Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation
RAF Timeline 1946 - 1960
To view further details of each main Command development click on the Command title on the right of the timeline
For a summary click here
|April 1946||De Havilland Vampire entered service|
|May 1946||1 - Reserve Command formed.
1 - King's Flight reformed
7 - CFS reformed.
De Havilland Hornet entered service.
|June 1946||2 - Auxiliary Air Force reformed|
|September 1946||7 - World speed record set by Gp Capt E M Donaldson at 616.81 mph in a Meteor F4.|
|April 1947||London-Cape Town record broken by Sqn Ldrs H B Martin and E B Sismore|
|December 1947||16 - Auxiliary Air Force given prefix 'Royal'|
|June 1948||RAF operations against Malayan terrorists begin
26 - Berlin Airlift begins (Operation Plainfare)
|July 1948||12/14 - First crossing of Atlantic by six DH Vampires of No 54 Sqn|
|October 1948||Handley Page Hastings entered service|
|January 1949||Bristol Brigand entered service|
|February 1949||1 - WAAF renamed Womens' Royal Air Force|
|April 1949||North Atlantic Treaty signed forming NATO|
|May 1949||Berlin Airlift ends|
|June 1949||1 - Far East Air Force formed.
1 - RAF Flying College formed
|April 1950||1 - First RAF operational helicopter unit, Casualty Evacuation Flight formed.|
|June 1950||25 - North Korea invades South Korea, the Korean War begins|
|July 1950||Reserve Command renamed Home Command|
|August 1950||Boeing Washington entered service|
|January 1951||Reservists called up and refresher training given to RAuxAF|
|February 1951||Avro Shackleton entered service|
|May 1951||English Electric Canberra entered service.
26 - First RAF Royal Colours presentsd
|June 1951||Vickers Varsity entered service|
|September 1951||1 - 2nd Tactical Air Force reformed from BAFO.|
|February 1952||Bristol Sycamore entered service|
|April 1952||Lockheed Neptune entered service|
|August 1952||De Havilland Venom entered service|
|September 1952||20 - Plt Off Jean Lennox Hall WRAFVR became first woman to be awarded RAF Flying Badge ('Wings')|
|October 1952||21 - First RAF units deployed against the Mau Mau in Kenya.|
|March 1953||12 -RAF Lincoln shot down by a Soviet fighter
over East Germany killing seven.
Canadair Sabre entered service
|July 1953||15 - Royal Review of RAF at RAF Odiham
27 - Cease fire declared in Korea
|January 1954||1 - Last operational Spitfire sortie flown.|
|July 1954||Hawker Hunter entered service|
|August 1954||Supermarine Swift entered service|
|October 1954||Canberra of the RAF Flying College made first flight over the North Pole.|
|January 1955||Vickers Valiant entered service|
|February 1955||Westland Whirlwind helicopter entered service|
|July 1955||MEAF re-organised.|
|August 1955||Jet Provost introduced into 'all-jet' training programme at No 2 FTS.|
|February 1956||Lord Trenchard died.
Gloster Javelin entered service.
|March 1956||Blackburn Beverley entered service|
|May 1956||Avro Vulcan entered service|
|July 1956||De Havilland Comet entered service|
|October 1956||11 - First British atomic weapon tested at Monte Bello
31 - British and French forces attack Egypt (Operation 'Musketeer').
|November 1956||5 - British and French dropped at Port Said.|
|March 1957||10 - RAuxAF flying squadrons disbanded|
|May 1957||15 - First British H-bomb dropped.|
|November 1957||Handley Page Victor entered service.|
|July 1958||Bristol Bloodhound Mk 1 entered service|
|September 1958||19 - Douglas Thor IRBM entered service|
|October 1958||St Clement Danes re-consecrated|
|November 1958||3 - Signals Command formed.
Twin Pioneer entered service
|April 1959||4 - Home Command disbanded
16 - First RAF controlled launch of a Thor IRBM in the USA.
|May 1959||15 - Last sortie by RAF Flying Boat (Sunderland GR Mk 5)|
|June 1959||Bristol Britannia entered service|
|July 1959||First non stop flight (air-to-air refuelling used )from UK to Cape Town by Wg Cdr M J Beetham|
|October 1959||1 - First inter-service command since WW2 formed - British Force Arabian Peninsula|
|November 1959||1 - First Maritime HQ, RAuxAF formed.|
|January 1960||1 - No 38 Group re-formed|
|May 1960||25/26 - Valiant of No 214 Sqn made first non-stop flight from UK to Singapore.|
|June 1960||20/21 - Vulcan of No 617 Sqn made first non-stop flight from UK to Australia in 20 hours 3 minutes|
|July 1960||31 - Operation 'Firedog' ends.
RAF assists UN with transport facilities in Ghana.
English Electric Lightning and Vulcan B Mk 2 entered service.
|October 1960||Westland Belvedere entered service.|
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