marg


Home Page
Flying Units
Projects
Crashes
Help
Virtual Museum
Contact

Military flying units in the south west Midlands - page under development

Please help us find photographs of aircraft of these units, in the Midlands



First World War flying units in the south Midlands

Between the wars flying units in the south Midlands

Second World War RAF Squadrons in the south Midlands

Second World War other RAF units, including Operational Training Units in the South Midlands









World War 1 1914-1918

Training (Reserve) and Home Defence squadrons were established at Castle Bromwich and Lilbourne in Warwickshire.  Aircraft Parks received the newly built aircraft from the factories, at Castle Bromwich and also at Radford and later Whitley in Coventry. 

Names of the people believed to have served in Warwickshire in the First World War and 1920s

First world war RFC and RAF squadrons and other units in the south west Midlands

Flying unit
Main aircraft flown
Midlands airfields used
From
Until
Comments
1 Aircraft Acceptance Park
RE8, SE5A
Radford (Coventry)
1915
1919
Received newly built aircraft from factories in Coventry and Birmingham, prepared them and despatched them. Personnel list.
14 Aircraft Acceptance Park
0/400, SE5A
Castle Bromwich 4/1918
4/1920
Received newly built aircraft from factories in Birmingham, prepared them and despatched them
5 Reserve/ Training Squadron
Maurice Farman Shorthorns and Longhorns
Castle Bromwich
11/5/1915
12/12/1917
Initial training unit
10 Training Squadron
Avro 504, Camel
Lilbourne
7/4/1918
25/6/1918

19 Squadron
Avro 504, Maurice Farman Shorthorns and Longhorns Castle Bromwich 1/9/1915
1/1916
Formed from 5 Reserve Squadron
28 Reserve/ Training Squadron
Avro 504, Pup, SE5A
Castle Bromwich
1/6/1916
1/7/1918

34 Squadron
BE2c, BE2e
Castle Bromwich, Lilbourne 7/1/1916
10/7/1916
Formed from 19 Squadron
34 Reserve/ Training Squadron
Avro 504, 1  Strutter
Castle Bromwich
1/11/1916
13/11/1916

38 Squadron
BE2, BE12
Castle Bromwich 14/7/1916
1/10/1916
Formed as a Home Defence squadron
44 Reserve/ Training Squadron Avro 504, DH4, RE7
Lilbourne
2/11/1916
13/11/1916
Formed from 55 Squadron at Lilbourne
49th Aero Squadron
Any?  See comments
Castle Bromwich
1/2/1918
24/6/1918
American unit, initially A and D flights only and personnel attached to the British units for training; entire squadron present from 5/4/18
54 Squadron
Avro 504, BE2c, Pup
Castle Bromwich 15/5/1916
22/12/1916
Formed as a fighter squadron
54 Reserve/ Training Squadron Avro 504, Camel, Pup, SE5A Castle Bromwich 12/12/1917
6/7/1918

55 Squadron
Avro 504, BE2, DH4, FK8
Castle Bromwich, Lilbourne 27/4/1916
6/3/1917
Formed as a training unit before taking DH4s to France
55 Training Squadron Avro 504, Camel, Pup, SE5A Castle Bromwich, Lilbourne
15/1/1918
7/1918
Reformed out of 28 Training Squadron
67 Reserve/ Training Squadron Camel, Pup
Castle Bromwich 3/6/1917
11/6/1917
Formed out of 28 Training Squadron
71 Squadron
Avro 504, 1  Strutter Castle Bromwich 27/3/1917
18/12/1917
Formed as Australian squadron; renamed 4 Squadron Australian Flying Corps in France, January 1918
73 Squadron
Camel
Lilbourne
10/7/1917
9/1/1918
Formed as a fighter squadron and trained/ worked up before moving to France
74 Reserve/ Training Squadron Avro 504, Camel, SE5A Castle Bromwich 1/12/1917
27/6/1918

84 Squadron
Avro 504, Camel, Pup Lilbourne
23/3/1917
23/9/1917
Formed as a fighter squadron and trained/ worked up before moving to France
115 Squadron
0/400
Castle Bromwich 17/7/1918
1/9/1918
Received Handley Page 0/400 bombers and trained/ worked up before moving to France

Please help us find photographs of aircraft of these units, in the Midlands

Between the wars 1919-1939

The First World War airfields were joined by a few municipal airports and, during the Expansion Period, new military airfields were built at Bramcote and Ansty in Warwickshire.  Armstrong-Whitworth at Whitley and later Baginton built and test flew their own aircraft.  Austin at Longbridge also test flew from their own airfield. 

Flying unit
Main aircraft flown
Midlands airfields used
From
Until
Comments
605 Squadron
DH9A, Wapiti, Hart, Hind, Gladiator
Castle Bromwich
5/10/1926
27/8/1939
Auxiliary Air Force, recruiting in Birmingham; later became a fighter squadron, distinguished in the Battle of Britain; codes HE-
4 Civilian Air Navigation School
Anson
Ansty
9/1938
10/1939
Became 4 Air Observer Navigation School
3 Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School DH9J
Whitley
31/7/1923
1/4/1931
Known as the Armstrong Whitworth Reserve School; training of RAF pilots, under contract from the Air Ministry; moved to Hamble
9 Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School
Hart, Hind, Moth, Cloud, Anson
Ansty
6/1/1936
3/9/1939
Operated by Air Services Training at Hamble, under contract from the Air Ministry; re-designated 9 EFTS when war broke out
14 Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School Hart, Hind, Tiger Moth
Castle Bromwich
1/7/1937
3/9/1939
Operated by Airwork Ltd, under contract from the Air Ministry; disbanded into 14 EFTS when war broke out
44 Elementary and Reserve Flying Training School Hind
Elmdon
1/5/1939
3/9/1939
Operated by Airwork Ltd, under contract from the Air Ministry; re-designated 14 EFTS when war broke out

The names of the people believed to have served in Warwickshire in the First World War and 1920s can be accessed by clicking the links below
 - Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force.

Please contact us if you are related to somebody on the list, or know of a photograph of them. If original photographs or papers are still in the family, we can help to caption photographs and explain the codes and nicknames that were used at the time. We appreciate the opportunity to copy original material for the museum's archive.

RFC & RAF officers A-E
RFC & RAF officers F-L
RFC & RAF officers M-R
RFC & RAF officers S-Z

RFC & RAF other ranks A-E
RFC & RAF other ranks F-L
RFC & RAF other ranks M-R
RFC & RAF other ranks S-Z

Personnel at Radford Aerodrome (1 Aircraft Acceptance Park)

World War 2 1939-1945

The Midlands was considered to be far enough away from enemy action to be used for training.  The need to defend Birmingham and Coventry at night and the involvement of the bomber operational training units in live raids led to a mixture of operational and non-operational flying.  The skies of Warwickshire and Worcestershire were often crowded with Tiger Moths and Oxfords of Training Command, Hurricanes and Beaufighers of Fighter Command and Whitleys and Wellingtons of Bomber Command.  The Bomber Command activity was on a mammoth scale, with flying round the clock from the numerous operational training units based locally. 

Midlands based aircraft lost on operations

Please help us find photographs of aircraft of these units, in the Midlands

Second world war RAF squadrons in the south west Midlands, excluding brief visitors: principal units shown red

Squadron
Main aircraft flown
Midlands airfields used
From
Until
Comments
32 Squadron
Hurricane II
Honiley, Baginton
9/9/1942
25/11/1942
Non-operational, training for invasion of North Africa, to where it went; codes GZ-
56 Squadron
Typhoon I
Honiley
3/1942
3/1942 ?
Non-operational detachment under Hugh Dundas working up on new Typhoons; codes US-
79 Squadron
Hurricane II
Baginton
27/12/1941
4/3/1943
Preparing for a move to the Far East, to where it went; codes NV-
91 Squadron
Spitfire V and XII
Honiley
20/4/1943
9/5/1943
Non-operational, converting to Spitfire XII; codes DL-
96 Squadron
Defiant
Honiley
5/1941
5/1941
Detachment from Cranage for defence of Birmingham and Coventry; codes ZJ
96 Squadron
Beaufighter II and VI
Honiley
9/6/1942
4/8/1943
Detachment then full squadron for night defence of the Midlands; used Ford as advanced base for intruder operations when enemy activity was low; codes ZJ-
116 Squadron
Various, mainly Tiger Moth
Honiley


Anti-aircraft calibration flights; codes II-
130 Squadron
Spitfire V
Honiley
5/7/1943
4/8/1943
Codes PJ-
135 Squadron
Hurricane II
Baginton, Honiley
15/8/1941
10/11/1941
Formed, using Hurricane IIAs from 605 Squadron as that unit converted to Hurricane IIBs; moved to Far East; codes WK-
151 Squadron
Defiant I, Hurricane I
Bramcote
28/11/1940
6/12/1940
First effective night defence of the Midlands, continued from Wittering; codes DZ-
215 Squadron
Harrow II, Wellington I
Bramcote
10/9/1939
24/9/1939
Probably emergency dispersal from East Anglia; codes LG-
219 Squadron
Mosquito XVII
Honiley
15/3/1944
26/3/1944
Recently returned from North Africa; codes FK-
255 Squadron
Beaufighter VI
Honiley
6/6/1942
13/11/1942
Night defence of the Midlands before taking part in the invasion of North Africa; codes YD-
257 Squadron
Hurricane I and II, Spitfire V
Honiley
7/11/1941
6/6/1942
From 1/42 worked with Havocs of 1456 Turbinlite flight; codes FM-
285 Squadron
Various, mainly Defiant and Oxford
Honiley
29/10/1942
27/8/1943
Anti-aircraft calibration flights; codes VG-
300 Squadron
Battle I
Bramcote
1/7/1940
22/8/1940
Formed with Polish personnel; converted to Wellingtons after leaving; codes BH-
301 Squadron
Battle I
Bramcote
26/7/1940
28/8/1940
Formed with Polish personnel; bombed invasion barges & converted to Wellingtons after leaving; codes GR-
304 Squadron
Battle I, Wellington Ic
Bramcote
22/8/1940
2/12/1940
Formed with Polish personnel; converted fully to Wellingtons after leaving; codes HR-? and NZ-
305 Squadron
Battle I, Wellington Ic Bramcote
29/8/1940
4/12/1940
Formed with Polish personnel; converted fully to Wellingtons after leaving; codes SM-
308 Squadron
Hurricane I, Spitfire I
Baginton
25/9/1940
1/6/1941
Polish fighter squadron providing daylight defence of the Midlands; codes ZF-
403 Squadron
Tomahawk I
Baginton
1/3/1941
30/5/1941
Newly formed Canadian fighter squadron, converted to Spitfires before leaving; codes KH-
414 Squadron USAAF
Beaufighter VI
Honiley
5/1943
30/6/1943
American night fighter crews being trained by RAF counterparts; not much known
457 Squadron
Spitfire
Baginton & Honiley
16/6/1941
7/8/1941
Newly formed Australian fighter squadron; codes BP-
605 Squadron
Hurricane II
Baginton, Honiley & Bramcote 31/5/1941
31/10/1941
Night and day defence of the Midlands; left for Mediterranean but ground echelon was diverted to the Far East and captured by the Japanese; codes ZF-

Please help us find photographs of aircraft of these units, in the Midlands

Other second world war RAF units in the south west Midlands, excluding brief visitors: principal units shown red

Unit
Main aircraft flown
Midlands airfields used
From
Until
Comments
4 Air Observer Navigation School (AONS)
Anson, Botha
Ansty
10/1939
7/1940

1509 Beam Approach Training Flight (BAT Flt)
Oxford
Church Lawford
6/6/1942


1513 Beam Approach Training Flight (BAT Flt) Oxford
Bramcote, Nuneaton, Bitteswell
31/10/1942
13/5/1946
Codes LL-
1516 Beam Approach Training Flight (BAT Flt) Oxford
Pershore
13/4/1943
17/9/1944
Codes QW-
1517 Beam Approach Training Flight (BAT Flt) Oxford
Chipping Warden
14/11/1942
22/5/1945

1533 Beam Approach Training Flight (BAT Flt) Oxford
Church Lawford, Elmdon, Snitterfield
27/10/1942
3/4/1945

(Belgian) Initial Training School
Oxford
Snitterfield
1/1944
12/1944
Training pilots for the Belgian Air Force
1 Camouflage Unit
Reliant, Dominie, Blenheim
Baginton
9/1939
11/1940
Checking camouflage from the air
2 Central Flying School
Oxford, Tutor
Church Lawford
15/6/1941
13/1/1942
Training flying instructors; redesignated 1 Flying Instructors School
2 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS)
Tiger Moth
Worcester
21/10/1940
9/7/1945
Operated by Bristol Aeroplane Company; was 6 Flying Instructors School 1/11/1941 to 22/7/1942
9 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) Tiger Moth
Ansty, Southam
3/9/1939
31/3/1944
Initial assessment before pupil pilots were sent abroad in the Commonwealth Air Training Scheme; operated by Air Service Training
14 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) Tiger Moth
Elmdon, Hockley Heath
10/9/1939
1/2/1946
Initial assessment before pupil pilots were sent abroad in the Commonwealth Air Training Scheme; operated by Airwork
1 Ferry Training Unit (FTU)
Mainly Beaufighter, Blenheim, Hudson
Honeybourne
11/11/1941
1/11/1942
Training pilots for ferrying aircraft to overseas theatres of war
311 Ferry Training Unit (FTU) Wellington
Moreton-in-Marsh
1/5/1943
1/5/1944
Formed from 1446 Flight; training pilots for ferrying aircraft to overseas theatres of war
312 Ferry Training Unit (FTU) Wellington
Wellesbourne Mountford, Stratford, Gaydon
24/4/1943
17/12/1943
Training pilots for ferrying aircraft to overseas theatres of war
1 Ferry Unit Mainly Beaufighter, Beaufort, Mosquito, Dakota
Pershore
16/3/1944
15/11/1946
Training pilots for ferrying aircraft to overseas theatres of war
1425 Flight
Liberator
Honeybourne
16/11/1941
6/4/1942
Long range ferry service to the Middle East
1446 Flight
Wellington
Moreton-in-Marsh
18/5/1942
1/5/1943
Affiliated to 21 OTU; training pilots for ferrying aircraft to overseas theatres of war; became 311 FTU
1456 Flight
Havoc
Honiley
24/11/1941
6/6/1942
Turbinlite unit; opeated with 257 Squadron
1681 Flight
Hurricane, Tomahawk
Pershore, Long Marston
1/7/1943
21/8/1944
Provided fighter affiliation (simulated attacks) for the bomber OTUs; codes LT-.
1 Flying Instructors School (FIS)
Oxford, Tutor
Church Lawford, Warwick, Leamington, Hockley Heath
13/1/1942
27/10/1942
Renamed from 2 Central Flying School; disbanded into 18 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit
5 Glider Training School (GTS)
Hotspur
Hockley Heath
22/5/1944
23/11/1944

12 Operational Training Unit (OTU)
Wellington, Anson
Chipping Warden, Gaydon, Edgehill
10/7/1941
7/6/1945
Major Bomber Command training unit; codes FQ- JP- ML-
16 Operational Training Unit (OTU) Wellington, Mosquito
Barford-st-John (satellite to Upper Heyford)
15/12/1942
1/3/1946
Major Bomber Command training unit; reformed 1/1/1945 absorbing 1655 Mosquito Training Unit; codes GA- JS- XG-
18 Operational Training Unit (OTU) Anson, Battle, Wellington
Bramcote, Bitteswell, Nuneaton
14/11/1940
25/1/43
Bomber Command's Polish training unit; codes EN- VQ- XW-
21 Operational Training Unit (OTU) Wellington, Anson Moreton-in-Marsh, Edgehill, Honeybourne (briefly)
21/1/1941
25/11/1946
Major Bomber Command training unit; codes ED- SJ- UH-
22 Operational Training Unit (OTU) Wellington, Anson Wellesbourne Mountford, Stratford, Gaydon
14/4/1941
24/7/1945
Became Bomber Command's largest Operational Training Unit; codes DD- LT- OX- XN-
23 Operational Training Unit (OTU) Wellington, Anson Pershore, Defford, Stratford
1/4/1941
15/3/1944
Major Bomber Command training unit; disbanded into 22 OTU; codes BY- FZ- WE-
24 Operational Training Unit (OTU) Whitley, Anson, Wellington
Honeybourne, Long Marston
15/3/1942
24/7/1945
Major Bomber Command training unit absorbing Whitleys as they left front-line service; codes FB- TY- UF-
29 Operational Training Unit (OTU) Wellington
Bitteswell (satellite
1/6/1943
1/11/1944
Satellite to Bruntingthorpe; codes NT- TF-
63 Operational Training Unit (OTU) Beaufighter II, Beaufort, Hurricane I
Honiley, Baginton
17/8/1943
21/3/1944
Initially a night fighter OTU, then became a day fighter OTU with Hurricanes
101 (Glider) Operational Training Unit (OTU)
Hotspur
Barford-st-John
1/1/1942
13/7/1942

105 (Transport) Operational Training Unit
Wellington, Dakota
Bramcote, Bitteswell
5/4/1943
19/11/1945
Redesignated 1381 Transport Conversion Unit 10/8/1945; codes 8F- I5- 7Z-
18 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit (PAFU)
Oxford, Defiant
Church Lawford, Snitterfield, Warwick, Southam, Hockley Heath
27/10/1942
29/5/1945
Major unit training multi-engine pilots, mainly returning from overseas in the Commonwealth Air Training Plan; no evidence that the large number of Defiants on charge were actually used
15 Flying Training School (FTS)
Oxford
Barford-st-John (satellite)
30/6/1941
10/4/1942

20 Flying Training School (FTS)
Harvard
Church Lawford, Hockley Heath
3/4/1945
23/7/1946

21 Flying Training School (FTS)
Harvard
Snitterfield, Hockley Heath
3/4/1945
18/9/1946
Codes FAN to FAQ
Signals Flying Unit
Beaufighter, Wellington XIII & XIV
Honiley, Stratford
20/7/1944
1/9/1946
Developed radio landing aids; included the Ground Controlled Approach Wing; codes 7N- 9T-
3 Tactical Exercise Unit (TEU)
Hurricane, Typhoon
Honiley
10/5/1944
17/7/1944
Moved south in preparation for D-day, to provide defensive cover if required; codes EH- PA- UW- ZX-
Telecommunications Flying Unit
Everything in the RAF
Defford
1/6/1942
6/12/1945
Flying unit of the deliberately obscurely named Telecommunications Research Establishment; developed all wartime airborne radar & fitted sets to a huge number of wartime aircraft. If it flew, it was here!

Please help us find photographs of aircraft of these units, in the Midlands

[Home Page ] [Flying Units] [Projects] [Crashes] [Help] [Virtual Museum] [Contact]

Midland aircraft recovery group, aviation history, Warwickshire history, Worcestershire history, aviation archaeology, recovery, aircraft, WW2, digs