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Thread: RATG units

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    Default RATG units

    Hello all,

    could somebody helps with list of Rhodesian Air Training Group ww2 units.

    thank you in advance

    Milan

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    Do you mean a list of EFTSs, SFTSs etc and locations?
    Max
    Max Williams
    www.ordinarycrew.co.uk
    the story of Lancaster ME453

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    Max, you´re right, I mean list of EFTSs, SFTSs, AGSs etc and locations
    wbw
    Milan

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    Hello Milan,

    The following is from an Official Report compiled by the RAAF A.L.O., Southern Rhodesia, and dated, 18 May, 1943. (Bear this in mind when reading this extract).

    Prior to the arrival of the Royal Air Force in Rhodesia, only one station was in existence. This was Cranborne, the Headquarters of the Southern Rhodesia Air Force. It was in effect an EFTS, and had an establishment of 50 Officers and 300 airmen. It opened as an RAF station in April 1940 and at the same time the Headquarters of the Rhodesian Air Training Group was formed in Salisbury. Belvedere aerodrome was originally a civil aerodrome and the Headquarters of Rhodesia and Nyasaland Airways. It opened as an EFTS in May 1940.

    The other stations opened in rapid succession as follows:- (Note the actual dates cannot be found as no official records can be found).

    HQ.RATG, Cranborne - Opened in April 1940
    20SFTS, Cranborne - Opened in April 1940
    25EFTS, Belvedere - Opened in May 1940
    26EFTS, Guinea Fowl - Opened in August 1940
    21SFTS, Kumalo - Opened in October 1940
    27EFTS, Induna - Opened in December 1940
    22SFTS,Thornhill - Opened in February 1941
    28EFTS, Mount Hampden - Opened in March 1941
    23SFTS, Heany - Opened in July 1941
    24CAOS, Moffat - Opened in August 1941
    33FIS, Belvedere - Opened in September 1941.
    Initial Training Wing - Opened in October 1941.

    By the end of the year 1940, two EFTS, namely, No.25EFTS, Belvedere, and No.26EFTS, Guinea Fowl were operating, and there had been an output of 110 pilots.

    During the year 1941, the other stations opened up and the first output to service was from No.21SFTS, Kumalo, on 17th January, 1941. The first output from No.22SFTS, Thornhill, was on 11th July, while that from 23SFTS, Heany, was on 17th October. In October 1941, the first output of Air Gunners took place at 24CAOS, Moffat, and the first output of Air Observers was in December, 1941.

    The personnel trained in the Group are mostly from England and Australia, but also includes Rhodesians, Greeks, Free French, South Africans, Yugoslavs and Poles.

    It is believed that the Rhodesian Air training Group is unique in that it includes Initial, Elementary, Intermediate and Advanced training on both single and twin-engined machines and has also a Combined Air Observer and Gunnery School. It is self-contained and has ARDs,CMU,CFS,Communication Squadron and Meteorological Service.

    All the stations are sited in the centre of Southern Rhodesia on a plateau 4,000 to 5,000 feet above sea-level running from North-east to South-west. The whole Group consists of One Group Headquarters, four Elementary Flying Training Schools, four Service Flying Training Schools, one Combined Air Observer and Gunnery School and one Initial Training Wing. The stations are sited in three areas at Salisbury, Gwelo and Bulawayo.

    The following Air Force establishments are sited in and around Salisbury:-

    Group Headquarters
    20SFTS, Cranborne
    25EFTS, Belvedere
    28EFTS, Mount Hampden.

    The following Air Force establishments are sited around Gwelo:-

    24CAOS, Moffat
    22SFTS, Thornhill
    26EFTS, Guinea Fowl.

    The following Air Force establishments are sited in and around Bulawayo:-

    21SFTS, Kumalo
    23SFTS, Heany
    27EFTS, Induna and
    Initial Training Wing.

    This info is not part of the above extract, but should be noted.
    In addition, the South African Air Force, although not a member of the Scheme , made available the facilities of 1GRS, 61AS and 33IS, all situated at George in Cape Province, and many crews who were destined for Coastal Command learned at George the high standard of navigation needed for their demanding work.

    Hope this is some help to you,

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 25th July 2009 at 13:15. Reason: minor correction

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    Hello Milan,
    Col has just about summed it up apart from the two at the end of my father's service below.

    His ITW was at Bulawayo in 42/43, then 28 EFTS Mt Hampden, 20 SFTS Cranborne '43, followed by 33 FIS (Flying Instructors School) at Norton in 43/44, and finally 24 BG and NS (Bombing, Gunnery and Navigation School) Moffat in 44/45.

    There are several photographs of S Rhodesia from Dad's album on my website www.ordinarycrew.co.uk
    Regards
    Max
    Last edited by Galgos; 25th July 2009 at 21:26.
    Max Williams
    www.ordinarycrew.co.uk
    the story of Lancaster ME453

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    Hello Max,

    The RATG Report quoted by me, relates to the situation as of, pre-May,1943.

    A.

    No.33 FLYING INSTRUCTORS SCHOOL
    Formed 20.5.42 ex Rhodesian Central Flying School at BELVEDERE; 2.11.42 NORTON (ALG at Hanyani from 12.4.43); Redesignated Central Flying School, Southern Rhodesia 9.5.44

    B.

    No.24 COMBINED AIR OBSERVERS SCHOOL, RATG.
    Nucleus assembled 23-27.6.41 at West Kirby; 14.7.41 Advance party arr HEANY; 3.8.41 unit officially opened at MOFFAT (nr Gwelo); 12.5.43 renamed No.24 Bombing and Gunnery navigation School; Disbanded 13.4.45

    See:
    Royal Air Force Flying Training and Support Units.
    Sturtivant,R.,Hamlin,J & J.J.Halley.
    Tunbridge Wells:Air Britain(Historians),1997 (1st ed.)
    A. p.151
    B. p.95

    Check 2nd ed. for updates.

    No problems, Max. I did not want to clutter an already complicated situation with movements etc., which could all be added later.

    Cheers,

    Col.

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    Thanks for that additional info Col. Funnily enough I've just starting making a 1/48th model of a Tiger Moth based on a photo in Dad's logbook, part of the fuselage is obscured by the struts of the plane from which the photo was taken, but it shows a checkerboard band around the rear section. I appealed on a modellers' forum for any "spare" checkerboard decals, though I had no idea about colour, how many "rings" of checkers etc. One helpful chap found a "FlightGlobal" article (written in 1953) for me about "Fledgling Rhodesia" showing another Moth with the checkers three deep, explaining that the TMO (something Maintenance Officer?) was ex-56 squadron and had them painted on the Mt Hampden Tigers to distinguish them from those at nearby Belvedere. So I know they are red and white checkers!
    Regards
    Max
    Max Williams
    www.ordinarycrew.co.uk
    the story of Lancaster ME453

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    Hi Colonel & Max

    thank you very much for very useful info about RATG Units.
    I found info that No. 25 Elementary Flying Training School at Belvedere, Salisbury opened on 24 May 1940 was first unit founded in BCATP - earlier than any unit in Canada under BCATP.

    Milan

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    Quote Originally Posted by munro View Post
    Hi Colonel & Max

    thank you very much for very useful info about RATG Units.
    I found info that No. 25 Elementary Flying Training School at Belvedere, Salisbury opened on 24 May 1940 was first unit founded in BCATP - earlier than any unit in Canada under BCATP.

    Milan
    Milan,

    Err, not quite! Training under BCATP in Canada commenced on 29 Apr 40, at No.1 Initial Training School, Toronto.

    Prior to this several other units were were transferred from Home War Establishment to BCATP as early as 2 Feb 40.

    Source: F J Hatch's 'Aerodrome of Democracy - Canada and the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan 1939-1945.'

    Errol

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    Errol,

    thank you for correction.

    wbw

    Milan

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