No. 231 Operational Conversion Unit RAF

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No. 231 Operational Conversion Unit was a Royal Air Force Operational Conversion Unit.

Operational history[edit]

EE Canberra PR.3 of 231 OCU in 1968
English Electric CanberraT.4 of 231 OCU at its RAF Cottesmore base in 1970

231 OCU first formed in the aftermath of World War II during March 1947 at RAF Coningsby. Initially the OCU was formed from a nucleus provided by No. 16 OTU and was tasked with training crews of the "wooden wonder", the De Havilland Mosquito, in the light bomber and photo reconnaissance roles. Initial operational equipment was provided by Mosquito III and Mosquito B.XVI aircraft. In this role the unit lasted nearly three years before disbanding on 4 December 1949.[1]

In keeping with its previous role when the OCU reformed in December 1951 it was to train light bomber crews. The aircraft used during the rest of the unit's operational service was the English Electric Canberra and most operational versions of that versatile aircraft were flown by the unit. It was reformed at RAF Bassingbourn and moved around various stations including RAF Bassingbourn, RAF Cottesmore and RAF Marham during its operational existence. It was redesignated the Canberra Standardisation Training Flight on 15 December 1990, but reverted to 231 OCU on 13 May 1991.[2]


231 OCU was disbanded at RAF Wyton Huntingdonshire on 23 April 1993, by which time it had trained for a variety of roles more than 8,000 aircrew from 17 different nations.


  1. ^ Sturtivant, 1997, p. 232
  2. ^ Sturtivant, 1997, p. 232

Sturtivant, R.C. and others, Royal Air Force Flying Training and Support Units. 1997. Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd. ISBN 0-85130-252-1.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]