Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation


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No 61 Wing Personnel, units and locations


It was originally formed at St.Pol on 1 April 1918 from No 1 Wing RNAS as 61st (Naval Wing) Wing in Dover-Dunkirk Command.  By August it had been placed under No 5 Group and disbanded on 13 November 1918, by which time it controlled Nos 202, 204, 210, 213, 217 and 218 Squadrons.

It began reforming at Hendon on 23 September 1939 as the Special Cadre Unit (A/839), moving to Hartlebury on 30 September to collect their MT.  It began moving to Avonmouth that night but this was changed to Newport, Monmouthshire during the journey, which it reached on the afternoon of 1 October.  The vehicles were loaded onto the SS Treworlas, whilst the personnel boarded the SS Duke of Rothesay the following day, arriving at St Nazaire on 4 October, moving to Savenay on 7 October and arrived at Norrent-Fontes on 10 October, In the meantime, on 5 October a further three officers and 40 men assembled at RAF Croydon and under the title Special Fighter Cadre Wing and remained there until 12 October, when they flew out to join the ground party at Norrent Fontes.  Three days later the unit was redesignated as No 61 Fighter Wing Servicing Unit to await the arrival of two fighter squadrons, making further moves to Auchy-au-Bois on 20 October and Merville on 4 November,  where the two squadrons of Gladiators, Nos 607 and 615 Squadrons arrived on 15 November and on 13 December it moved again, this time to Vitry-en-Artois, and finally to Achicourt in January 1940, where it was redesignated as No 61 (Fighter) Wing on 20 January.  It was now under the control No 14 Group, still with Nos 607 and 615 Squadrons and by 4 May 1940 was at Abbeville, but following the German breakthrough it returned to the UK sometime in May and disbanded at Kenley on 31 May 1940.

Personnel Movements

Rank Name

Date

Notes
Various parties of NCOs and Airmen 23 Sep 1939 Reported for duty to RAF Hendon
Flt Lt P Tremlett 24 Sep 1939 RAFVR, reported for duty at RAF Market Drayton
Flt Lt P Tremlett 28 Sep 1939 RAFVR, ordered to proceed to RAF Hendon pending proceeding to France
Flt Lt P Tremlett 29 Sep 1939 RAFVR, arrived at RAF Hendon and placed in command of Special Cdre Unit
Wg Cdr J A Boret  5 Oct 1939 Arrived at RAF Croydon and appointed to command Special Fighter Cadre Wing
Fg Off R S Cromie  5 Oct 1939 Arrived at RAF Croydon as Medical Officer
Fg Off E W Walker  5 Oct 1939 Arrived at RAF Croydon as Armament Officer
Plt Off A M Roberts  8 Oct 1939 Arrived at RAF Hendon for duty as Equipment Officer
Wg Cdr J A Boret 12 Oct 1939 Flew from RAF Croydon to Norrent Fontes and assumed command of A/839
Flt Lt P Tremlett 12 Oct 1939 Relinquished command of A/839 and assumed duties of Adjutant
Plt Off A M Roberts 12 Oct 1939 Flew from RAF Croydon to Norrent Fontes
Fg Off R S Cromie 12 Oct 1939 Flew from RAF Croydon to Norrent Fontes
Wg Cdr J A Boret 15 Oct 1939 Proceeded to the Air Ministry for final instructions
Plt Off A M Roberts 15 Oct 1939 Proceeded to the Air Ministry for final instructions
Wg Cdr J A Boret 18 Oct 1939 Returned from the UK
Plt Off A M Roberts 18 Oct 1939 Returned from the UK
Fg Off E W Walker 18 Oct 1939 Arrived from the UK
Wg Cdr J A Boret 28 Nov 1939 Posted to No 60 Wing as OC
Wg Cdr R Y Eccles 30 Nov 1939 Posted in and assumed command of No 61 Fighter Wing Servicing Unit
Flt Lt H J Larkin  3 Jan 1940 Posted in for duty with No 2 Mobile D/F Unit
Wg Cdr R Y Eccles 20 Jan 1940 Reposted as OC, No 61 Fighter Wing
Flt Lt P Tremlett 20 Jan 1940 Reposted as Sqn Ldr - Administration, No 61 (Fighter) Wing
Fg Off Fieldsend 20 Jan 1940 Reposted as Flt Lt - Operations, No 61 (Fighter) Wing
Plt Off B B Hicks 23 Jan 1940 Posted in for Operations Room duties
Plt Off A T Gregory 23 Jan 1940 Posted in for Operations Room duties

Source - No 61 Wing ORB

Unit Composition and Movements

Unit Date Notes
Special Cadre Unit (A/839) 28 Sep 1939 Assembled at RAF Hendon
Special Cadre Unit (A/839) 30 Sep 1939 Proceeded to No 25 MU, RAF Hartlebury
Special Cadre Unit (A/839)  1 Oct 1939 Proceeded to Newport Monmouthshire for embarkation
MT, Special Cadre Unit (A/839)  1 Oct 1939 Embarked at Newport Monmouthshire
Personnel, Special Cadre Unit (A/839)  2 Oct 1939 Embarked at Newport Monmouthshire
Personnel, Special Cadre Unit (A/839)  4 Oct 1939 Arrived at St Nazaire and disembarked
MT, Special Cadre Unit (A/839)  5 Oct 1939 Arrived at Nantes
Special Fighter Cadre Wing  5 Oct 1939 Assembled at RAF Croydon
MT, Special Cadre Unit (A/839)  6 Oct 1939 Disembarked at Nantes
Special Cadre Unit (A/839)  6 Oct 1939 Proceeded to No 2 Base Transit Camp, Savenay
Special Cadre Unit (A/839)  8 Oct 1939 Proceeded to Le Mans
Special Cadre Unit (A/839)  9 Oct 1939 Proceeded to Beauvais
Special Cadre Unit (A/839) 10 Oct 1939 Proceeded to Norrent-Fontes via Amiens
Special Fighter Cadre Wing 12 Oct 1939 Moved from RAF Croydon to Norrent Fontes by air
Unit A/839 15 Oct 1939 Redesignated No 61 Fighter Wing Servicing Unit

Source - No 61 Wing ORB

The ORB entries for April and May 1940 are missing, probably lost or destroyed during the evacuation from France.

This page was last updated on 15/05/20

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