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Thread: Airfield + Maintenance Wing structure

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    Default Airfield + Maintenance Wing structure

    Hi all,

    I would like to ask about no. 124 (Czechoslovak) Airfield created on 8.11.43 from three Czechoslovak fighter units. As far as I was able to find out there was created a Maintenance Wing which was responsible for servicing Spitfires off all three squadron. Maintenance Wing was consisted of engine, armament and signal section.

    What was the rank of leader of each section? Should it be a F/Lt post?

    TIA

    Pavel
    Last edited by CZ_RAF; 17th February 2013 at 13:05. Reason: typo
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
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    Pavel,
    If this were a Maintenance Wing to support a Wing of three fighter squadrons, then it would have to have a few more constituent parts than you have listed! It would have to have have a HQ Unit, and this would "plug" more or less into the administrative strucure already provided at the airfield (if any!) Under that would come a Workshop squadron for intermediate inspections, modifications and repairs up to a certian level. Then there would be the maintenance squadrons, perhaps one per flying squadron (although it may have been a single large squadron supplying labour for all the three flying squadrons), and these/this would undertake the daily servicing (refuelling, rearming, and replenishing of oil, anti-freeze, hydraulics) and daily checking of wireless equipment (radios, etc), instruments, tyre pressures and of course all the other items under the heading of daily inspections. Thus we would have aero engine, airframe, armament, instrument, electrical and W/T Sections under Maintenance. Under Workshops you would usually have all the same basic trades, although usually of the more advanced Fitter trades, including Electrical, Hydraulic, Wireless, Metal work, instruments, armament. There would also be a certain number of ACH/GDs on the establishment for all the other 'odd jobs', and particularly in assisting the qualified tradesmen in the workshops, or for assisting in moving aircraft on the ground, and as extra 'muscle' when required. All this from general knowledge of RNZAF practices as well as reading the maintenenace volume of the RAF Narratives, but my general knowledge of RAF practice was that it was almost always a "moving feast" in state of flux and (hopefully) improvement as various theories on the most economic employment of skilled manpower were tried out for real, first on exercises in the UK (and in the field in France 1940) as well as long experience in the Middle and Far East, then new knowledge acquired during the later campaigns in France, etc from June 1944 onwards. There were also other units known as RAF Airfield Commandos who were fighting soldiers employed on aircraft servicing in France in 1944/45, usuaully near the front line in case of German breakthroughs. These of course were not skilled technical personel as such, but were quite capable of day to day servicing with a little practice. Hope this gives a reasonable general background to what may have been taling place with your squadrons. I would recommend a good reqad of the relevant RAF Narrative for a true understanding. This sort of general organisation of air forces "in the field" may well be still in use in Afghanastan, etc today.
    David D

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    Pavel,
    In previous post I stated that there should be a HQ Unit - this should read as a HQ Section.

    As to the various ranks required to fill appointments in a Mantenenace Wing, I cannot really answer with any accuracy, but I would guess that the CO might by a squadron leader in the technical branch, with most other sections being F/L or F/O appointments, and smaller sections might be under P/Os or more likely NCOs only, with perhaps senior armament, airframe and signals appointments being on the strength of the HQ section. I think we will have to rely on the more knowledgeable types on this Board for more precise answers - but how about the unit histories? They should list all the appointments at the very least.
    David D

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    David thank you very much for general background on this theme. I will try to get more information in RAF Museum Hendon.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
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    Hi Pavel

    I can't be certain but I would have thought most of the servicing, and all the 1st Line Servicing would have been carried out by the appropriate Servicing Echelon allocated to each Squadron. As David said the Wing or Airfield might have had some Engineering appointments on the HQ but I'm not sure there was a dedicated Airfield/Wing Engineering section.

    Malcolm

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    Well Malcolm, according to information from book By Jiri Rajlich on this date those 3 squadrons were incorporated into one "higher" unit and Maintenance Wing was created from all the ground staff of former units to serve to all 3 squadrons now. At this stage there were not yet introduced Servicing Echelons - they were used later.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
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    Hi Pavel

    According to RAFTSU, 124 Airfield was renamed 124 Wing on 12 May 1943 and disbanded 20 Apr 1946 and never had any Czech Spitfire units, it was a Rocket Projectile Wing with Typhoons

    Do you mean 134 (Czech) Wing?

    As you say 134 didn't form until Nov 1943 and wasn't renamed Wing until 1944 with its Servicing Echelons being formed on 22 March 1944.

    I suspect it had a form of 'Centralised Servicing Echelon' instead as suggested by David

    Malcolm

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    Hi all,

    I am sorry for my misprint.
    Malcolm is right, correct number is 134 so it was No. 134 (Czechoslovak) Airfield HQ formed on 8.11.1943 I am asking about.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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