Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation


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Group No's 20 - 29


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No 20 Group

This formed at 14 Randolph Crescent, Edinburgh on 1 April 1918 in No 5 Area, which was redesignated North-Western Area on 8 May 1918.   On 1 July it absorbed No 21 Group and on 8 August it became No 20 (Training) Group. It disbanded into No 17 Group on 1 October 1919.

It reformed at Buntingsdale Hall, Market Drayton on 30 November 1939 as No 20 (Training) Group in Training Command.   It initially controlled Nos 3, 6, 8, 9and 10 Schools of Technical Training and Nos 3-7 Recruits Receiving Centres.  When Training Command was split into Flying Training and Technical Training Command on 27 May 1940, No 20 Group was transferred to the latter.  It was absorbed into No 22 Group on 1 August 1943.

Air Officers Commanding

1 Apr 1918         Lt Col-Col W G S Mitchell

28 Sep 1919 - 30 Nov 1939    Disbanded

1 Dec 1939         AVM L L D McKean

24 Mar 1941      AVM A J Capel

25 Jul 1941        AVM Sir Christopher Brand

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Group available in the Members' Area

 

No 21 Group

Originally formed on 1 April 1918 at Montrose within No 5 Area, it transferred to North-Western Area on 8 May 1918 and disbanded on being absorbed into No 20 Group on 1 July 1918. 

It reformed as No 21 (Training) Group, on 12 April 1926 when No 1 Group was renamed.  Part of Inland Area, it was based at West Drayton and controlled stores and repair depots, schools and the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment  (Noís 15 and 22 Squadrons) at Martlesham Heath.  It disbanded on 1 February 1934, with all units being taken over for direct control by HQ Inland Area.

It reformed, once again, as No 21 (Training) Group on 1 December 1938 at Cranwell within Training Command.  When Training Command was split into Flying Training and Technical Training Command on 27 May 1940, No 21 Group was transferred to the former.  It was responsible for the RAF College and the SFTSs from the Midlands northwards.  It moved to Spitalgate on 28 July 1944 and took over the old No 5 Group HQ "St Vincent's" in Grantham on 7 March 1946.  It absorbed No 91 Group, Bomber Command on 1 May 1947, taking over that Groupís HQ at Moreton Hall, Swinderby and absorbed No 54 Group on 24 June 1953, disbanding on 1 March 1955.

Air Officers Commanding

1 Apr 1918         ?

1 Jul 1918 - 12 Apr 1926    Disbanded

20 Aug 1926         Gp Capt A G Board

xx xxx 1927 ?

15 Feb 1928         Gp Capt A B Burdett

16 Dec 1929         Gp Capt L W B Rees VC

7 Aug 1931           Gp Capt C H K Edmonds

25 Jan 1932          Gp Capt G P Grenfell

1 Feb 1934 - 1 Dec 1938    Disbanded

1 Dec 1938            AVM J E A Baldwin

17 Jul 1939            AVM B E Sutton

29 Aug 1939          A/Cdre H V Champion de Crespigny

 3 jun 1940            AVM R P Willock

15 Oct 1943          AVM H V Champion de Crespigny 

15 Jul 1945           A/Cdre J G Hawtrey

1946 - 47              A/Cdre G H Vasse

1947 - 48              AVM F J W Mellersh

1948 - 49              AVM C A Bouchier

28 Mar 1949         AVM G G Banting

Mar 1951              AVM J D Breakey

6 Jul 1951              AVM A McKee

1 Nov 1953           AVM G E Nicholetts

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Group available in the Members' Area

 

No 22 Group

It was due to form at Dundee on  1 Apr 1918, in No 5 Area but this did not take place.  It eventually formed at the Station Hotel, Stirling on 1 July 1918 in North-Western Area, to control the ex RNAS Airship stations at East Fortune, Longside and Luce Bay as well as various land and seaplane stations in Scotland.  The title (Operations) was added on 8 August 1918 and disbanded on 30 May 1919, with its remaining units being transferred to No 18 Group.

It reformed at RAF South Farnborough as No 22 (Army Co-Operation) Group in 12 April 1926 from No 7 Group within Inland Area. On 17 February 1936 it was transferred to ADGB and on 1 May was raised to Command status.   However, its new status was short-lived on it reverted to group status and was placed under the control of the newly formed Fighter Command on 14 July 1936.  With the prospect of war looming, it was earmarked to provide the Army Co-operation element of the Air Component of the BEF.  As a result it re-located to the continent with the BEF just prior to the outbreak of war.  Following the collapse of France it returned to the UK and as a result was once again raised to Command status on 24 June 1940 and was then expanded to form Army Co-Operation Command on 1 December 1940.

It reformed, once again on 1 August 1943 at Buntingsdale Hall, Market Drayton as No 22 (Technical Training) Group, in Technical Training Command.  It remained there after the war and when Flying Training and Technical Training Commands were amalgamated into Training Command in 1968, it assumed responsibility for pre-entry and initial training until disbanding on 31 January 1972.

On 30 October 2006, it was reformed as No 22 (Training) Group at Innsworth when Training Group was renamed.  In 2007 it moved to High Wycombe to join HQ Air Command and is now is responsible for the recruitment, selection, initial training and professional training of all RAF personnel as well as providing technical training for the relevant elements of the Army and Royal Navy. The Group also provides education and continual development for RAF personnel throughout their careers.

Air Officers Commanding

1 Jul 1918         Col/Brig-Gen E A D Masterman

30 May 1919 - 12 Apr 1926    Disbanded

12 Apr 1926         A/Cdre D le G Pitcher

9 Apr 1929           A/Cdre N D K MacEwen

14 Sep 1931         A/Cdre H LeM Brock

30 Jun 1936          A/Cdre-AVM B E Sutton

3 Jul 1939             AVM C H B Blount

15 Sep 1939         AVM N D K MacEwen

30 May 1940        AVM C H B Blount

23 Oct 1940          ?

20 Nov 1940        AM Sir Arthur Barratt

1 Dec 1940 - 1 Aug 1943    Disbanded

1 Aug 1943           AVM C E V Porter

1946 - 48              AVM A C Stevens

19 Jan 1948           AVM P E Maitland

15 Jun 1950           AVM B V Reynolds

25 Aug 1952          AVM W H Merton

1 Dec 1953            AVM J L F Fuller-Good

15 Jan 1957           AVM R Faville

12 Sep 1960          AVM B A Chacksfield

12 Nov 1962         AVM A A Case

15 Jan 1966           AVM W V Crawford-Crompton

1 Jul 1968              AVM G R Magill

1 Jan 1970             AVM E Plumtree

31 Jan 1972 - 30 Oct 2006     Disbanded

30 Oct 2006            AVM J M M Ponsonby

xx Jul 2007              AVM R F Garwood

xx Jul 2009              AVM B M North

26 Feb 2010            AVM M C Green

14 Oct 2011            AVM M G Lloyd

xx Jul 2014              AVM A M Turner

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Group available in the Members' Area

 

No 23 Group

This was formed at the Adelphi Hotel, Argyle Street, Glasgow on 1 April 1918 as No 23 (Equipment) Group in No 5 Area, which became North-Western Area on 8 May 1918 and disbanded on 10 May 1918.

It reformed at Spittlegate on 12 April 1926 as No 23 Group in Inland Area by re-numbering No 3 Group, to control all UK training units and on 14 August moved to "St Vincent's", Grantham.  On 1 May 1936 it was transferred to Training Command (renamed from Inland Area) and was redesignated No 23 (Training) Group.  It moved to Spittlegate on on 2 October 1937 and then to South Cerney in October 1939.  When Training Command was split into Flying Training and Technical Training Command on 27 May 1940, No 23 Group was transferred to the former.  It was retained after the war  and on 28 September 1946 moved to Oxenden House, Plantation Road, Leighton Buzzard.  From 1 January 1957 it was responsible for Nos 1 - 8 FTS, moving to RAF Church Fenton on 14 Sep 1959, RAF Dishforth on 8 March 1962 and finally to Linton-on-Ouse on 11 July 1966, where it disbanded on 2 May 1975.

Air Officers Commanding

1 Apr 1918.            ?

10 May 1918 - 12 Apr 1926    Disbanded

12 Apr 1926             A/Cdre I M Bonham-Carter

15 Dec 1927             A/Cdre B C H Drew

15 Dec 1929             A/Cdre P B Joubert de la Ferte

6 Sep 1930               A/Cdre P F M Fellowes

31 Oct 1932             A/Cdre P H L Playfair

xx xxx 1933              AVM H R Nicholl

16 Apr 1934             A/Cdre C D Breese

27 Feb 1937             AVM L A Pattinson

27 Dec 1940             AVM K R Park

28 Jan 1942              AVM D Harries

 2 Aug 1943             AVM M Thomas

8 Mar 1944              AVM C E W Lockyer

xx xxx 1945              AVM F F Inglis

3 Feb 1947               AVM A P Ledger

20 Feb 1950             AVM L Darvall

xx xxx 1952              AVM A Hesketh

9 Apr 1952               AVM F W Long

12 Oct 1953             AVM G D Harvey

19 Dec 1955             AVM H R Graham

1 Dec 1958               AVM C Scragg

15 Dec 1960             AVM W E Coles

29 Aug 1963             AVM P T Philpott

23 Aug 1965             AVM M D Lyne

15 Dec 1967             AVM H Burton

6 Feb 1970               AVM H A C Bird-Wilson

3 Mar 1973               AVM J Gingell

xx xxx 1975

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Group available in the Members' Area

 

No 24 Group

This was formed as Castle Grove, Leeds on 26 June 1918 in 6th Brigade to control 46 and 48 Wings as No 24 (Northern) (Operations), the title (Northern) being dropped on 8 August 1918.  At some point it moved to Moor House, Leeds and was authorised to move to Tadcaster aerodrome on 24 May 1919 but disbanded on 13 June 1919.

It reformed at RAF Halton on 10 July 1936 as No 24 (Training) Group in Training Command.  When Training Command was split into Flying Training and Technical Training Command on 27 May 1940, No 24 Group was transferred to the latter, becoming No 24 (Technical Training) Group.  On 3 November 1940 it moved to the Bell Hotel, Gloucester, followed by moves to Hindlip Hall, near Worcester on  19 January 1941, Hereford in October 1944 and Halton in February 1945.  It remained active in the post-war RAF with yet more moves to Green Park Hotel (later Howard Park), Aston Clinton Aylesbury in December 1945, RAF Spitlegate on 25 March 1954 and finally Rudloe Manor on 1 September 1958.  In 1968 it transferred to the Training Command on the disbandment of Technical Training Command and disbanded on 29 December 1975.

Air Officers Commanding

Jul 1918             ?

13 Jun 1919 - 10 Jul 1936    Disbanded

10 Jul 1936          AVM J T Babington

22 Sep 1938        AVM P C Maltby

23 Nov 1940       AVM B E Sutton

1940                    A/Cdre G B Dacre

25 Feb 1943        AVM H H MacL Fraser

10 Jan 1944         AVM K M St C G Leask

15 Jan 1948         AVM L G Harvey

31 Dec 1949        AVM R O Jones

8 Sep 1952          AVM J G Franks

15 Feb 1955        AVM G B Beardsworth

1 Apr 1957          AVM H D Speckley

1 Jan 1959           AVM J Marson

27 Jul 1961          AVM T N Coslett

27 Mar 1963        AVM J K Rotherham

18 Jun 1965          AVM B Robinson

25 Aug 1967         AVM J H Hunter-Tod

13 Feb 1970         AVM R E W Harland

29 Jan 1972          AVM C S Betts

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Group available in the Members' Area

 

No 25 Group

This Group was planned to form on 22 June 1918, as No 25 (Southern) (Operations) Group but these were not implemented.  It eventually formed at Luce Bay on 12 August 1918 as No 25 (Operations) Group in North Western Area, where it controlled Nos 258 & 273 Squadrons and Airship Stations at Luce Bay and Larne, disbanding on 12 June 1919.

It reformed at Eastchurch on 1 December 1937 in Training Command as No 25 (Armament) Group by renaming Armament Group.  It moved to Brize Norton on 28 June 1939, then on 31 January 1940 to Buntingsdale Hall, Market Drayton and when Training Command was split into Flying Training and Technical Training Command on 27 May 1940, No 25 Group was transferred to the former.   It was responsible for all armament training schools including the Air Armament School at Manby and the CGS at Sutton Bridge.  However, on 7 July 1942 the AGSs and (O) AFUs in Northern England were transferred to No.29 Group, with No 25 retaining responsibility for AGSs and (O)AFUs in the Midlands and Wales as well as No 1 AAS, the CGS and the CNS.  It was retained at part of the post-war RAF, moving to "St Vincent's", Grantham on 26 April 1947 but disbanded on 15 April 1948.

It reformed at Manby as No 25 (Flying Training) Group on 20 March 1951 to control the FRSs and AFSs (Jet).  It moved to White Waltham on 28 January 1961, where was absorbed into No 22 Group and disbanded on 1 June 1968.

Air Officers Commanding

22 Jun 1918 ?

? 1920 - 1 Feb 1937    Disbanded

1 Feb 1934          A/Cdre L A Pattinson

18 Feb 1937        A/Cdre A G R Garrod

xx xxx 1938         A/Cdre G B Dacre

17 Aug 1938        A/Cdre H M Cave-Browne-Cave

24 Feb 1939         A/Cdre H V Champion de Crespigny

27 Jan 1942         A/Cdre - AVM E D Davis

12 Dec 1945:       A/Cdre C H N Bilney

1947 - 48             A/Cdre G H Vasse

15 Apr 1948 - 20 Mar 1951    Disbanded

20 Mar 1951         AVM R B Jordon

11 Feb 1953         AVM H H Brookes

17 Aug 1954         AVM H A Constantine

23 Apr 1956         AVM H H Brookes

13 Oct 1958         AVM J F Hobler

1 Feb 1961           AVM H J Kirkpatrick

14 Jan 1963          AVM P D Holder

19 Oct 1964         AVM R I Jones

22 May 1967        AVM G R Magill

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Group available in the Members' Area

 

No 26 Group

It was formed in August 1918 as No 26 (Training) Group at Heliopolis in Egypt. It task was to control all training units in Egypt, which consisted on 38th Wing, 20th Wing, 32nd Wing and 69th Wing plus No3 School of Aeronautics and No 3 Cadet Wing, it disbanded in March 1919. 

It reformed at The Hyde, Hendon on 1 December 1937 by renaming HQ Superintendent of the Reserve and Inspector of Civil Flying Training Schools within Training Command to control all the E & R FTS's. It was  redesignated No 50 (Reserve) Group and transferred to Reserve Command on 3 February 1939.

It reformed at Cranwell on 12 February 1940 as No 26 (Signals) Group in Training Command, moving to Bridge House, Iver, Buckinghamshire on 23 March 1940.  When Training Command was split into Flying Training and Technical Training Command on 27 May 1940, No 26 Group was transferred to the latter.   On 10 February 1942 it was transferred to Bomber Command and by July 1943 was responsible for Nos 80 and 81 Wings, Nos 1 and 2 Signals Depots, North-West and South Western Signals Centres, RAF Leighton Buzzard, W/T Receiving Station, Redbrae, W/T Transmitting Station, Symington, RAF Chigwell, Base Signals Unit Chigwell, RAF Hinton-in-the-Hedges, No 105 (Combined Operations) Wing (whilst in UK), AMCS Harrogate and AMCS (ZA).  It was amalgamated with No 60 Group to form No 90 Group on 25 April 1946.

Air Officers Commanding

xx Nov 1918         ?

? 1919 - 1 Dec 1937    Disbanded

1 Dec 1937         A/Cdre C W H Pulford

7 Nov 1938         A/Cdre S W Smith

3 Feb 1939 - 12 Feb 1940    Disbanded

 6 Feb 1940              A/Cdre J H Simpson

15 Sep 1942             AVM O G W G Lywood

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Group available in the Members' Area

 

No 27 Group

It was to have formed around July 1918 as No.27 (Operations) Group at Salonika and taking over 16th Wing but formation never took place.  It was eventually formed in Room 230, Air Ministry, London on 29 August 1918 as part of the Independent Air Force, moving to Bircham Newton on 11 October. With the need for the IAF having disappeared the Group became responsible for long-distance communication flights with Nos5 - 8 Communications Squadrons, disbanding on 19 May 1919. 

It was to have reformed on 1 March 1939 in Reserve Command but was formed as No 51 (Reserve) Group instead.

It reformed at Langley Hall, Slough on 26 May 1941 as No 27 (Signals Training) Group, in Technical Training Command, moving to Lechlade on 7 July 1941. Responsible for all Radio Schools, it remained active in the post-war RAF, moving to Southrop on 22 January 1945, Debden on 18 September1947, Colerne on 15 September 1949 and finally to Yatesbury, later renamed Cherhill, on 20 July 1953, by which time it was also responsible for training radio and radar mechanics, fitters and operators. It disbanded on 1 October 1958.

Air Officers Commanding

xx Aug 1918         Lt Col R H Mulock

19 May 1919 - 26 May 1941    Disbanded

10 May 1941        A/Cdre/AVM J R Cassidy

 1 Apr 1946:         AVM R G Hart

1948 - 49             A/Cdre W J Seward

17 Jan 1949          A/Cdre E H Richardson

15 Jan 1951          A/Cdre B D Nicholas

10 Aug 1953         A/Cdre R L Phillips

1 Jun 1957            A/Cdre C M Stewart

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Group available in the Members' Area

 

 

No 28 Group

This was formed at Stenness on 13 July 1918 as No 28 (Orkney & Shetland Islands) Group under C-in-C, Grand Fleet. It disbanded on 15 April 1919, with its units being transferred to No 29 Group. 

It reformed as No 28 (Technical Training) Group at 17/19 Queens Square, London WC 2 within Technical Training Command on 1 November 1942 taking over units from Nos 20 and 24 Groups and assuming executive control of these on 1 January 1943.  Post-war it moved to Uxbridge on 24 February 1959 but disbanded on 6 March 1950.

Air Officers Commanding

xx Aug 1918         ?

15 Apr 1919 - 1 Nov 1942    Disbanded

 1 Nov 1942        A/Cdre J C Quinnell

1944                    AVM H T Lydford

23 Feb 1945         AVM A McGregor

1946 - 47             AVM A P Ledger

1947 - 48/49        AVM C A Stevens

21 Feb 1949         AVM F R D Swain

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Group available in the Members' Area

 

No 29 Group

It had a brief existence in November 1918 as No 29 (Training) Group in Egypt, controlling the Air Observer School, No 3 School of Navigation and Bomb Dropping, Armament School and No 5 Flying School.

It reformed at 12 Great Stuart Street, Princes Street. Edinburgh on 27 November 1918 as No 29 (Operations) Group under C-in-C, Grand Fleet with Command status, soon moving to North Queensferry.  On 15 September 1919 it was taken over by Coastal Area, and renamed No 29 (Fleet) Group, controlling Fleet shore stations and RAF units serving in fighting ships and aircraft carriers.  It moved to Donibristle on on 21 June 1921 but disbanded on 31 March 1922.

It reformed again on 1 July 1942 at Buntingsdale Hall, Market Drayton as No 29 (Flying Training) Group, within Flying Training Command by splitting No 25 Group. On 7 July it moved to Cargen House, near Dumfries, taking control of all Air Gunner Schools and (O)AFUs in Northern England and disbanded by being absorbed into No 25 Group between 14-19 July 1945.

Air Officers Commanding

xx Nov 1918             ?

27 Nov 1918          Brig-Gen J M Steel

16 Jul 1919             Gp Capt R H Clark-Hall

21 Oct 1921:           Gp Capt C S Burnett

31 Mar 1922 - 1 Jul 1942    Disbanded

xx xxx 1942                ?

 2 Oct 1943                A/Cdre L G leB Croke

Listings of units and personnel controlled by this Group available in the Members' Area

This page was last updated on 29/10/17 

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