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Thread: Airborne Forces Units & HQs

  1. #1
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Airborne Forces Units & HQs

    Airborne Forces Table of Principle Units & Headquarters
    Title Location Notes Formed Disbanded
    Central Landing School
    Central Landing Establishment, RAF (CLE)
    Ringway, Manchester,
    with
    Tatton Park, Cheshire, used as the drop zone
    Formed for parachute training.
    Became Central Landing Establishment and divided into Parachute Training School, Technical Unit & Glider Exercise Squadron, Glider Flight (became Glider Training Squadron).
    CLE renamed again on 1 September 1941 as the Airborne Forces Establishment
    210640 300841
    (Renamed)
    Airborne Forces Establishment Formed from the Central Landing Establishment to investigate problems of technical development, to establish the principles of glider and parachute training,
    and to form the first units to carry out the training.
    010941 150242
    Airborne Forces Experimental Establishment Ringway, moved to Sherburn-in-Elmet
    on 010742
    Formed from Airborne Forces Establishment HQ, Technical Department Unit and
    Experimental Flight.
    Moved to Sherburn-in-Elmet until January 1945. Disbanded at Beaulieu
    150242 140950
    Glider Exercise Flight
    No.1 Glider Training School
    Haddenham airfield, Bucks This was a flight that arrived from Ringway due to that airfield being congested.
    On 4 November 1941 it redesignated as No.1 Glider Training School and became independent to the Airborne Forces Establishment.
    One month later it moved to Croughton
    ?0141 Formed
    041141
    301141
    Disbanded 230343
    No.1 Glider OTU,
    4 Glider Training School
    Netheravon /
    Kidlington
    Post-graduate gliding training.
    Redesignated as 4 Glider Training School on 13 July 1942
    010142
    130742
    230343
    No.2 Glider OTU,
    5 Glider Training School
    Kidlington, Oxfordshire Post-graduate gliding training.
    Redesignated as 5 Glider Training School on 13 July 1942
    010242
    130742
    151145
    No.2 Glider Training School Thame, moved to Weston-on-the-Green Formed out of the Glider Training Squadron 011241 100343
    No.3 Glider Training School Stoke Orchard, Glos.
    Culmhead, Somerset
    Formed from 10 Elementary Flying Training School.
    Relocated to various airfields before becoming a Glider Instructor School in January 1945
    210742 031247
    Heavy Glider Conversion Unit (HGCU) Shrewton,
    Salisbury Plain
    Brize Norton, Oxon
    Formed at Shrewton in 70 Group.
    Later moved to Brize Norton, to cover the conversion of glider pilots to Horsa and Hamlicar gliders, which previously had been carried out at the glider operational training units but which were now disbanded. The HGCU disbanded at Brize Norton
    290642 201044
    No.1 Parachute
    Training School
    Ringway, Manchester
    Tatton Park
    Upper Heyford
    Formally the Parachute Training School, being part of the Airborne Forces Establishment, when this unit ceased to exist, the now re-named No.1 Parachute Training School became a self-contained unit and remained at Ringway for the duration of WWII.
    Moved to Upper Heyford in March 1946
    150242 031247
    (Renamed)


    Airborne Forces Table of Principle Units & Headquarters (continued)
    Title Location Notes Formed Disbanded
    Major-General
    Airborne Forces HQ
    Brigmerston House, Durrington, Wiltshire Duties included advising the War Office and C-in-C at home about airborne matters and
    administration of the Airborne Forces Depot & Development Centre
    010543 261243
    Airborne Troops HQ Hammersmith Replaced Major-General Airborne Forces 261243
    Combined Operations HQ Richmond Terrace, London
    Southern Command HQ
    Airborne Troops HQ
    1 Airborne Corps HQ
    Ashley Gardens, SW1
    Moor Park, Rickmansworth
    Formed in January 1944 at Ashley Gardens before moving to Moor Park in April 1944 to become 1 Airborne Corps.
    Its function was to co-ordinate training and planning of all British airborne forces
    ?0144
    Commander Airborne Establishments Amesbury, Wiltshire Alderbury ?0543 c.1944
    Airborne Forces Depot (AFD) Hardwick Hall Camp, Chesterfield Formed as soon as 1 Parachute Brigade had moved to Bulford.
    The AFD then took over the vacant camp
    ?0442
    Commander Airborne Forces Depot & Development Centre Amesbury Abbey Training & holding of personnel until posted to units.
    Duties included issuing progress reports to the War Office,
    to prepare draft training pamphlets and recruitment
    100144
    Commander Airborne Forces Establishment Replaced Commander Airborne Forces Depot & Development Centre.
    For training and holding of personnel until posted to units. Came under War Office Command
    Allied Expeditionary
    Air Forces HQ
    ?1143
    General HQ Home Forces King Charles Street basement, SW1
    1 Airborne Division HQ King Charles Street basement, SW1
    (GHQ Home Forces)
    until 21-12-41
    Syrencot House, Figheldean Netheravon
    The first separate airborne forces HQ. Controlled 1 Parachute Brigade,
    1 Air-Landing Brigade & glider pilots
    291041 001145



    Airborne Forces Table of Principle Units & Headquarters (continued)
    Title Location Notes Formed Disbanded
    6 Airborne Division HQ
    (the numbering
    sequence discrepancy
    was deliberate for security reasons)
    Amesbury &
    The Old Farm, Brigmerston House, Milston,
    Durrington nr Amesbury
    Formed with 3 Parachute Brigade, including 3rd Parachute Squadron, RE and
    224th Parachute Field Ambulance RAMC were transferred from 1 Airborne Division.
    A planning HQ had been established at The Old Farm, Brigmerston House
    (code name Broadmoor).
    There was also a war room there.
    Moved to Ranville, the first town in France to be liberated on D-Day
    230443 Reduced to
    a Brigade
    in June 1948
    2 Parachute Brigade HQ 170742
    Air Directorate,
    War Office
    War Office, London Formed to look after and sponsor the affairs of airborne forces & acted as a link
    between the War Office and Air Ministry
    ?0642
    Supreme HQ Allied Expeditionary Force (SHAEF) Southwick House, Southwick,
    Hampshire
    The house became the Forward Planning and Operational HQ of SHAEF.
    The plywood map still hangs in the Wardroom.
    Closed in 2004 the School of Maritime Operations moved to HMS Collingwood.
    c.1143 2004
    21 Army Group c.1143
    Combined Troop Carrier Command Post (CTCCP) Eastcote, Middlesex
    Commanding General IX US Troop Carrier Command Eastcote, Middlesex
    HQ 1 Airborne Corps Moor Park, Rickmansworth
    Station 1090 Williamstrip Park,
    Down Ampney, Wilts
    1 Airborne Corps RASC ordnance dump used by the SAS as a transit camp.
    Moved to Essex in September.
    ?0944
    Station 1090 Mushroom Farm Camp, Essex The first dedicated SAS ordnance dump & transit camp was set up in Essex
    to be close to 38 Group HQ
    000944
    Tactical HQ SAS Brigade Moor Park
    HQ 38 Wing Syrencote House, Netheravon, then Netheravon airfield Worked in conjunction with 1 Airborne Division HQ.
    came under RAF Army Co-operation Command
    150142


    Airborne Forces Table of Principle Units & Headquarters (continued)
    Title Location Notes Formed Disbanded
    38 (Airborne Forces) Group Netheravon
    Marks Hall, Essex
    Formed from 38 Wing, initially under Tactical Air Force, transferred to HQ Allied Expeditionary Force on 151143, and then one year later to ADGB.
    Moved to Marks Hall, Essex to be closer to the 'new' 38 Group airfields on 121044.
    Disbanded at Upavon
    111043 010251
    11 Special Air Service Battalion Knutsford Formed in November 1940 from the Combined Operations unit, No.2 Commando which had transferred over to parachute duties during June 1940.
    Consisted of an HQ, a parachute wing and a glider wing
    211140 150941
    1st Parachute Battalion Formed from 11 Special Air Service Battalion within 1st Parachute Brigade 150941
    1 Parachute Brigade Hardwick Hall Camp, Chesterfield
    Bulford Camp, Salisbury Plain
    Formed to administer & train parachutists at the Central Landing Establishment,
    Ringway in order to form four three-company battalions, each having sections of 10 men
    Moved to North Africa in November 1942
    310841
    ?0342
    ?0342
    ?1142
    1 Air Troop
    Royal Engineers
    Hardwick Hall Camp Chesterfield Formed as a unit of 1 Parachute Brigade ?0941
    1 Air-Landing Brigade Group Formed from 31 Independent Brigade Group to capture enemy communication centres
    & capture of enemy airfields
    101041
    4th Parachute Battalion Hardwick Hall Camp, Chesterfield Formed as a unit of 1 Parachute Brigade but transferred to 4th Parachute Brigade
    on its formation on 17 July 1942
    ?0941
    3rd Parachute Battalion Hardwick Hall Camp, Chesterfield Formed as a unit of 1 Parachute Brigade
    Moved to North Africa in November 1942
    101142
    2nd Parachute Battalion Hardwick Hall Camp, Chesterfield.
    Tilshead Camp, Salisbury Plain
    Formed as a unit of 1 Parachute Brigade.
    This unit took part in the Bruneval Raid on 27 February 1942.
    Based at Tilshead Camp from 24-0142, flying from Thruxton airfield
    Moved to North Africa in November 1942
    ?1142
    Army Air Corps Formed 211241


    Airborne Forces Table of Principle Units & Headquarters (continued)
    Title Location Notes Formed Disbanded
    Glider Pilot Regiment Formed as part of the Army Air Corps. Became Glider Regiment during August 1942 211241
    Parachute Regiment Formed as part of the Army Air Corps to administer all parachute infantry units 010842
    2 Parachute Brigade Formed 170742
    5th (Scottish)
    Parachute Battalion
    Formed from 7th Battalion, The Cameron Highlanders.
    Part of 4 Parachute Brigade
    010842
    6th (Royal Welch) Parachute Battalion Formed from 10th Battalion, The Royal Welch Fusiliers.
    Part of 4 Parachute Brigade
    140842
    2nd Battalion, 503 Parachute Infantry Regiment, US Army Chilton Foliat, Newbury This US parachute unit (the first on British soil) was organised and trained on parallel lines as British parachute battalions.
    Moved to North Africa in November 1942
    110642 ?1142
    3 Parachute Brigade 051142 D-Day Dropping Zone
    & 'N' 'V'
    7th (Light Infantry) Battalion,
    The Parachute Regiment
    Formed from 10th Battalion, Somerset Light Infantry.
    Administered by 3 Parachute Brigade.
    Transferred to 5 Parachute Brigade on 110843
    051142
    8th (Midland) Battalion, The Parachute Regiment Formed from 13th Battalion, The Royal Warwickshire Regiment.
    Administered by 3 Parachute Brigade
    051142
    9th (Eastern & Home Counties) Battalion,
    The Parachute Regiment
    Formed from 10th Battalion, Essex Regiment.
    Administered by 3 Parachute Brigade
    051142
    12th Battalion,
    The Parachute Regiment
    Formed from 10th Battalion, The Green Howards.
    Administered by 5 Parachute Brigade
    230443
    13th Battalion,
    The Parachute Regiment
    Formed from 2nd/4th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment.
    Administered by 5 Parachute Brigade
    230443
    Army Air Corps Infantry Training Centre Clay Cross, Chesterfield Absorbed the Airborne Forces Holding Unit at Boroughbridge Hall 020944



  2. #2
    Hutemarnechris
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    Default Re: Airborne Forces Units & HQs

    Paul, I was interested to see your posting re station 1090 at Down Ampney which you describe as an RASC Ordnance dump and SAS transit camp. I'm writing an article about an SAS operation staged from Fairford in 1944. Most of the literature about wartime SAS ops describes the troops being held at RAF Fairford itself -their weapons and containers being sourced from station 1090. Two questions: was station 1090 part of the RAF airfield complex at Down Ampney? I couldn't find Williamstrip Park on google maps. Also, what is your source for Station 1090 being an SAS transit camp? Thanks for any help you can give me with this.

  3. #3
    Hutemarnechris
    Guest

    Default Re: Airborne Forces Units & HQs

    Just to add - Williamstrip Park is a stately home 10 miles or so away from Down Ampney at Coln Saint Aldwyns. Both places are in Glos rather than Wilts.

  4. #4
    SuperMod Carnaby's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airborne Forces Units & HQs

    Quote Originally Posted by Hutemarnechris View Post
    I couldn't find Williamstrip Park on google maps.
    LINK

    Also - Williamstrip Park: US Army 761 Chemical Depot Company (Aviation)

    Welcome to Aix, Hutemarnechris. Your research sounds interesting.
    Last edited by Carnaby; 17-03-2012 at 23:28.

  5. #5
    OTBC Paul Francis's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airborne Forces Units & HQs

    I believe the source is the official History of the Aiborne Forces. An HMSO book, which is somewhere in our stores.

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    Default Re: Airborne Forces Units & HQs

    Possible thread creep I know, but there looks to be military/utility buildings in Macaroni Wood, a mile or two to the east.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Airborne Forces Units & HQs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ossington_2008 View Post
    Possible thread creep I know, but there looks to be military/utility buildings in Macaroni Wood, a mile or two to the east.
    They are the dispersed sites for RAF Southrop

  8. #8

    Default Re: Airborne Forces Units & HQs

    Quote Originally Posted by Hutemarnechris View Post
    Paul, I was interested to see your posting re station 1090 at Down Ampney which you describe as an RASC Ordnance dump and SAS transit camp. I'm writing an article about an SAS operation staged from Fairford in 1944. Most of the literature about wartime SAS ops describes the troops being held at RAF Fairford itself -their weapons and containers being sourced from station 1090. Two questions: was station 1090 part of the RAF airfield complex at Down Ampney? I couldn't find Williamstrip Park on google maps. Also, what is your source for Station 1090 being an SAS transit camp? Thanks for any help you can give me with this.
    Dunno if this might be relevant:

    http://www.airfieldinformationexchan...nr-Cirencester

    That's the RASC depot which was just up the road from Down Ampney but for reasons unknown the depot server Fairford.

    Oh also Mushroom Farm is mentioned in the list. This was at 51 57.754'N/0 31.138'E or TL 731322. As the name implies it was a mushroom farms that had it's sheds emptied and shelves cleared so that men could sleep on then. Heard quite a few horror stories from glider pilots who transited through there.
    Last edited by OneEighthBit; 18-03-2012 at 12:50.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Airborne Forces Units & HQs

    Thanks Paul and oneEighth. That's really helpful - especially the info about The Piggeries at Paulton. I'll take a look at the HMSO History of Airborne Forces whilst at the National Archives tomorrow. Also, go through the SAS and HQ Airborne Troops files again to see if there's anything new about station 1090. I know the SAS held an investigation into the supply problems originating at Station 1090 (unserviceable weapons, etc). Perhaps the report is still in the files and may give some clues as to the location of Station 1090.

    Judging from the extract from HQ 48 Air Despatch Group war diary they were servicing several airfields in the area - not just Fairford.

    HQ Airfreight (No 46 Group) was based at "the Control Centre, Paulton" which I assume is the "Piggeries" and served the Down Ampney airfield where 46 Group operated from. I'm still a bit confused about the reference to Williamstrip Park in the HMSO entry. But the US had an ordnance depot at Williamstrip Park as well as the chemical depot (aviation) mentioned by Carnaby. It may be that the Paulton site was an outstation of Williamstrip Park.

    The Paulton site doesn't look large enough to accomodate SAS troops in transit through Fairford - but the long building to the West of the site may I suppose have been accomodation. The farm itself at the end of the track looks to my unknowledgeable eye to have been the storage area. The other building (now demolished) by the entrance looks like it may have been the admin centre controlling movements in and out of the depot.

    Once again many thanks for the information - extremely impressive. I'll let you know what, if anything, I manage to find.

    Chris

  10. #10

    Default Re: Airborne Forces Units & HQs

    Came across the following:

    http://belgiansas.webatu.com/belgie.html

    If you run it through Google Translate Dutch->English there is mention of Station 1090 being location of the O.C HQ SAS. Most of the context of the text is an operational order to re-form/organise elements of the Belgian SAS at Mushroom Farm.

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