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Thread: 13 Group & 14 Group Scotland 1939-45

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    Default 13 Group & 14 Group Scotland 1939-45

    I have a query on 13 Group and 14 Group which I was wondering if someone could explain please? I was told that both 13 and 14 Group were responsible for the air defence of Scotland but it seems there must have been some kind of conflict of interest with two Groups controlling the same airspace? Was Scotland divided between the two for a period? Tied in with this I was wondering how the structure worked. Was a sector airfield responsible for all airfields in a region or only specific airfields dedicated to air defence? In other words could any airfield having fighter aircraft be called upon to launch aircraft in the event of an air attack or were there only dedicated squadrons at dedicated airfields nominated for this task?

    Many Thanks
    Kemac

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    Scotland is a very large area and each group would have been responsible for a specific part of Scotland. Without looking I'd suggest that 13 Group was responsible for the Forth/Clyde area being just North of 12 Group which covered Northern England, and thus presumably 14 Group would be responsible for the Highlands and Islands down to Aberdeen, perhaps? Each Group will have been allocated particular Fighter Command squadrons based on specific airfields. In view of the limited number of airfields particularly in Northern Scotland these may well have been shared with other units, and any other airfields in the area will have been made use of as operationally required if only on a temporary basis.

    I'm sure someone will come on with a better description of the areas covered by these two Groups, but I feel the above describes the principle.
    Last edited by Graham Boak; 31st July 2018 at 13:36.

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    Hi KeMac,

    Have a look at http://www.rafweb.org/Organsation/Grp02.htm. I can't recall hearing of any conflicts; I think the areas of control were well enough defined.

    14 Group was formed 29 July 1940 at Drumossie Hotel, Inverness but moved to Raigmore House, Inverness (not sure if this was to the current bunker or to a now-demolished building on the same site) in 1941 or 1943 (I am researching this at present). It disbanded on 15 July 1943, having been absorbed into 13 Group.

    Keith

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    Thank you Keith & Graham,
    What I have found so far and it may be of interest to anyone researching later is that both the Wick and Dyce Sectors were transferred from 13 Group to 14 Group on 13th October 1940 at 1600hrs and 0900hrs respectively that day. So it seems the northern part of the air defences became 14 Group leaving 13 Group responsible for central/southern Scotland and northern England until 14 Group was disbanded on 15th July 1943. I gleaned this from the 13 Group ORBs which I had but didn't think to check at the time.
    Brgds
    KeMac

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    Hi Kemac

    Just another suggestion. In "The Narrow Margin" under 14 Group the stations listed are Castlebrae and Skaebrae only, with no squadrons listed apart from a mention of 421 and 422 Flight.

    These two airfields were responsible I believe for the air defence of Scapa Flow, so possibly 14 Group was only responsible for this area.

    There is also a comment ............(14 Group) responsible for administration of No 13 group beside those airfields shown ". What exactly that means I have no idea but it may mean something to you.

    Under 13 Group 808 Sqn FAA at Castletown and 804 Sqn FAA at Wick are shown as under 13 Group for operations.

    regards Peter

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    Thank You Peter,
    To be honest I find the whole thing quite confusing still and I have sent a request to Hendon to see if they can clarify it. As soon as I hear back I will post their answer.
    Brgds
    Keith

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    Hi

    The breakdown of the unit in 13 & 14 Group in Jan 1941 is as follows

    No 13 Group

    No 245 Sqn - RAF Aldergrove - Station in RAFNI
    RAF Station Catterick Catterick, Richmond, North Yorkshire
    No 54 Sqn - RAF Catterick
    No 600 Sqn - RAF Catterick
    Blenheims/Beaufighters
    No 68 Sqn - RAF Catterick
    RAF Station Usworth, Usworth, Sunderland, County Durham
    No 607 Sqn - RAF Usworth
    RAF Station Drem Gullane, Drem, East Lothian
    No 43 Sqn - RAF Drem
    No 603 Sqn - RAF Drem
    No 602 Sqn - RAF Prestwick - Station in Flying Training Command
    No 614 Sqn (Army Co-operation Command) - RAF Grangemouth (Lodger Unit)
    RAF Station Yeadon, Yeadon, West Riding of Yorkshire
    Station Flight -RAF Yeadon
    RAF Station Castletown, Thurso, Caithness
    No 808 Sqn FAA - RAF Castletown
    RAF Station Acklington, Acklington, Morpeth, Northumberland
    No 72 Sqn -RAF Acklington
    No 315 (Polish) Sqn - RAF Acklington
    No 258 Sqn - RAF Acklington

    No 14 Group

    No 260 Sqn - RAF Castletown - Station in No 13 Group
    No 1 Sqn RCAF RAF Castletown - Station in No 13 Group
    No 111 Sqn (1 Flight) -RAF Dyce - Station in Coastal Command
    No 111 Sqn (1 Flight) - RAF Montrose - Station in Flying Training Command
    RAF Station Elgin Elgin, Morayshire
    No 232 Sqn - RAF Elgin
    RAF Station Sumburgh, Mainland, Shetland Islands - Station in Coastal Command
    No 3 Sqn (1 Flight) - RAF Sumburgh
    RAF Station Skeabrae, Kirkwall, Orkneys
    No 3 Sqn (1 Flight) - RAF Skeabrae

    From this you will see that whilst 14 Group controlled the squadrons and flights, the stations they were located on were the responsibility of other Groups or Commands.

    The above is taken from the CAFL (available on my website)

    Malcolm

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    Thank you for allowing me to join your fascinating forum. Ihad been meaning to do so for some time but was again prompted by this thread as I did some research on 14 Group when I lived in Caithness.

    From the 14 Group F540 -
    A 29.06.1940 entry refers to a Fighter Command Signal ( which unfortunately is not still attached to the NA copy) FC/S.11923/A.O.A. which is the opening up programme for 14(Fighter) Group Inverness.
    The ORB states that theGroup would open to establishment WAR/FC/190 on 20.7.40. and that the HQ of theGroup was located in the Drummossie Hotel 31/2 miles SE of Inverness

    30 August 1940 entry has AVM M. Henderson C.I.E, D.S.O. assuming Command ofthe Group and a number of Officers who had been temporarily attached to RAF Kinloss ( presumably doing preparatory work for the new Group) moving to Daviot House. There is also a longer list of anticipated postings in.

    The next ORB entry is for 30.8.40 which reads
    “ 14 Group assumed administrative control of the following units:-
    RAF Station CASTLETOWN, RAF Station SKEABRAE, Sector H.Q.DYCE, Sector H.Q. WICK and Sector
    H.Q. BIGNOLD PARK, KIRKWALL and the following Squadrons,No.504, No.141, No.3 and No.232”

    The next ORB entry isn’t until 12 October 1940 and refers to a signal again, frustrating, missing but presumably delegating operational control to the Group because the entry date 14.10.40 reads:-
    “14 Group Assumed Operational Control
    When the Group commenced operating the following was the Group Order of Battle:-
    No.111 DYCE and MONTROSE. 232 – CASTLETOWN. 3 – CASTLETOWN.804 (FAA operating under F/ L HASTON.”

    Regrettably the last entry is at the bottom of the page andI do not appear to have the next page recorded. I presume there is more because while I know 14 Group was not heavily resourced this is little more than a Wing, not what you would normally expect as a Group.

    A word of explanation as to Stations under Command may alsobe appropriate. Sector Headquarters at WICK and DYCE are mentioned as being under administrative Control but the actual Stations on which those Headquarters lodge belong to 18 Group Coastal Command. The complexity of two separate Commands ona single Station may well be why the WICK Sector HQ was later moved to RAF SKEABRAE,a Fighter Command Station.

    Hope this has helped rather than further confuse!


    Chris
    Last edited by Oggie Rock; 23rd August 2018 at 09:55. Reason: layput

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