Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation

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RAF  China and RAF Shanghai Personnel, units and locations

July 1927

RAF China

When Chinese revolutionaries threatened to take over the International city of Shanghai in early 1927, a tri-service force was established in January 1927, called the Shanghai Defence Force and was sent to protect British lives and property in Shanghai.  Operating from Hong Kong and Royal Navy carriers, the air element of the SDF was given the title RAF China, with those operating from Shanghai itself coming under the control of RAF Shanghai.  By the end of October 1927, No 2 Squadron had returned to the UK and RAF China disbanded.

Location Controlled
c/o Commodore-in-Charge, Hong Kong
  • RAF Units in HMS Hermes

    • No 403 (Fleet Fighter) Flight

    • No 440 (Fleet Reconnaissance) Flight

  • RAF Units in HMS Argus

    • No 404B (Fleet Fighter) Flight

    • No 422 (Fleet Spotter) Flight

    • No 441 (Fleet Reconnaissance) Flight

  • RAF Units in HMS Vindictive

    • No 441 (Fleet Reconnaissance) Flight

  • RAF Units in HMS Enterprise

  • RAF Units at Hong Kong

    • No 401 (Fleet Fighter) Flight

    • No 442 (Fleet Reconnaissance) Flight

    • No 443B (Fleet Reconnaissance) Flight

    • FAA Reserve Stores Section

    • FAA Accounts Office

    • FAA Repair Section


Rank Name Date Notes
Gp Capt

Edmund D M Robertson

 6 May 1926 Fleet Aviation Officer to C-in-C China and in Command of RAF units at Hong Kong  DFC; later A/Cdre
Sqn Ldr Charles E H C MacPherson   Officer Commanding, Kai Tak Aerodrome
Hon Flt Lt (Fg Off) Herbert R B Howell Adjutant
Fg Off Hugh R Vaughan-Fowler Administrative duties at Kai Tak Aerodrome
Fg Off Archibald R Hamilton Assistant to Fleet Aviation Officer, MC

RAF Shanghai

Location Controlled
c/o HQ Shanghai Defence Force
  • No 2 (Army Co-operation) Squadron


Rank Name Date Notes
Wg Cdr

Arthur S Barratt

11 Apr 1927 Air Staff Officer to the GOC, Shanghai Defence Force and in Command of units allocated to the Shanghai Defence Force; CMG, MC; later ACM

Source - July 1927 Air Force List

This page was last updated on 08/07/19 using FrontPage 2003

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