Military History Books
by Harold A. Skaarup   www.SilverHawkAuthor.com   
 
RCAF Higher Formations and Ancillary Units, 1939-1945

RCAF Higher Formations and Ancillary Units

1939-1945

Data current to 22 March 2021.

 

RCAF logos, King George VI crown, and Queen Elizabeth II Crown.

Air Force HQ, formed at Ottawa on 18 Feb 1920, redesignated RCAF HQ on 1 Apr 1924, redesignated Air Force HQ on 31 Aug 1939, ceased to exist on formation of Canadian Forces HQ on 1 Aug 1964.

RCAF cap badges, Second World War and  post war.

RCAF Overseas Headquarters logo.

RCAF Overseas HQ, formed at London, England on 1 Jan 1940, this HQ exercised administrative control over all RCAF personnel and units overseas, and acted on behalf of the RCAF on all matters pertaining to their employment.  It was disbanded on 22 Jul 1946.

RCAF Commands

 

RCAF Air Defence Command logo.

Air Defence Command, formed at No. 1 Air Defence Group at Air Force HQ, Ottawa, Ontario on 1 Dec 1948.  Moved to St Hubert, Quebec on 1 Nov 1949.  Became Air Defence Command on 1 Jun 1951.  Integrated into North American Air Defence (NORAD) Command on 12 Sep 1957.  Moved to North Bay, Ontario in Aug 1966.  Integrated into the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) on 1 Feb 1968.

RCAF Air Material Command logo.

Air Material Command, formed as Maintenance Command at Uplands (Ottawa), Ontario, on 1 Oct 1945.  Moved to No. 8 Temporary Building, Ottawa, on 15 Mar 1947.  Moved to Rockcliffe (Ottawa), Ontario and renamed Air Material Command on 1 Apr 1949.  Disbanded on 1 Aug 1965 on the formation of the Canadian Forces Material Command.

Air Training Command, for as Training Group at Camp Borden, Ontario on 1 Apr 1935.  Moved to Trenton, Ontario on 1 Sep 1937.  Became Air Training Command on 15 Sep 1938.  Moved to Toronto, Ontario on 1 Oct 1938.  Disbanded on 1 Jan 1940 on the formation of No. 1 Training Command of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP).

 

RCAF Air Transport Command logo.

Air Transport Command, formed within Air Force HQ as the Directorate of Air Transport Command at Ottawa, Ontario, on 5 Aug 1943.  Redesignated No. 9 (Transport) Group and moved to Rockcliffe (Ottawa) on 5 Feb 1945 as an autonomous HQ.  Became Air Transport Command on 1 Apr 1948.  Moved to Lachine (Montreal), Quebec on 9 Aug 1951.  Moved to Trenton, Ontario on 1 Sep 1959.  Integrated into the CAF on 1 Feb 1968.

Central Air Command, formed at Trenton, Ontario on 1 Mar 1947 on the disbandment of No. 1 Air Command.  Became one of two geographical air commands of the peacetime establishment, controlling No. 10 Group (formerly Eastern Air Command) at Halifax, Nova Scotia.  Disbanded on 1 Apr 1949 on the formation of Training Command.

Eastern Air Command, formed at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 15 Nov 1938.  During the Second World War, it operated both as a command and as an operational group HQ.  It controlled No. 1 Group at St. John’s, Newfoundland and No. 5 (Gulf) Group at Gaspé, Quebec, and administered No. 12 (Operational Training) Group at Halifax.  Disbanded on 1 Mar 1947 on the formation of No. 10 Group of Central Air Command.

RCAF Maritime Air Command logo.

Maritime Air Command, formed at Halifax, Nova Scotia as No. 10 Group of Central Air Command on 1 Mar 1947, on the disbandment of Eastern Air Command.  Redesignated Maritime Group on 1 Apr 1949 and became autonomous on 15 Jan 1953.  Disbanded on 16 Jan 1966 on the formation of Canadian Forces Maritime Command.

North West Air Command, formed as the North West Staging Route at Edmonton, Alberta on 15 Oct 1942, under No. 4 Training Command of the BCATP.  Redesignated No. 2 Wing of Western Air Command on 1 Jan 1944.  Renamed North West Air Command on 1 Jun 1944.  Controlled No. 11 Group at Winnipeg, Manitoba and No. 12 Group at Vancouver, British Columbia.  Disbanded on 1 Aug 1951, when it was absorbed by Tactical Group (formerly No. 11 Group) to form Tactical Air Group (later Tactical Air Command).

RCAF Tactical Air Command logo.

Tactical Air Command, formed as No. 11 Group of North West Air Command on 1 Mar 1947.  Redesignated Tactical Group on 1 Apr 1949.  Became autonomous on 15 Jan 1951.  Moved to Edmonton, Alberta and merged with North West Air Command on 1 Aug 1951 to form Tactical Air Group.  Became Tactical Air Command on 1 June 1953.  Disbanded on 1 Jan 1959.

RCAF Training Command logo.

Training Command, formed at Trenton, Ontario on 1 Apr 1949 on the disbandment of Central Air Command.  Controlled No. 14 (Training) Group at Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Moved to Winnipeg on 11 Sep 1958 and absorbed No. 14 Group.  Disbanded on 15 Jan 1966 on the formation of Canadian Forces Training Command.

Western Air Command, formed at Vancouver, British Columbia on 1 Mar 1938.  Moved to Victoria, BC on 25 Nov 1939.  Returned to Vancouver on 1 Jan 1943.  During the Second World War, WAC operated as both a command and an operational group HQ.  It controlled No. 4 Group at Prince Rupert, BC, and briefly No. 2 Group at Victoria.  Disbanded on 1 Mar 1947 on the formation of No. 12 Group of North West Air Command.

No. 1 Air Command, formed at Trenton, Ontario on 15 Jan 1945 by the merger of No. 1 and No. 3 Training Command of the BCATP, as a temporary organization to cover the closing down of the BCATP and the establishment of the peacetime command organization.  Disbanded on 1 Mar 1947 on the formation of Central Air Command.

RCAF No. 2 Air Command logo.

No. 2 Air Command, formed at Winnipeg, Manitoba on 1 Dec 1944 by the merger of No. 2 and No. 4 Training Command of the BCATP and the establishment of the peacetime command organization.  Disbanded on 1 Mar 1947 on the formation of No. 11 Group of North West Air Command.

No. 1 Air Division Europe, formed at Paris, France on 1 Oct 1952 as an operational command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), Allied Command Europe (ACE).  Moved to Metz, France on 13 Apr 1953, then to Lahr, Germany on 1 Apr 1967.  Integrated into the CAF on 1 Feb 1968.

No. 5 Air Division, formed as No. 12 Group of North West Air Command at Comox, British Columbia on 1 Mar 1947.  Redesignated No. 12 Air Defence Group and reassigned to Air Defence Command on 1 Jul 1951.  Redesignated No. 5 Air Division on 1 Sep 1955.  Transferred to Maritime Air Command (Pacific) on 15 Oct 1962.  Disbanded on 31 Dec 1963.

Groups

No. 1 Group, Eastern Air Command, formed at St. John's, Newfoundland, on 10 July 1941 to control anti-submarine air operations in the Northwest Atlantic area and the air defence of Newfoundland and Labrador.  Disbanded on 30 June 1945.

No. 1 Group (Auxiliary), formed as RCAF (Reserve) Group Montreal on 15 Jan 1951.  Redesignated No. Group (Reserve) on 1 Jun 1951, and No. 1 Group (Auxiliary) on 1 Sep 1951.  Performed the functions of No. 11 (Operational) Wing (Auxiliary) and No. 12 (Technical Training) Wing (Auxiliary), both of which had been authorized but not formed.  Disbanded on 15 Apr 1957.

No. 2 Group, Western Air Command, formed at Victoria, British Columbia on 1 Jan 1943 as a temporary formation to cover the move of Western Air Command Headquarters from Victoria to Vancouver.  Disbanded on 15 Mar 1943.

No. 2 Group (Auxiliary), Toronto, Ontario, formed as RCAF (Reserve) Group Toronto on 15 Jan 1951.  Redesignated No. 2 Group (Reserve) on 1 Aug 1951, then No. 2 Group (Auxiliary) on 1 Sep 1951.  Controlled No. 14 (Operational) Wing (Auxiliary) and No. 15 (Technical Training) Wing (Auxiliary).  Disbanded on 1 Mar 1957.

No. 4 Group, Western Air Command, formed at Prince Rupert, British Columbia on 16 Jun 1942 to provide administrative and operational control of RCAF units in northern British Colubia and the Yukon.  Disbanded on 1 Apr 1944.

No. 5 (Gulf) Group, Eastern Air Command, formed at Gaspé, Quebec on 1 May 1943 to integrate and control air operations over the Gulf of St. Lawrence during the shipping season.  Inactive from 15 Nov 1943 to 30 Apr 1944, with headqquarters located at Eaastern Air Command Headquarters, Halifax, Nov Scotia.  Disbanded on 15 Nov 1944.

No. 6 (RCAF) Group, RAF Bomber Command, formed at Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, England, on 25 Oct 1942, and moved to permanent quarters at Allerton Park, east of Knaresborough, on 6 Dec 1942.  Declared operational on 1 Jan 1943.  Transferred to RCAF Eastern Air Command on 14 Jul 1945 to reorganize and train for service in the Pacific as part of RAF "Tiger Force".  Disbanded on 1 Sep 1945. 

No. 6 (RCAF) Group was commanded by Air Vice Marshall G.E. Brookes OBE from 25 Oct 1942 to 28 Feb 1944, and by Air Vice Marshall C.M. "Black Mike" McEwen CB MC DFC from 29 Feb 1944 to 13 Jul 1944.

No. 6 (RCAF) Group flew 40,822 sorties, accumulated 271,981 flying hours, and dropped 126,122 tons of bombs (including mines).  Its aerial gunners destroyed 116 enemy aircraft, probably destroyed 24 and damaged 92.  814 aircraft were lost and more than 3,500 aircrew were killed or are presumed dead.

No. 9 (Transport) Group, was part of Air Transport Command.

No. 10 Group, was part of Maritime Air Command.

No. 11 Group, was part of Tactical Air Command.

No. 12 Group, was part of No. 5 Air Division.

No. 12 (Operational Training) Group, Eastern Air Command, was formed at Halifax, Nova Scotia on 22 Jul 1942 to administer and control operational training units in Eastern Air Command.  Disbanded on 14 Jan 1945.

No. 14 (Training) Group, Training Command, was formed at Winnipeg, Manitoba, on 1 Aug 1951 to administer and control training facilities reactivated in the Prairie Provinces to train North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) aircrew.  It was absorbed into Training Command Headquarters when the latter moved to Winnipeg on 11 Sep 1939.

Sectors

No. 17 Sector, RAF Second Tactical Air Force, formed as No. 17 (Fighter) Wing at Headcorn, Kent, England, on 4 Jul 1943 to administer and control No. 126 and No. 127 Airfield, as well as No. 144 Airfield on 21 Apr 1944.  Redesignated No. 17 Sector at Kenley, Surrey, on 15 May 1944, when airfields became wings.  Disbanded at Crepon, France, on 13 Jul 1944 on the reorganization of Second Tactical Air Force.

No. 22 Sector, RAF Second Tactical Air Force, formed as No. 22 (Fighter) Wing at Ayr, Scotland, on 9 Jan 1944 to administer and control No. 143 and No. 144 Airfield.  Reorganized as a Fighter Bomber formation on 16 Apr 1944, when it absorbed No. 16 (RAF) Wing, along with No. 121 and No. 124 (RAF) Airfields.  No. 144 Airfield was transferred to No. 17 (Fighter) Wing.  Redesignated No. 22 Sector at Hurn, Hampshire, England, on 15 May 1944 when airfields became wings.  Disbanded at Camily, France, on 13 Jul 1944 on the reorganization of Second Tactical Air Force.

Bases

No. 61 (Training) Base, No. 6 (RCAF) Group, formed as Topcliffe Operational Base with headquarters at Topcliffe, Yorkshire, England, on 1 Mar 1943, controlling RCAF Stations Topcliffe, Dishforth and Dalton.  Redesignated No. 6 (RCAF Group Training Base on 16 Sep 1943, when it added RCAF Station Wombleton.  Transferred to No. 7 (Training) Group and renumbered No. 76 (RCAF) Training Base on 9 Nov 1944.  Disbanded on 1 Sep 1945.

No. 62 "Beaver" (Operational) Base, No. 6 (RCAF) Group, formed as Linton-on-Ouse Operational Base with headquarters at Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, England on 1 Jun 1943, controlling RCAF Stations Linton-on-Ouse, East Moor, and Tholthorpe.  Redesignated No. 62 "Beaver" (Operational) Base on 6 Oct 1943.  Disbanded on 15 Jul 1945, when its units and establishment were transferred to RCAF Eastern Air Command as part of RAF "Tiger" Force for duty in the Pacific.

No. 63 (Operational) Base, No. 6 (RCAF) Group, formed with headquarters at Leeming, Yorkshire, England on 1 May 1944, controlling RCAF Stations Leeming and Skipton-on-Swale.  Disbanded on 31 Aug 1945.

No. 64 (Operational) Base, No. 6 (RCAF) Group, formed with headquarters at Middleton St. George, Durham, England, on 1 May 1944, controlling RCAF Stations Middleton Si. George and Croft.  Disbanded on 15 Jun 1945, when its units and establishment were transferred to RCAF Eastern Air Command as part of RAF "Tiger" Force for duty in the Pacific.