No. 23 Group RAF


No. 23 Group RAF was a group of the Royal Air Force, first established in 1918, and finally disbanded in 1975.

No. 23 Group RAF
CountryUnited Kingdom United Kingdom
BranchEnsign of the Royal Air Force.svg Royal Air Force
RoleFlying training
Part ofRAF Training Command, RAF Flying Training Command
HeadquartersGlasgow; Spitalgate; South Cerney; Leighton Buzzard; Church Fenton; Dishforth; Linton-on-Ouse[1]

The group was reformed as No 23 (Training) Group in RAF Inland Area on 12 April 1926, at RAF Spitalgate, by re-numbering No. 3 Group RAF. Its stations were RAF Digby, Eastchurch, Flowerdown, Manston, and RAF Sealand, while it commanded 1 (Netheravon), 2, and 5 FTSs; the Armament and Gunnery School at Eastchurch; the School of Technical Training (Airmen) at RAF Manston; the Central Flying School at RAF Upavon, and finally the Electrical and Wireless School at RAF Flowerdown.[2]

The Group was transferred to RAF Training Command on 1 May 1936. The RAF List for 1938 records that it comprised the Central Flying School; 1-3 and 5-11 Flying Training Schools; the Packing Depot at Sealand; the School of Air Navigation and No. 48 Squadron RAF at Manston; the Station Flight and No. 24 MU at Tern Hill; and No. 27 MU at RAF Shawbury.[3] In September 1939 it controlled Nos 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, and 12 Service Flying Training Schools, the Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment at RAF Martlesham Heath, and the group communications flight co-located with Group Headquarters at RAF Spitalgate in Lincolnshire.[4]

It was then transferred again to RAF Flying Training Command on 27 May 1940. In December 1940, after his successful leadership of No. 11 Group RAF during the Battle of Britain, Air Vice Marshal Keith Park was transferred into Training Command. He become Air Officer Commanding 23 Group on 27 December 1940.[5]

After 1 January 1957, No. 23 Group was responsible for Nos 1 - 5, No. 6 Flying Training School RAF (1957-68), No. 7 (from 1957-60) and No. 8 Flying Training School RAF (from 1957-64). The Group Headquarters moved to RAF Church Fenton in 1959 and then to RAF Dishforth in 1962. It was reabsorbed into RAF Training Command in 1968;[1] it disbanded at RAF Linton-on-Ouse on 2 May 1975.[1]

Training Command itself disbanded in 1977, and by 1982 flying training units were being directed by Air Officer Training and AOC Training Units at Headquarters RAF Support Command.[6]

Postwar Air Officers CommandingEdit


  1. ^ a b c d, Groups nos 20 - 29, accessed June 2020.
  2. ^ Ian Philpott (2005). The Royal Air Force: The Trenchard Years, 1918–1929. Casemate Publishers. (no page number visible), drawing upon Air Ministry Weekly Order 354/1926.
  3. ^ Royal Air Force List 1938, page 152.
  4. ^ Leo Niehorster, No. 23 (Training) Group, Training Command, Royal Air Force, 3 September 1939, accessed June 2020.
  5. ^ Air of Authority – A History of RAF Organisation – Air Chief Marshal Sir Keith Park
  6. ^ Keith Ansell, "RAF Support Command," Armed Forces, September 1982.
  7. ^ "Senior RAF appointments" (PDF). Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  8. ^ "J Gingell".