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Thread: 38 Group squadrons at Matching, Essex

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    Default 38 Group squadrons at Matching, Essex

    I have the following squadron listed as being at Matching, I cannot find reference via google of an RAF unit with this designation. Is this correct?

    38Gp 675/40 ORTU


    Many thanks.
    Denis.
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    Denis,
    Not an actual squadron, it was an Operational Refresher Training Unit

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    In the 38 Group (Met) After Action Report the S Met O (Wg Cdr L Jacobs) states that the 38 Gp ORTU moved from Thruxton to Hampstead Norris on 27 Feb 44, and from Hampstead Norris to Matching on 26 Feb 45. In both cases he refers to it as the Operational Research Training Unit. It had been given this name from its predecessor, the Glider Pilot Experimental Unit.
    HTH
    Peter Davies
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    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Peter,
    I did a bit of checking around just in case i was wrong, but all the RAF abbreviation lists i have looked at and also the 38 Group website and Control Towers website refer to the abbreviation as Operational Refresher Training Unit.

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    A search of the TNA catalouge would suggest

    AIR 29/587 Operation and Refresher Training Unit, Thruxton, Hampstead Norris, Matching and Wethersfield

    Research Training Unit does not seem to return as a finding, but you might want to try that yourselves a bit.
    Last edited by dennis_burke; 30th December 2009 at 15:10.
    Dennis Burke
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    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Alan/Denis/Dennis,
    I have no wish to start a needless controversy, but merely took my information from the 38 Grp (Met) AAR (quoted - verbatim, and from a carbon copy of that document in my possession - in the next para (below)).

    Tarrant Rushden opened on 23 Nov 43 with part of staff transferred from Thruxton. In addition to the units at Shrewton and Bulford, mentioned above, which obtained Meteorological information direct from Netheravon, the latter also supplied information to RAF Chilbolton (a satellite of Netheravon) from Mar to May 43, when it was occupied by the Glider Pilot Experimental Unit. With the move of this unit to Netheravon, when its name was changed to the Operational Research Training Unit (ORTU), warnings and forecasts were supplied direct, and similar information was supplied when the unit moved to Thruxton in Sep 43.

    I had no reason to doubt the parentage of the ORTU in that it was descended from the GPEU. The GPEU had descended from the very first conference (on 19 Jul 40) which decided to start training paratroops in UK at Ringway. I appreciate that they were, in them days!, very much making it up as they went along, but in my mind "Experimental" and "Research" sat well together. The altogether different job of teaching (and, in some cases, re-teaching (Refresher?)) whatever techniques had been devised by the "Experimental" and "Research" mob seemed to me to be a separate requirement. That fitted my scientific aviation background/experience!

    Although I never met him, Lew Jacobs did have a bit of a reputation of being "difficult"!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    So, we will go with Operational Refresher Training unit then!
    Many thanks to you all again. This board never fails eh? :)
    The wartime airfields of Hunsdon & Sawbridgeworth.

    The Hertfordshire Airfields Memorial Group.

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    Dear All

    Having seen the file AIR 29/587 that Dennis makes reference to I can confirm that the Form 540 is headed as "Operational and Refresher Training Unit".

    The period I was looking at covers Aug-Sep'44 when they were operating Albermarles and to a much lesser extent Whitley, Horsa and Tiger Moth.

    Regards
    Pierre

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