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RAF Transport Command

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Royal Air Force Transport Command
Active25 March 1943–1 August 1967
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Royal Air Force
Rolecontrolling Transport aircraft
Motto(s)Latin: Ferio Ferendo
("I Strike by Carrying")[1]
EngagementsSecond World War
crest heraldryA golden griffon in front of a globe

RAF Transport Command was a Royal Air Force command that controlled all transport aircraft of the RAF. It was established on 25 March 1943 by the renaming of the RAF Ferry Command, and was subsequently renamed RAF Air Support Command in 1967.


During the Second World War, it at first ferried aircraft from factories to operational units and performed air transport. Later it took over the job of dropping paratroops from Army Cooperation Command as well.

In June 1944 the Command was made up of No. 38 Group RAF; No. 44 Group RAF; No. 45 Group RAF at Dorval in Canada, the former Atlantic Ferry Organisation, with Nos 112 and 113 Wings; No. 46 Group RAF; No. 216 Group RAF in Egypt; No. 229 Group RAF in India (formed 1943-44);[2] No. 114 Wing RAF at Accra in the Gold Coast, and No. 116 Wing RAF at RAF Hendon, of which last supervised scheduled services to India.[3]

As the Second World War ended, on 7 May 1945, No. 4 Group RAF was transferred into the command, from Bomber Command, but disbanded in early 1948; No. 48 Group RAF was established,[4] but then disbanded on 15 May 1946; and No. 216 Group was transferred to RAF Mediterranean and Middle East.[5] The Command took part in several big operations, including the Berlin Airlift in 1948, which reinforced the need for a large RAF transport fleet.[6] The Handley Page Hastings, a four-engined transport, was introduced during the Berlin Airlift[7] and continued as a mainstay transport aircraft of the RAF for the next 15 years. In 1956, new aircraft designs became available, including the de Havilland Comet (the first operational jet transport), and the Blackburn Beverley. In 1959, the Bristol Britannia was introduced.[7]

During the 1960s the command was divided into three different forces:

During the 1950s and 1960s Transport Command evacuated military personnel from the Suez Canal Zone prior and after the Suez Crisis of October–November 1956;[7] evacuated casualties from South Korea during the Korean War and from the Malaya during the Malayan Emergency; moved essential supplies to Woomera, South Australia, and ferried personnel and supplies out to Christmas Island for the UK's atomic bomb tests. In addition, Transport Command ran scheduled routes to military staging posts and bases in the Indian Ocean region, Southeast Asia and the Far East, to maintain contact between the UK and military bases of strategic importance. It also carried out special flights worldwide covering all the continents bar Antarctica. Many varied tasks were undertaken during the 1950s.

The 1960s saw a reduction of the RAF and a loss of independence of the former functional commands. Transport Command was renamed Air Support Command in 1967.[8]

Aircraft operated

Operation Becher's Brook

Becher's Brook was a major operation of Transport command – the ferrying of 400 Canadair Sabre fighters from North America to the UK. This required pilots and ground crew to be transported to Canada. The Sabres were flown via Keflavik (Iceland) on to Shetland and from there to mainland Scotland.

North Greenland Expedition

Transport Command supported the British North Greenland Expedition a research expedition over two years on the Greenland ice.


Commanders-in-Chief included:[9]

See also



  1. ^ Pine, L.G. (1983). A dictionary of mottoes (1 ed.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 74. ISBN 0-7100-9339-X.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Leo Niehorster, Transport Command, 6 June 1944, accessed June 2020.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Berlin Airlift Archived 4 April 2004 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ a b c No. 99 Squadron
  8. ^ British Military Aviation in 1967 Archived 10 October 2008 at the Wayback Machine RAF Museum
  9. ^ Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation – RAF Home Commands formed between 1939 – 1957 Archived 11 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine


External links

This page was last edited on 11 September 2020, at 00:11
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