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  Headquarters, Number 5 Group Royal Air Force

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> Units and Formations

Flying Squadrons
5 Sqn
6 Sqn
8 Sqn
9 Sqn
10 Sqn
11 Sqn
12 Sqn
15 Sqn
18 Sqn
21 Sqn
22 Sqn
23 Sqn
25 Sqn
27 Sqn
29 Sqn
33 Sqn
35 Sqn
39 Sqn
41 Sqn
43 Sqn
44 Sqn
46 Sqn
49 Sqn
50 Sqn
51 Sqn
54 Sqn
56 Sqn
57 Sqn
61 Sqn
64 Sqn
65 Sqn
68 Sqn
69 Sqn
70 Sqn
71 Sqn
73 Sqn
75 Sqn
81 Sqn
83 Sqn
85 Sqn
88 Sqn
90 Sqn
92 Sqn
97 Sqn
100 Sqn
101 Sqn
103 Sqn
104 Sqn
106 Sqn
109 Sqn
110 Sqn
111 Sqn
112 Sqn
113 Sqn
116 Sqn
121 Sqn
133 Sqn
136 Sqn
139 Sqn
141 Sqn
142 Sqn
143 Sqn
144 Sqn
148 Sqn
149 Sqn
150 Sqn
151 Sqn
153 Sqn
154 Sqn
166 Sqn
170 Sqn
189 Sqn
198 Sqn
199 Sqn
203 Sqn
206 Sqn
207 Sqn
209 Sqn
210 Sqn
211 Sqn
214 Sqn
222 Sqn
227 Sqn
228 Sqn
229 Sqn
235 Sqn
236 Sqn
248 Sqn
249 Sqn
251 Sqn
253 Sqn
254 Sqn
255 Sqn
256 Sqn
264 Sqn
266 Sqn
280 Sqn
288 Sqn
300 Sqn
301 Sqn
302 Sqn
303 Sqn
305 Sqn
307 Sqn
309 Sqn
310 Sqn
349 Sqn
350 Sqn
401 Sqn
402 Sqn
404 Sqn
407 Sqn
409 Sqn
410 Sqn
411 Sqn
412 Sqn
415 Sqn
416 Sqn
420 Sqn
421 Sqn
430 Sqn
438 Sqn
439 Sqn
441 Sqn
442 Sqn
443 Sqn
452 Sqn
455 Sqn
460 Sqn
463 Sqn
467 Sqn
486 Sqn
503 Sqn
504 Sqn
527 Sqn
528 Sqn
532 Sqn
538 Sqn
542 Sqn
550 Sqn
576 Sqn
601 Sqn
609 Sqn
613 Sqn
616 Sqn
617 Sqn
619 Sqn
625 Sqn
626 Sqn
627 Sqn
630 Sqn

Heavy Conversion Units
1654 HCU
1656 HCU
1660 HCU
1661 HCU
1662 HCU
1665 HCU
1667 HCU
1668 HCU
21 HGCU

Advanced Flying Schools
201 AFS

Advanced Flying Units
12 AFU
15 AFU

Flying Training Schools
1 FTS
2 FTS
3 FTS
6 FTS
7 FTS
12 FTS
1 Lancaster Finishing School
Central Flying School

Operational Training/
Conversion Units
(Fighter)
6 OTU
53 OTU

56 OTU

(Bomber)
228 OCU
230 OCU

Air Armament Schools
1 AAS
2 AAS
Empire Central AS

Other schools
1 Gp Aircrew School
1 Ground Defence School
1 Air Observers School
Central Gunnery School
5 Gp Anti Air School

Other units
Bomber Command
Coastal Command
Fighter Command
HQ No 5 Group
HQ No 23 Group
1485 Gunnery Flight
2782 Defence Sqn
178 Support Unit
399 Signals Unit
Nationality based Sqns

Updated: 11 Aug 05

Based at:

RAF Mildenhall :: 1 Sep 1937 - Oct 1937

RAF Grantham :: Oct 1937 - Nov 1943

RAF Swinderby (Morton Hall) :: Nov 1943 - ??

5 Group was formed from 3 Group on 1 Sep 1937 and was part of Bomber Command. Initially headquartered at RAF Mildenhall it moved to St. Vincent's House in Grantham in Oct 1937, then to Morton Hall in Morton, near Swinderby, in Nov 1943, and had Sir Arthur Harris as C-in-C. He was later to lead Bomber Command.

In 1939 all of 5 Gp's 6 operational and 2 reserve squadrons were Hampden equipped, based at four airfields. In later 1940 the Group started to convert to the ill-fated Manchester although the Group continued to performed well. In spring 1942, 5 Group introduced the Lancaster into RAF service, 44 (Rhodesia) Sqn became the first to be so equipped. By Mar 1943 the Group was entirely Lancaster equipped.

Notable wartime achievements for the Group include:

  • 1942 Augsburg Raid on MAN diesel factory
  • Oct 1942 low-level dusk raid by 94 Lancaster aircraft on the Le Creusot Schneider factory. Aircraft from 49 Sqn and 50 Sqn were involved.
  • Oct 1942 raid by 112 Lancaster aircraft on Genoa, one of the most successful of the war
  • 24 Oct 1942 raid on Milan
  • 1943 617 Sqn-led Dambusters raid
  • Winter of 1943/44 Lancaster lead in Command's Battle of Berlin

During WWII hostilities 5 Group aircraft flew 70 357 sorties and lost 1 888 aircraft of which 1 389 were Lancaster.

In 1939 the 5 Group Stations were

HQ RAF Grantham, RAF Bardney, RAF Bottesford, RAF Dunholme Lodge, RAF Fiskerton, RAF Metheringham, RAF Newton, RAF North Luffenham, RAF Skellingthorpe, , RAF Syerston, RAF Waddington, RAF Wigsley, RAF Woodhall Spa and RAF Woolfox Lodge.

According to the RAF website the Feb 1942 5 Gp Stations were

HQ RAF Grantham, RAF Bottesford, RAF Coningsby, RAF North Luffenham, RAF Scampton, RAF Swinderby, RAF Syerston and RAF Waddington.

In Feb 1942 Sqns under 5 Gp command were

44 Sqn, 49 Sqn, 50 Sqn, 61 Sqn, 83 Sqn, 97 Sqn, 106 Sqn, 144 Sqn, 207 Sqn, 408 Sqn, 420 Sqn and 455 Sqn.

According to the RAF website the Jul 1943 5 Gp Stations were

HQ RAF Grantham, RAF Bardney, RAF Bottesford, RAF Dunholme Lodge, RAF Fiskerton, RAF Skellingthorpe, RAF Langar, RAF Scampton, RAF Syerston and RAF Woodhall Spa.

In Jul 1943 Sqns under 5 Gp command were

9 Sqn, 44 Sqn, 49 Sqn, 50 Sqn, 57 Sqn, 61 Sqn, 106 Sqn, 207 Sqn, 467 Sqn, 617 Sqn and 619 Sqn.

In 1945 Sqns under 5 Gp command were

9 Sqn, 44 Sqn, 49 Sqn, 50 Sqn, 61 Sqn, 83 Sqn, 97 Sqn, 106 Sqn, 189 Sqn, 207 Sqn, 227 Sqn, 463 Sqn, 467 Sqn, 617 Sqn, 619 Sqn, 627 Sqn and 630 Sqn.

HQ No 5 Gp Bomber Command heraldic crest

WWII history of 5 Gp on RAF Website

No 1 Group
No 5 Group
No 12 Group
No 18 Group

No 21 Group
No 100 Group

Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire
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