June 1941.  It was now equipped with Blenheims and operated within No 17 Group, Coastal Command; it was absorbed into No 42 OTU on 18 July 1941.

The following day the unit reformed, again in No 17 Group, but now up at Thornaby.  Initially equipped with Hudson and a few Ansons and Oxfords, the unit specialised in training General Reconnaissance crews.  In October 1942, the Hudsons were replaced by Wellingtons and around the same time it absorbed a Polish training flight from No 18 OTU and the following month a Czech flight (No 1429).  These two flights were to provide crews for the two Wellington squadron in Coastal Command crewed by nationals of these two countries.

On 10 March 1943, the unit moved to the west side of the country when it relocated to Silloth.  The Czech flight disbanded in August 1943 and the Polish flight moved to No 3 OTU in October.  In early 1944 the unit took over No 3 OTU's Leigh Light training and the Polish flight returned.  On 18 July 1945 the unit moved north to Kinloss and took over No 5 OTU's Warwick commitment in August.  Control was transferred to No 18 Group of Coastal Command on 1 September 1945 and in July 1946 the unit took over Lancaster training.  No 6 OTU was disbanded on 31 July 1947 by being re-designated No 236 OCU.

 Codes used: - 

OD Jul 1941 - Oct 1942
K7 Jul 1945 - Jul 1947
8V Allocated 1945 - 1947

 Aircraft & Markings

 

No 7 Operational Training Unit

Formed at Hawarden on 15 June 1940 within No 10 Group, to train single seat fighter pilots. initially planned to use both Spitfires and Hurricanes, by August it was purely training Spitfire Pilots using Masters and Spitfires with Battle for target towing duties.  It was disbanded on 1 November1940 when it was renumbered No 57 OTU.

It reformed at Limavady as No 7 (Coastal) OTU, within No 17 Group on 1 April 1942 at half strength.  It's role was now to train Wellington crews for Coastal Command including torpedo training.  In December 1942 it was brought up to full strength.  The need for torpedo training disappeared in August 1943, which saw a reduction in size.  In the following November the Preliminary Signals Training Flight was transferred to No 12 Radio School, in January 1944 the unit moved to Haverfordwest in Wales and on 16 May 1944 the unit was disbanded by being redesignated as No 4 Refresher Flying Unit.. 

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 8 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit

Formed at Fraserburgh on 18 May 1942 within  No 17 Group by amalgamating the Operational Training Flight of No 1 PRU and the PRU Conversion Flight of No 3 School of General Reconnaissance, it's role being to train PR Spitfire pilots.  By November 1942 it was also training PR crews for the Mosquito and in February 1943 it moved to Dyce.  In July 1943 it was transferred to No 106 (PR) Wing and from September to December 1944 it carried out operational duties over Norway.  January 1945 saw it move to Haverfordwest and a return to No 17 Group, but in June it was back under No 106 Group control.  Further moves took it to Mount Farm on 21 June 1945, Chalgrove in July 1946 and Benson in October 1946, where it finally disbanded on 31 July 1947 on being redesignated No 237 OCU.

Codes used: -

BE xxx 1946 - Jul 1947

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 9 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit

Formed at Aldergrove on 7 June 1942 within No 17 Group , to train long range fighter crews, equipped with Beaufighters, Beauforts and Oxfords.  In September 1942 it moved to Crosby-on-Eden from where, at its peak it was producing crews for five Coastal Command units as well as two in North Africa.  It disbanded on 11 August 1944, with the overseas commitment being taken over by No 79 OTU and its personnel being transferred to No 109 OTU.

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 10 Operational Training Unit

Formed at Abingdon on 8 April 1940 within No 6 Group from No's 97 and 166 Squadrons, which formed the No 4 Group Pool.   Its role was to train night bomber crews using Whitleys.  On 11 May 1942, the unit was transferred to No 91 Group and during that year it took control of an anti-submarine flight detached to St Eval and manned by crews from the Whitley OTUs.

From 20 March 1944 until 16 November 1944, its HQ moved to Stanton Harcourt whilst runways were laid at Abingdon where Wellingtons began to arrive in June 1944, the last Whitley having left by the end of September.  In December it took over the Polish Flight from No 18 OTU, which remained until disbanding on 4 June 1945 with the rest of the unit following suit on 10 September 1946

Codes used: -

UY Apr 1940 - Sep 1946
ZG Apr 1940 - Sep 1946
JL Aug 1942 - xxx xxxx
RK xxx 1941 - Sep 1946
EL Allocated from 1945

Aircraft & Markings

 | RAF Abingdon/10 OTU website |

If you have any enquiries regarding No 10 OTU click here

 

No 11 Operational Training Unit

Formed at Bassingbourn on 8 April 1940 within No 6 Group, from the Station HQ and the co-located No 215 Squadron.  Equipped with Wellingtons it's role was to train night bomber crews.  From December 1941 to February 1942 the unit operated from Tempsford whilst runways were constructed at Bassingbourn and on 11 May 1942 it was transferred to No 91 Group.  In October 1942 it completed a move to Westcott and No 92 Group, under whose control it remained until 15 June 1945 when it reverted to No No 91 Group.  It finally disbanded on 18 September 1945.

Codes used: -

KJ Apr 1940 - Sep 1945
OP Apr 1940 - Sep 1945 - 'C' Flt
TX Apr 1940 - Sep 1945 - Oakley detchment
KH xxx 1943 - Sep 1945

Aircraft & Markings

Wellington T2905 website

 

No 12 Operational Training Unit

Formed at Benson on 8 April 1940 within No 6 Group, from No's 52 and 63 Squadrons, 'C' Flight of No 12 Squadron and the No 1 Group Pool.   Initially tasked with training light bomber crews with Battles and Ansons, it absorbed No 207 Squadron on 1 May 1940 and on 1 December, now equipped with Wellingtons, it became a night bomber training unit.  In August 1941 it moved to Chipping Warden and on 11 May 1942 it was transferred to No 91 Group.  It finally disbanded on 22 June 1945.

Codes used: -

FQ Apr 1940 - Dec 1940
JP Dec 1940 - Jun 1945
ML xxx xxxx - Jun 1945

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 13 Operational Training Unit

Formed at Bicester on 8 April 1940 within No 6 Group, from the No 2 Group Pool , which comprised No's 104 and 108 Squadrons equipped with Blenheims and Ansons.  Initially training Blenheim crews for daylight operations, its role was later extended to include night intruder training.  On 15 July 1940 it was transferred to No 7 Group and on 11 May 1942 it was to No 92 Group.  In May 1943 Mitchells and Bostons were added to the unit strength as were the Mosquitos of No 1655 Mosquito Conversion Unit. 

With the transfer of No 2 Group to 2nd Tactical Air Force, No 13 OTU was transferred to No 70 Group, although No 1655 MCU left remaining with Bomber Command.  Further changes in control followed with it moving to No 9 Group on1 November 1943, No 12 Group on 15 September and No 2 Group on 12 October 1944, together with a move to Harwell.  On transfer to No 9 Group, the OTU once again acquired Mosquitoes.  Boston training ended in March 1945, at the same time absorbing No 60 OTU and in June Mitchell training ended.  In July the unit moved to Middleton St. George in No 12 Group and remained there until 21 April 1947 when it moved to Leeming, where on 1 May it merged with No 54 OTU to form No 228 OCU.

Codes used: -

FV Apr 1940 - May 1947
KQ xxx 1942 - May 1947
OY xxx 1944 - May 1947
SL xxx 1943 - May 1947
UR xxx 1943 - xxx 1944
AT Apr 1945 - xxx xxxx
XD xxx 1943 - xxx 1944
XJ Apr 1940 - May 1947

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 14 Operational Training Unit

Formed at Cottesmore on 8 April 1940 from No 185 Squadron, within No 6 Group, to train night bomber crews equipped for which it was equipped with Hampdens and Herefords.  It was transferred to No 7 Group on 15 July 1940  until 11 May 1942 when No 7 Group was renumbered No 92 Group.  From September 1942 Wellingtons began to replace the Hampdens and on 1 August 1943 it moved to Market Harborough, where it disbanded on 24 June 1945.

Codes used: -

GL Apr 1940 - xxx xxxx
AM Apr 1940 - Jun 1945
VB Apr 1940 - Jun 1945

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 15 Operational Training Unit

Formed at Harwell on 8 April 1940 from the No 3 Group Pool , which comprised No's 75 and 148 Squadrons, within No 6 Group, to train night bomber crews using Wellingtons.  It was transferred to No 7 Group on 15 July 1940  until 11 May 1942 when No 7 Group was renumbered No 92 Group.  At this point it began training crews for overseas Wellington units.  In July 1941 it moved to Mount Farm but returned to Harwell in February 1942, where it remained until disbanding on 15 March 1944.

Codes used: -

EO Apr 1940 - xxx 1943
FH Apr 1940 - Mar 1944
KK Apr 1940 - Mar 1944

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 16 Operational Training Unit

Formed at Upper Heyford on 8 April 1940 from the No 4 Group Pool , which comprised No's 7 and 76 Squadrons, within No 6 Group, to train night bomber crews equipped for which it was equipped with Hampdens and Herefords.  It was transferred to No 7 Group on 15 July 1940  until 11 May 1942 when No 7 Group was renumbered No 92 Group.  It converted to Wellingtons in April 1942 and from March to December its HQ moved to Barford St John whilst runways were laid at Upper Heyford.  It disbanded on 1 January 1945.

The unit reformed within No 92 Group the same day when No 1655 (Mosquito) Training Unit was redesigned No 16 OTU.  It remained at Upper Heyford until 1 March 1946 when it moved to Cottesmore, where it disbanded on 15 March 1947, its aircraft and personel being used to create No 231OCU and No 204 Advanced Flying School.

Codes used: -  

GA xxx 1940 - Dec 1944, Jan 1945 - Apr 1947
JS Apr 1940 - Dec 1944, Jan 1945 - Apr 1947
XG Apr 1940 - Dec 1944

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 17 Operational Training Unit

Formed at Upwood on 8 April 1940 within No 6 Group, from No's 35 and 90 Squadrons equipped with Blenheims and Ansons.  Initially training Blenheim crews for daylight operations, It was transferred to No 7 Group on 15 July 1940  until 11 May 1942 when No 7 Group was renumbered No 92 Group.  As the need for Blenheim crews reduced the OTUs strength was also reduced toward the end of 1942 and on17 April 1943 it moved to Silverstone and converted to Wellingtons.  On 15 June 1945 it was transferred to No 91 Group and at the end of September 1946 it moved to Swinderby, where it was redesignated No 201 Advanced Flying School on 15 March 1947.

Codes used: -

AY Apr 1940 - Nov 1946
JG Apr 1940 - Nov 1946

WJ

Apr 1940 - Nov 1946

 

The above three photos show the personnel on No 41 Course at No 17 OTU. 
John Llewelyn and two others in 1942
John Llewelyn during training in 1940

Photos courtesy Geraint Llewelyn, whose uncle is second from the right in the middle row of the pilots group.  He was killed on 21 Aug 1942 whilst flying in an Anson of No 19 OTU.

 

Sgt Albert Joseph Young, a member of Course No 41, 17 OTU, killed on 12 June 1942 during a bombing raid on Kings Lynn. He was attending a 21st birthday party at 'The Eagle'
Sgt Albert Joseph Young, and other members of Course No 41, 17 OTU.

Photos courtesy - William Snuggs (his great nephew)

Aircraft & Markings

No 18 (Polish) Operational Training Unit

Formed at Hucknell on 16 June1940 from the Polish Training Unit within No 6 Group, as a Battle equipped light bomber training unit for Polish crews.  In November 1940 it was reduced to a half OTU, re-equipped with Wellingtons and moved to Bramcote.  During 1941 the unit was brought up to full strength and on 11 May 1942 it was transferred to No 91 Group and then on 1 September 1942 to No 93 Group, by now it was training crews other than Poles.  In October 1942, a Polish flight was transferred to No 6 (C) OTU at Thornaby bringing the unit back down to half OTU status.  In March 1943 the unit moved to Finningley and was gradually brought back to full strength and in October 1944 it reverted to the control of No 91 Group.  In December 1944, the last Polish flight was transferred to No 10 OTU and No 18 moved to Worksop to compete its last course, disbanding on 30 January 1945.

Codes used: -

XW Jun 1940 - xxx xxxx

VQ

xxx xxxx - xxx xxxx

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 19 Operational Training Unit

Formed at Kinloss on 27 May 1940 within No 6 Group, with Whitleys to train night bomber crews, a type it continued to use until 1944 long after the type had been retired from Bomber Command.  On 11 May 1942 it was transferred to No 91 Group and eventually began re-equipping with Wellingtons in August 1944.  It finally disbanded on 26 June 1945.

Codes used: -

UO May 1940 - Jun 1945

ZV

May 1940 - xxx 1943
XF May 1940 - Jun 1945

No 19 OTU Website

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 20 Operational Training Unit

Formed at Lossiemouth on 27 May 1940 within No 6 Group as a Wellington equipped night bomber training unit.  On 11 May 1942 it was transferred to No 91 Group and finally disbanded on 17 July 1945.

Codes used: -

JM Apr 1940 - Jul 1945

XL

May 1940 - Jul 1945
YR May 1940 - Jul 1945
ZT xxx 1940 - xxx 1943
MK Jul 1944 - Mar 1945
AI xxx xxxx - Mar 1945

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 21 Operational Training Unit

Formed at Moreton-in-Marsh on 21 January 1941 from an element supplied by No 15 OTU, within No 6 Group.  Equipped with Wellingtons, it trained night bomber crews for the rest of the war.  On 11 May 1942 it was transferred to No 91 Group. and in November 1946 it moved to Finningley being disbanded there by being renamed No 202 Advanced Flying School on 15 March 1947

Codes used: -

ED Apr 1941 - Mar 1947

SJ

Apr 1941 - xxx 1943
UH Apr 1941 - Mar 1947

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 22 Operational Training Unit

Formed at Wellesbourne Mountford on 14 April 1941 within No 6 Group.  Equipped with Wellingtons, it trained night bomber crews for the rest of the war. On 11 May 1942 it was transferred to No 91 Group and in July was raised to 1 OTU status.  Reverting to normal OTU status in February 1943 it concentrated on training RCAF crews, being expanded to 1 OTU status when 'B' Flight of No 23 OTU was absorbed, until disbanding 24 July 1945

Codes used: -

DD Apr 1941 - Jul 1945

LT

Apr 1941 - Jul 1945
XN xxx 1941 - Jul 1945
OX xxx 1943 - xxx xxxx

Aircraft & Markings

 

No 23 Operational Training Unit

Formed at Pershore on 1 April 1941 within No 6 Group Equipped with Wellingtons, it trained night bomber crews for the rest of the war. On 11 May 1942 it was transferred to No 91 Group being reduced and then increased in status on a number of occasions until disbanding on 15 March 1944 with 'B' Flight being transferred to No 22 OTU.

Codes used: -

BY Apr 1941 - Apr 1943

FZ

Apr 1941 - Mar 1944
WE Apr 1943 - Mar 1944

Aircraft & Markings

 

This page was last updated on 19/02/14 using FrontPage XP

Return to Main Menu Main Menu                                        [Top of Page]                    OTUs Page 2          Operatioanal Training Units Page 2