Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

 

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RAF Timeline 1946 - 1960


To view further details of each main Command development click on the Command title on the right of the timeline

For a summary click here

January 1946  
 
 
April 1946   De Havilland Vampire entered service
May 1946   1 - Reserve Command formed.

1 - King's Flight reformed

7 - CFS reformed. 

De Havilland Hornet entered service.

June 1946   2 - Auxiliary Air Force reformed
 
 
September 1946   7 - World speed record set by Gp Capt E M Donaldson at 616.81 mph in a Meteor F4.
 
 
 
January 1947  
 
 
April 1947   London-Cape Town record broken by Sqn Ldrs H B Martin and E B Sismore
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
December 1947   16 - Auxiliary Air Force given prefix 'Royal'
 
 
 
 
 
June 1948   RAF operations against Malayan terrorists begin (Operation Firedog). 

26 - Berlin Airlift begins (Operation Plainfare)

July 1948   12/14 - First crossing of Atlantic by six DH Vampires of No 54 Sqn
 
 
October 1948   Handley Page Hastings entered service
 
 
January 1949   Bristol Brigand entered service
February 1949   1 - WAAF renamed Womens' Royal Air Force
 
April 1949   North Atlantic Treaty signed forming NATO
May 1949   Berlin Airlift ends
June 1949   1 - Far East Air Force formed. 

1 - RAF Flying College formed

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
April 1950   1 - First RAF operational helicopter unit, Casualty  Evacuation Flight formed.
 
June 1950   25 - North Korea invades South Korea, the Korean War begins
July 1950   Reserve Command renamed Home Command
August 1950   Boeing Washington entered service
 
 
 
 
January 1951   Reservists called up and refresher training given to RAuxAF
February 1951   Avro Shackleton entered service
 
 
May 1951   English Electric Canberra entered service. 

26 - First RAF Royal Colours presentsd

June 1951   Vickers Varsity entered service
 
 
September 1951   1 - 2nd Tactical Air Force reformed from BAFO.
 
 
 
 
February 1952   Bristol Sycamore entered service
 
April 1952   Lockheed Neptune entered service
 
 
 
August 1952   De Havilland Venom entered service
September 1952   20 - Plt Off Jean Lennox Hall WRAFVR became first woman to be awarded RAF Flying Badge ('Wings')
October 1952   21 - First RAF units deployed against the Mau Mau in Kenya.
 
 
 
 
March 1953   12 -RAF Lincoln shot down by a Soviet fighter over East Germany killing seven.

Canadair Sabre entered service

 
 
 
July 1953   15 - Royal Review of RAF at RAF Odiham

27 - Cease fire declared in Korea

 
 
 
 
 
January 1954   1 - Last operational Spitfire sortie flown.
 
 
 
 
 
July 1954   Hawker Hunter entered service
August 1954   Supermarine Swift entered service
 
October 1954   Canberra of the RAF Flying College made first flight over the North Pole.
 
 
January 1955   Vickers Valiant entered service
February 1955   Westland Whirlwind helicopter entered service
 
 
 
 
July 1955   MEAF re-organised.
August 1955   Jet Provost introduced into 'all-jet' training programme at No 2 FTS.
 
 
 
 
 
February 1956   Lord Trenchard died. 

Gloster Javelin entered service.

March 1956   Blackburn Beverley entered service
 
May 1956   Avro Vulcan entered service
 
July 1956   De Havilland Comet entered service
 
 
October 1956   11 - First British atomic weapon tested at Monte Bello (Operation 'Grapple')

31 - British and French forces attack Egypt (Operation 'Musketeer').

November 1956   5 - British and French dropped at Port Said.
 
 
 
March 1957   10 - RAuxAF flying squadrons disbanded
 
May 1957   15 - First British H-bomb dropped.
 
 
 
 
 
November 1957   Handley Page Victor entered service.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
July 1958   Bristol Bloodhound Mk 1 entered service
 
September 1958   19 - Douglas Thor IRBM entered service
October 1958   St Clement Danes re-consecrated
November 1958   3 - Signals Command formed. 

Twin Pioneer entered service

 
 
 
 
April 1959   4 - Home Command disbanded

16 - First RAF controlled launch of a Thor IRBM in the USA.

May 1959   15 - Last sortie by RAF Flying Boat (Sunderland GR Mk 5)
June 1959   Bristol Britannia entered service
July 1959   First non stop flight (air-to-air refuelling used )from UK to Cape Town by Wg Cdr M J Beetham
 
 
October 1959   1 - First inter-service command since WW2 formed - British Force Arabian Peninsula
November 1959   1 - First Maritime HQ,  RAuxAF formed.
 
January 1960   1 - No 38 Group re-formed
 
 
 
May 1960   25/26 - Valiant of No 214 Sqn made first non-stop flight from UK to Singapore.
June 1960   20/21 - Vulcan of No 617 Sqn made first non-stop flight from UK to Australia in 20 hours 3 minutes
July 1960   31 - Operation 'Firedog' ends. 

RAF assists UN with transport facilities in Ghana. 

English Electric Lightning and Vulcan B Mk 2 entered service. 

 
 
October 1960   Westland Belvedere entered service.
 
 

This page was last updated on 21/08/12 using FrontPage XP 

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