List of Royal Air Force Operational Training Units

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Royal Air Force Operational Training Units (OTU) were training units that prepared aircrew for operations on a particular type or types of aircraft or roles.

No. 1 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 1 OTU was formed in 1940 as part of Coastal Command at RAF Silloth for training aircrew on coastal command patrol aircraft types until it was disbanded on 19 October 1943.[1]
No. 2 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 2 OTU was formed in 1940 as part of Coastal Command at RAF Catfoss for training aircrew on coastal command twin-engined fighter and strike aircraft types until it was disbanded 15 February 1944.[1]
No. 3 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 3 OTU was formed in 1940 as part of Coastal Command at RAF Catfoss for training aircrew on coastal command aircraft types like the Avro Anson and Bristol Beaufighter until it was disbanded 4 January 1944.[1]
No. 4 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 4 OTU was formed in 1941 as part of Coastal Command at RAF Stranraer for training aircrew on coastal command flying boats until it was disbanded when it became 235 OCU in 1947.[1]
No. 5 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 5 OTU was formed in 1940 as part of No. 12 Group Fighter Command at RAF Aston Down for training fighter pilots until it was disbanded 1 August 1945.[1]
No. 6 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 6 OTU was formed in March 1940 at RAF Sutton Bridge for training fighter pilots, commanded by Squadron Leader Philip Campbell Pinkham, with a complement of Hawker Hurricane, Miles Mentor and North American Harvard aircraft, including one Gloster Gladiator, its first pilot pool came from No. 11 Group RAF transferring to No. 12 Group RAF of Fighter Command.[2][3] No. 6 OTU was re-numbered in November 1940 to No. 56 OTU and remained at RAF Sutton Bridge until relocating in March 1942 to RAF Tealing.[2][3]
No. 7 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 7 OTU was formed in 1940 as part of Fighter Command at RAF Hawarden to train fighter pilots. During the Battle of Britain in September 1940 it flew operational flights over north west England claiming three enemy aircraft shot down. It was re-designated No. 57 OTU on 1 November 1940.[1]
No. 8 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 8 OTU was formed in 1942 as part of No. 17 Group Coastal Command at RAF Fraserburgh. It trained aircrew on photo-reconnaissance aircraft including the Supermarine Spitfire and de Havilland Mosquito. It was disbanded when it became 236 OCU in 1947.[1]
No. 9 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 9 OTU was formed in 1942 as part of No. 17 Group Coastal Command at RAF Aldergrove to train long-range fighter aircrew, it was disbanded on 11 August 1944.[1]
No. 10 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 10 OTU was formed in 1940 as part of No. 8 Group RAF Bomber Command at RAF Abingdon to train night bomber aircrew, it was disbanded on 10 September 1946.[1]
No. 11 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 11 OTU was formed in 1940 as part of No. 6 Group RAF Bomber Command at RAF Bassingbourn to train night bomber aircrew. During 1942 it operated seven operational night bombing missions. In September 1942, it moved to RAF Westcott and its satellite station RAF Oakley. It was disbanded on 18 September 1945.[1]
No. 12 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 12 OTU was formed in April 1940 as part of No. 1 Group RAF Bomber Command at RAF Benson to train light bomber aircrew. During 1942 it operated operational night bombing missions, it was disbanded on 22 June 1945.[1]
No. 13 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 13 OTU was formed in April 1940 as part of No. 6 Group RAF Bomber Command at RAF Bicester to train originally Bristol Blenheim light day bomber aircrew. It was disbanded when it became 236 OCU in 1947.[1]
No. 14 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 14 OTU was formed in April 1940 as part of No. 6 Group RAF Bomber Command at RAF Cottesmore to train night bomber crews. It was disbanded on 24 June 1945.[1]
No. 15 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 15 OTU was formed in August 1940 as part of No. 6 Group RAF Bomber Command at RAF Harwell to train night bomber crews on the Vickers Wellington. In 1942 it carried out seven operational missions. It was disbanded in March 1944.[1]
No. 16 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 16 OTU was formed in April 1940 as part of No. 6 Group RAF Bomber Command at RAF Upper Heyford to train night bomber crews using the Handley Page Hampden and Hereford. It converted to the Vickers Wellington in 1942 and carried out a number of operational sorties. It was disbanded in January 1945.[1]
No. 17 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 17 OTU was formed in April 1940 as part of No. 6 Group RAF Bomber Command at RAF Upwood to train light bomber crews using the Bristol Blenheim. It moved to RAF Silverstone in April 1943 to train night bomber crews with the Vickers Wellington. It was re-designated No. 201 Advanced Flying School in March 1947.[1]
No. 18 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 18 OTU was formed in June 1940 from the Polish Training Unit as part of No. 6 Group RAF Bomber Command to train light bomber crews for the Polish Boulton Paul Defiant squadrons. Converted to the Vickers Wellington in 1942 and carried out six operational sorties as part of No. 91 Group. Disbanded in January 1945.[1]
No. 19 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 19 OTU was formed in May 1940 at RAF Kinloss to train night bomber crews using the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley. In June 1942 twelve Whitleys took part in a raid against Bremen. Re-equipped with the Vickers Wellington from August 1944 until it was disbanded in June 1945.[1]
No. 20 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 20 OTU was formed in May 1940 at RAF Lossiemouth to train night bomber crews using the Vickers Wellington. It disbanded in July 1945.[1]
No. 21 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 21 OTU was formed in January 1941 at RAF Moreton-in-Marsh to train night bomber crews using the Vickers Wellington. In 1942 is carried out a number of operational sorties. It moved to RAF Finningley in November 1946 before being re-designated No. 202 Advanced Flying School in March 1947.[1]
No. 22 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 22 OTU was formed in April 1941 at RAF Wellesbourne Mountford as part of No. 6 Group RAF Bomber Command to train night bomber crews with the Vickers Wellington. Disbanded in July 1945.[1]
No. 23 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 23 OTU was formed in April 1941 at RAF Pershore as part of No. 6 Group RAF Bomber Command to train night bomber crews using the Vickers Wellington. Carried out operational sorties during 1942 and was disbanded in March 1944 with most of the aircraft moving to No. 22 OTU.[1]
No. 24 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 24 OTU was formed in March 1942 at RAF Honeybourne as part of No. 7 Group RAF Bomber Command to train night bomber crews using the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley. Carried out three operational sorties during 1942. Converted to the Vickers Wellington in April 1944 to train Royal Canadian Air Force crews, disbanded in July 1945.[1]
No. 25 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 25 OTU was formed in March 1941 at RAF Finningley as part of No. 7 Group RAF Bomber Command to train night bomber crews using the Handley Page Hampden, after operating a variety of types is became a Vickers Wellington unit in April 1942. It carried out a number of operational raids during 1942. Disbanded in February 1943.[1]
No. 26 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 26 OTU was formed in January 1942 at RAF Wing as part of No. 7 Group RAF Bomber Command to train night bomber crews using the Vickers Wellington. Disbanded in March 1946.[1]
No. 27 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 27 OTU was formed in April 1941 at RAF Lichfield as part of No. 6 Group RAF Bomber Command to train night bomber crews using the Vickers Wellington. Trained Royal Australian Air Force crews in 1942 and it was disbanded in June 1945.[1]
No. 28 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 28 OTU was formed in May 1942 at RAF Wymeswold as part of No. 92 Group RAF Bomber Command to train night bomber crews using the Vickers Wellington. Disbanded in October 1944.[1]
No. 29 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 29 OTU was formed in April 1942 at RAF North Luffenham as part of No. 7 Group RAF Bomber Command to train night bomber crews using the Vickers Wellington. Carried four operation sorties during 1942. Disbanded in May 1945.[1]
No. 30 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 30 OTU was formed in June 1942 at RAF Hixon as part of No. 93 Group RAF Bomber Command to train night bomber crews using the Vickers Wellington. Disbanded in June 1945.[1]
No. 31 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 31 OTU was formed in May 1941 at Debert, Nova Scotia as part of No. 3 Training Command to general reconnaissance crews using the Lockheed Hudson and Avro Anson Carried out operational patrols in the Western Atlantic from Dartmouth. Operated the de Havilland Mosquito from May 1944 and it was disbanded in July 1944 when it was replaced by No. 7 Operational Training Unit RCAF.[1]
No. 32 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 32 OTU was formed at West Kirby, Liverpool, the personnel then moved by ship to Patricia Bay, British Columbia as part of No. 4 Training Command. Tasked to train general reconnaissance crews and the first Avro Ansons arrived in September 1941, and Bristol Beaufighters arrived in October 1942. With the start of the war in the Pacific the unit was declared an operational squadron to protect the Canadian coast from Japanese raids and re-designated No. 32 Operational Squadron on 15 December 1941. After a few days mounting patrols it became clear that the Japanese were unlikely to attack Canada and it reverted to an Operational Training Unit on 29 December 1941. Re-designated No. 6 Operational Training Unit RCAF in June 1944.[1]
No. 34 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 34 OTU was formed in April 1942 in the United Kingdom, the personnel then moved by ship to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia as part of No. 3 Training Command to train general reconnaissance crews. The first Avro Ansons arrived in May 1942. Disbanded in May 1944.[1]
No. 36 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 36 OTU was formed in February 1942 in the United Kingdom, the personnel then moved by ship to Greenwood, Nova Scotia as part of No. 3 Training Command to train general reconnaissance crews using the Lockheed Hudson. Later became No. 8 Operational Training Unit RCAF.[1]
No. 41 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 41 OTU was formed in September 1941 at RAF Old Sarum to train tactical reconnaissance pilots.[1]
No. 42 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 42 OTU was formed in July `1941 at RAF Andover to train army support crews.[1]
No. 43 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 43 OTU was formed in October 1942 at RAF Larkhill to train army co-operation air observers for deployment on the Auster.[1]
No. 51 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 51 OTU was formed in July 1941 at RAF Debden to train night fighter crews.[1]
No. 52 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 52 OTU was formed in March 1941 at RAF Debden to train fighter pilots using the Hawker Hurricane.[1]
No. 53 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 53 OTU was formed in February 1941 at RAF Heston to train fighter pilots using the Supermarine Spitfire.[1]
No. 54 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 54 OTU was formed in November 1940 at RAF Church Fenton to train night fighter crews.[1]
No. 55 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 55 OTU was formed in November 1940 at RAF Aston Down to train fighter pilots.[1]
No. 56 Operational Training Unit RAF
Previously designated No. 6 OTU formed in March 1940 at RAF Sutton Bridge and re-numbered in November 1940 to No. 56 OTU where it remained at RAF Sutton Bridge until relocating in March 1942 to RAF Tealing.[2][3]
No. 57 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 57 OTU was formed in November 1940 at RAF Hawarden to train single-seat fighter pilots.[1]
No. 58 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 58 OTU was formed in December 1940 at RAF Grangemouth to train day fighter pilots.[1] No. 58 OTU was re-formed in March 1945 at RAF Poulton with Spitfires.[1]
No. 59 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 59 OTU was formed in December 1940 at RAF Turnhouse to train single-seat fighter pilots.[1]

No. 59 OTU was re-formed in February 1945 at RAF Acklington to train fighter-bomber pilots using the Hawker Typhoon.[1]

No. 60 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 60 OTU was formed in April 1941 at RAF Leconfield to train night fighter crews using the Blenheim and Defiant.[1] No. 60 OTU was re-formed in May 1943 at RAF High Ercall to train intruder crews using the de Havilland Mosquito.[1]
No. 61 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 61 OTU was formed in June 1941 at RAF Heston to train single-seat fighter pilots.[1]
No. 62 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 62 OTU was formed in August 1943 at RAF Usworth to train observers/radio operators in the Air Intercept role.[1]
No. 63 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 63 OTU was formed in August 1943 at RAF Honiley to train night fighter crews.[1]
No. 70 (Middle East) Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 70 (Middle East) OTU was formed in December 1949 for training in middle east conditions.[1]
No. 71 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 71 OTU was formed in June 1941 at RAF Ismailia for desert training.[1]
No. 72 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 72 OTU was formed in November 1941 at RAF Carthago to train light bomber crews in tropical conditions.[1]
No. 73 Operational Training Unit RAF
No.73 OTU was formed in November 1941 at RAF Sheikh Othman, Aden for training in desert conditions initially using two Mohawks and a Hurricane.[1]
No. 74 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 74 OTU was formed in October 1941 at RAF Aqir for army co-operation training and to teach tactical reconnaissance skills in the desert, using the Hawker Hurricane.[1]
No. 75 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 75 OTU was formed in December 1942 at RAF Gianaclis to train general reconnaissance crews using the Lockheed Hudson.[1]
No. 76 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 76 OTU was formed in October 1943 at RAF Aqir to train night bomber crews using Vickers Wellington.[1]
No. 77 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 77 OTU was formed in January 1944 at RAF Qastina to train night bomber crews using the Vickers Wellington.[1]
No. 78 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 78 OTU was formed in February 1944 at RAF Ein Shemar to train general reconnaissance crews particularly using ASV radar and the Leigh light.[1]
No. 79 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 79 OTU was formed in February 1944 at RAF Nicosia to train general reconnaissance and strike crews.[1]
No. 80 (French) Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 80 (French) OTU was formed in April 1945 at RAF Morpeth to train French fighter pilots using the Supermarine Spitfire and Miles Master.[1]
No. 81 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 81 OTU was formed in July 1942 at RAF Ashbourne to train night bomber crews with the Armstrong Whitworth Whitley.[1]
No. 82 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 82 OTU was formed in June 1943 at RAF Ossington to train night bomber crews with the Vickers Wellington.[1]
No. 83 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 83 OTU was formed in August 1943 at RAF Childs Ercall to train night bomber crews with the Vickers Wellington.[1]
No. 84 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 84 OTU was formed in September 1943 at RAF Desborough to train night bomber crews with the Vickers Wellington.[1]
No. 85 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 84 OTU was formed in June 1944 at RAF Husbands Bosworth to train night bomber crews with the Vickers Wellington.[1]
No. 86 Operational Training Unit RAF
No. 86 OTU was formed in June 1944 at RAF Gamston to train night bomber crews with the Vickers Wellington.[1]
No. 101 (Glider) Operational Training Unit RAF
Formed in April 1942 at RAF Kidlington as part of No. 70 Group to traom glider pilots using the Hotspur.[1]
No. 102 (Glider) Operational Training Unit RAF
Formed in February 1942 at RAF Kidlington as part of No. 70 Group to train glider pilots using the Hotspur.[1]
No. 104 (Transport) Operational Training Unit RAF
Formed in March 1943 at RAF Nutts Coner to crews on transport aircraft using the Vickers Wellington.[1]
No. 105 (Transport) Operational Training Unit RAF
Formed in April 1944 at RAF Bramcote to train crews for airline transport squadrons, at first using the Vickers Wellington but by September 1944 with the Douglas Dakota.[1]
No. 107 (Transport) Operational Training Unit RAF
Formed in May 1944 at RAF Leicester East to train transport and glider tug crews using the Douglas Dakota and Horsa glider.[1]
No. 108 (Transport) Operational Training Unit RAF
Formed in October 1944 at RAF Wymeswold to train transport crews using the Douglas Dakota.[1]
No. 109 (Transport) Operational Training Unit RAF
Formed in August 1944 at RAF Crosby-on-Eden to train transport crews using the Douglas Dakota.[1]
No. 111 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit RAF
Formed in August 1942 in the Bahamas to train general reconnaissance crews using the North American Mitchell and Consolidated Liberators.[1]
No. 131 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit RAF
Formed in July 1942 at RAF Killadeas as part of No. 15 Group Coastal Command to train crews on the Consolidated Catalina.[1]
No. 132 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit RAF
Formed in November 1942 at RAF East Fortune as part of No. 17 Group Coastal Command to train long-range fighter and strike training using the Bristol Blenheim and Bristol Beaufighter.[1]
No. 151 (Fighter) Operational Training Unit RAF
Formed in July 1942 at RAF Risalpur as part of No. 227 Group to train pilots out of Indian flying taining schools.[1]
No. 152 (Bomber) Operational Training Unit RAF
Formed in October 1942 at RAF Peshwar as part of No. 227 Group to train pilots out of Indian flying training schools.[1]
No. 1 Operational Training Unit, India
Formed April 1942 at RAF Risalpur as part of No. 1 (Indian) Group to train fighter pilots in an Indian environment.[1]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc Sturtivant 2007, pp. 198-206
  2. ^ a b c Airfield Focus 65: Sutton Bridge, Alastair Goodrum, 1997, ISBN 9781904514152
  3. ^ a b c Combat Ready!, Alastair Goodrum, 1997, ISBN 9781870384605

Bibliography[edit]

Sturtivant, Ray (2007). RAF Flying Training and Support Units since 1912. Air-Britain. ISBN 0-85130 365 X. 

External links[edit]