Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation


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Western Area Personnel, units and locations


[Jan 1934 | Jul 1934 | Jul 1935 | Jul 1936]

It was formed on 1 October 1933 by splitting Wessex Bombing Area in two and assumed control of the following units: -

Western Area
Station Unit
RAF Abingdon No 40 Sqn

Station Flt

RAF Bicester No 33 Sqn
RAF Bircham Newton No 35 Sqn

No 207 Sqn

RAF Upper Heyford No 18 Sqn

No 57 Sqn

No 99 Sqn

Source - No 3 Group ORB

January 1934

Location Command  
RAF Andover Air Defence of Great Britain
  • No 502 (Ulster) (Bomber) Squadron - Aldergrove

  • SHQ Andover

    • No 12 (Bomber) Squadron

    • No 101 (Bomber) Squadron

    • Station Flight

    • Air Pilotage School

  • Staff College - Andover

  • SHQ Boscombe Down

    • No 9 (Bomber) Squadron

    • No 10 (Bomber) Squadron

  • No 500 (County of Kent) (Bomber) Squadron - Manston

  • No 503 (County of Lincoln) (Bomber) Squadron - Waddington

  • SHQ Worthy Down

    • No 7 (Bomber) Squadron

    • No 58 (Bomber) Squadron

 

Rank Name Date Notes
AVM

Patrick H L Playfair

18 Sep 1933 Air Officer Commanding, CB, MC; later AM
Air Staff
Gp Capt

John C Quinnell

 1 Nov 1933 Senior Air Staff Officer, DFC; later A/Cdre
Gp Capt

John S T Bradley

 8 Nov 1931 OBE; later AM
Wg Cdr

John J Breen

 2 Jan 1932 later AM
Sqn Ldr Edward A Beaulah 23 Apr 1931  
Sqn Ldr

Eric B C Betts

 8 Aug 1932 DSC, DFC; later AVM
Personnel Staff
Sqn Ldr Alban S Ellerton  5 Aug 1930 Senior Personnel Staff Officer, OBE; later A/Cdre
Flt Lt

John A Gray

17 Dec 1932 DFC; later AVM
Equipment Staff
Wg Cdr Frederick W Stent  1 Nov 1932 Senior Equipment Staff Officer, MC
Engineer Section
Flt Lt William G Campbell 12 Mar 1933
Stores Section
Sqn Ldr Walter Thorne 25 May 1927

later AVM

Attached to the Staff
Armament
Wg Cdr

Patrick Huskinson

 1 Apr 1933 MC; later A/Cdre
Flt Lt

John L Wingate

 9 Jan 1933 later A/Cdre
Navigation
Flt Lt Cecil B Riddle 16 Dec 1932  
Services
Signals
Flt Lt

Harold F G Southey

 7 Aug 1933 later A/Cdre
Accountant
Sqn Ldr Warneford G W Prall  2 Nov 1933 later A/Cdre
Medical
Wg Cdr Arthur S Glynn 13 Jan 1933 Principal Medical Officer, MB, ChB
Educational
Major Benson Steel  1 Sep 1932 Grade II, MC, BA
Works
Mr J W Binge   Principal Works and Buildings Officer, MC, ARIBA
Warrant Officer
WO Richard K Nicholas 24 Oct 1933  
WO II Alexander Callander 30 May 1932  

Source - January 1934 Air Force List

Unit Movements Jan 1934 - Jul 1934

Unit Date Notes
No 500 (County of Kent) Sqn 23 Jan 1934 Control taken over from No 1 Air Defence Group at RAF Manston
RAF Aldergrove: -

No 502 (Ulster) Sqn

23 Jan 1934 Control taken over from No 1 Air Defence Group
RAF Waddington: -

No 503 (County of Lincoln) Sqn

23 Jan 1934 Control taken over from No 1 Air Defence Group
No 10 Sqn xx Jul 1934 Began re-equipment with Handley Page Heyfords

Source - No 3 Group ORB

July 1934

Location Command  
RAF Andover Air Defence of Great Britain
  • No 502 (Ulster) (Bomber) Squadron - Aldergrove

  • SHQ Andover

    • No 12 (Bomber) Squadron

    • No 101 (Bomber) Squadron

    • Station Flight

    • Air Pilotage School

  • Staff College - Andover

  • SHQ Boscombe Down

    • No 9 (Bomber) Squadron

    • No 10 (Bomber) Squadron

  • No 500 (County of Kent) (Bomber) Squadron - Manston

  • No 503 (County of Lincoln) (Bomber) Squadron - Waddington

  • SHQ Worthy Down

    • No 7 (Bomber) Squadron

    • No 58 (Bomber) Squadron

 

Rank Name Date Notes
AVM

Patrick H L Playfair

18 Sep 1933 Air Officer Commanding, CB, MC; later AM
Personal Appointment
Fg Off Donald McD Fenton  1 Dec 1933  
Air Staff
Gp Capt

John C Quinnell

 1 Nov 1933 Senior Air Staff Officer, DFC; later A/Cdre
Wg Cdr

John J Breen

 2 Jan 1932 later AM
Sqn Ldr Edward A Beaulah 23 Apr 1931  
Capt William Porter 23 Apr 1934 Royal Engineers
Personnel Staff
Sqn Ldr George B Dacre 18 Dec 1933 Senior Personnel Staff Officer, DSO; later A/Cdre
Flt Lt

John A Gray

17 Dec 1932 DFC; later AVM
Equipment Staff
Wg Cdr Frederick W Stent  1 Nov 1932 Senior Equipment Staff Officer, MC
Engineer Section
Flt Lt William G Campbell 12 Mar 1933
Stores Section
Wg Cdr

Henry L Crichton

14 Feb 1934 MBE; later A/Cdre
Sqn Ldr Wilfred A Glasper 19 Dec 1933  
Attached to the Staff
Armament
Wg Cdr

Patrick Huskinson

 1 Apr 1933 MC; later A/Cdre
Flt Lt

John L Wingate

 9 Jan 1933 later A/Cdre
Navigation
Flt Lt Cecil B Riddle 16 Dec 1932  
Photography
Flt Lt Stanley J Smetham 11 Jan 1934  
Services
Signals
Flt Lt

Harold F G Southey

 7 Aug 1933 later A/Cdre
Accountant
Sqn Ldr Warneford G W Prall  2 Nov 1933 later A/Cdre
Medical
Wg Cdr Arthur J Brown 23 Dec 1933 Principal Medical Officer, DSO, MRCS, LRCP
Educational
Major Benson Steel  1 Sep 1932 Grade II, MC, BA
Works
Mr E Wakford   Principal Works and Buildings Officer
Warrant Officer
WO Richard K Nicholas 24 Oct 1933 Signals

Source - July 1934 Air Force List

Unit Movements Jul 1934 - Jul 1935

Unit Date Notes
RAF Mildenhall 16 Oct 1934 Opened under the command of Wg Cdr F J Linnell
No 99 Sqn 14 Nov 1934 Began moving from RAF Upper Heyford to RAF Mildenhall
No 99 Sqn 27 Nov 1934 Completed the move from RAF Upper Heyford to RAF Mildenhall
No 101 Sqn  1 Dec 1934 Moved from RAF Andover to RAF Bicester
No 142 Sqn 17 Jan 1935 Moved from RAF Netheravon to RAF Andover
Air Pilotage School 24 Jan 1935 Renamed Air Navigation School
No 7 Sqn 29 Apr 1935 Began re-equipment with Handley Page Heyfords
No 7 Sqn 14 Jun 1935 Completed re-equipment with Handley Page Heyfords
Air Navigation School  2 Jul 1935 Began re-equipment with Avro Prefects

Source - No 3 Group ORB

July 1935

Location Command  
RAF Andover Air Defence of Great Britain
  • No 502 (Ulster) (Bomber) Squadron - Aldergrove

  • SHQ Andover

    • No 12 (Bomber) Squadron

    • No 142 (Bomber) Squadron

    • Station Flight

    • Air Navigation School

  • Staff College - Andover

  • SHQ Boscombe Down

    • No 9 (Bomber) Squadron

    • No 10 (Bomber) Squadron

  • No 500 (County of Kent) (Bomber) Squadron - Manston

  • No 99 (Bomber) Squadron - Mildenhall

  • No 503 (County of Lincoln) (Bomber) Squadron - Waddington

  • SHQ Worthy Down

    • No 7 (Bomber) Squadron

    • No 58 (Bomber) Squadron

 

Rank Name Date Notes
AVM

Patrick H L Playfair

18 Sep 1933 Air Officer Commanding, CB, MC; later AM
Personal Appointment
Fg Off Donald McD Fenton  1 Dec 1933  
Air Staff
Gp Capt

John C Quinnell

 1 Nov 1933 Senior Air Staff Officer, DFC; later A/Cdre
Sqn Ldr Robert V Goddard  1 Jan 1935 later AVM
Sqn Ldr

Cecil A Stevens

21 Dec 1934 MC; later AVM
Flt Lt Edward F Haylock 15 Apr 1935  
Personnel Staff
Sqn Ldr George B Dacre 18 Dec 1933 Senior Personnel Staff Officer, DSO; later A/Cdre
Flt Lt

John A Gray

17 Dec 1932 DFC; later AVM
Equipment Staff
Wg Cdr

Henry L Crichton

14 Feb 1934 Senior Equipment Staff Officer, MBE; later A/Cdre
Engineer Section
Sqn Ldr

Ernest J D Townesend

27 Apr 1935 later A/Cdre
Flt Lt

William G H Ewing

later A/Cdre
Stores Section
Sqn Ldr Wilfred A Glasper 19 Dec 1933  
Attached to the Staff
Armament
Wg Cdr Robert L Stevenson  1 May 1935 MBE
Flt Lt

John L Wingate

 9 Jan 1933 later A/Cdre
Navigation
Flt Lt Cecil B Riddle 16 Dec 1932  
Photography
Flt Lt Stanley J Smetham 11 Jan 1934  
Services
Signals
Flt Lt

Harold F G Southey

 7 Aug 1933 later A/Cdre
Accountant
Sqn Ldr Warneford G W Prall  2 Nov 1933 later A/Cdre
Medical
Wg Cdr Thomas Montgomery 13 May 1935 Principal Medical Officer, MD, BCh, DPH
Educational
Capt Fritz L D Davies  3 Sep 1934 Grade II, BA, BSc
Works
Mr J R Harland   Principal Works and Buildings Officer
Supernumerary
Wg Cdr

Percy E Maitland

17 Mar 1935 For Special Duty, AFC; later AVM
Flt Lt Ord D Allerton  5 Mar 1935 later A/Cdre

Source - July 1935 Air Force List

Unit Movements Jul 1934 - Jul 1935

Unit Date Notes
Air Navigation School 25 Sep 1935 Completed re-equipment with Avro Prefects
No 12 Sqn  3 Oct 1935 Struck of strength of Western Area on moving to Middle East
No 142 Sqn  3 Oct 1935 Struck of strength of Western Area on moving to Middle East
No 214 Sqn 16 Sep 1935 Formed at RAF Boscombe Down with Vickers Virginias from 'B' Flt, No 9 Sqn
No 97 Sqn 16 Sep 1935 Formed at RAF Boscombe Down with Handley Page Heyfords from 'B' Flt, No 10 Sqn
No 38 Sqn 16 Sep 1935 Formed at RAF Mildenhall with Handley Page Heyfords from 'B' Flt, No 99 Sqn
No 102 Sqn  1 Oct 1935 Formed at RAF Worthy Down with Handley Page Heyfords from 'B' Flt, No 7 Sqn
No 215 Sqn  7 Oct 1935 Formed at RAF Worthy Down with Vickers Virginias from 'B' Flt, No 58 Sqn
SHQ RAF Mildenhall 31 Dec 1935 Formed
No 58 Sqn 13 Jan 1936 Moved from RAF Worthy Down to RAF Upper Heyford ('Lodger unit' on Central Area station)
No 215 Sqn 13 Jan 1936 Moved from RAF Worthy Down to RAF Upper Heyford ('Lodger unit' on Central Area station)
SHQ RAF Aldergrove 15 Jan 1935 Formed
No 9 Sqn 20 Jan 1936 Move from RAF Andover to RAF Aldergrove completed
No 500 (County of Kent) Sqn 16 Mar 1936 Became an Auxiliary Air Force squadron and transferred to No 1 Air Defence Group
No 503 (County of Lincoln) Sqn 16 Mar 1936 Became an Auxiliary Air Force squadron and transferred to No 1 Air Defence Group
RAF Bicester  1 Apr 1936 Transferred from Central Area to Western Area control
No 101 Sqn  1 Apr 1936 Transferred from Central Area to Western Area control

Personnel Movements Jul 1934 - Jul 1935

Rank Name Date Notes
A/Cdre

John C Quinnell

 1 Aug 1935 Relinquished duties of Senior Air Staff Officer
Gp Capt

Charles O F Modin

 1 Aug 1935 Assumed duties of Senior Air Staff Officer

Source - No 3 Group ORB

It was redesignated No 3 (Bomber) Group on 1 May 1936.

[Jul 1934 | Jul 1935]

This page was last updated on 07/04/20

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