Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation


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236 - 242 Operational Conversion Units


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236 Operational Conversion Unit

This unit formed at Kinloss to train general reconnaissance and Beaufighter crews on 31 July 1947 by redesignating No 6 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit, equipped with Lancasters, Spitfires and Beaufighters.  The Lancasters were replaced by Neptunes and later Shackletons and on 1 October 1956 it was merged with No 1 School of Maritime Reconnaissance to form the Maritime Operational Training Unit.

It was reformed by renaming MOTU at St Mawgan on 1 July 1970 to train Nimrod crews, but was disbanded on 1 October 1992 when it was renamed No 42 (Reserve) Sqn.  

Shadow/Reserve Squadron designations: -

Squadron From To
No 38 (R) 1 Jul 1970 30 Sep 1992

 Codes used: -

K7 1947 - 1951
D 1950 - 1956

Aircraft & Markings

 

237 Operational Conversion Unit

This was formed at Benson from No 8 OTU on 31 July 1947 as the Photographic Reconnaissance OCU, equipped with Mosquito and Spitfire aircraft.  It moved to Leuchars on 15 April 1948, to Benson on 3 October 1950 and then to Bassingbourn on 3 October 1951, where it was absorbed by No 231 OCU on 29 February 1952.

It reformed from C (PR) Sqn of No 231 OCU at Wyton in No 3 Groupu on 23 October 1956, equipped with Canberras, it was re-merged with No 231 OCU on 21 January 1958.

It reformed again, this time at Honington on 1 March 1971 as the Buccaneer OCU in No 1 Group.  It moved to Lossiemouth on 11 November 1984 in No 18 Group, where it disbanded on 1 October 1991, its tasking being taken over by the Buccaneer Training Flight attached to No 208 Sqn.  

Codes used: - 

BP, LE 1947 - 1951
C 1984 - 1986

Aircraft & Markings

 

238 Operational Conversion Unit

This formed at Colerne in No 81 Group  from the Airborne Interception School, to train night fighter radar operators on 15 June 1952, equipped with Brigands and Balliols.  These aircraft were eventually replaced by Meteors and Valettas.  It moved to North Luffenham on 1 January 1957, taking over the All Weather and night Fighter OCU already there, but disbanded on 13 March 1958 .

Shadow/Reserve Squadron designations: -

Squadron From To
No 165 11 Jan 1956 13 Mar 1958

Aircraft & Markings

240 Operational Conversion Unit

This formed at North Luffenham in No 4 Group from No 1382 Transport Conversion Unit on 5 January 1948 to train transport crews (medium range).  Initially equipped with Dakotas, it was transferred to No 38 Group on 2 February and  in December 1948 received Valettas and three Devons.  On 28 March 1951 it moved to Dishforth, where it merged with No 241 OCU into No 242 OCU on 16 April 1951.

It reformed by renaming No 38 Group's Air Training Squadron at Odiham on 29 December 1971.  It was now responsible for the operational training of all Support Helicopter crews using Wessex, Puma and later Chinook aircraft.  On 3 November 1980 the Wessex element moved to Benson as the Wessex Training Flight but the OCU was was disbanded by being renamed No 27 (Reserve) Squadron on 1 October 1993.  

Aircraft & Markings

241 Operational Conversion Unit

This was formed at Dishforth in No 4 Group from No 1332 Heavy Transport Conversion Unit on 5 January 1948, equipped with Yorks and Halifaxes.  It was transferred to No 38 Group on 2 February  1948 and was disbanded by being merged into No 242 OCU (together with No 240 OCU) on 16 April 1951.

It reformed at Brize Norton in No 1 Group to train crews for the Strategic Transport Force on 1 July 1970.  It did not have aircraft of its own but borrowed them from the units based at Brize Norton.  It was disbanded by being renamed No 55 (Reserve) Squadron on 1 October 1993.  

Aircraft & Markings

   

242 Operational Conversion Unit

This was formed by merging No's 240 and 241 OCUs on 16 April 1951 at Dishforth, responsible for training all transport crews.  On 29 January 1962 it moved to Thorney Island, where it was transferred to No 38 Group from Flying Training Command on 15 June 1965.  It relinquished the training of strategic crews on 1 July 1970 when No 241 OCU was reformed, after which it became purely the Hercules OCU but absorbed the Andover Training Flight on 1 November 1970.  On 31 October 1975 it moved to Lyneham, where it was disbanded by being redesignated No 57 (Reserve) Squadron on 1 July 1992.

 Aircraft & Markings

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