|Royal Air Force Transport Command|
|Active||25 March 1943–1 August 1967|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Role||controlling Transport aircraft|
|Headquarters||RAF Upavon Previously Harrow|
|Motto(s)||Latin: Ferio Ferendo|
("I Strike by Carrying")
|Engagements||Second World War|
|crest heraldry||A golden griffon in front of a globe|
RAF Transport Command was a Royal Air Force command that controlled all transport aircraft of the RAF. It was established on 25 March 1943 by the renaming of the RAF Ferry Command, and was subsequently renamed RAF Air Support Command in 1967.
During the Second World War, it at first ferried aircraft from factories to operational units and performed air transport. Later it took over the job of dropping paratroops from Army Cooperation Command as well.
In June 1944 the Command was made up of No. 38 Group RAF; No. 44 Group RAF; No. 45 Group RAF; No. 46 Group RAF; No. 216 Group RAF; No. 229 Group RAF; No. 114 Wing RAF, and No. 116 Wing RAF at RAF Hendon.
No. 44 Group - HQ at Gloucester
No. 46 Group RAF - HQ at Harrow Weald
No. 216 Group RAF HQ in Egypt
As the Second World War ended, on 7 May 1945, No. 4 Group RAF was transferred into the command, from Bomber Command, but disbanded in early 1948; No. 48 Group RAF was established, but then disbanded on 15 May 1946; and No. 216 Group was transferred to RAF Mediterranean and Middle East. The Command took part in several big operations, including the Berlin Airlift in 1948, which reinforced the need for a large RAF transport fleet. The Handley Page Hastings, a four-engined transport, was introduced during the Berlin Airlift and continued as a mainstay transport aircraft of the RAF for the next 15 years. In 1956, new aircraft designs became available, including the de Havilland Comet (the first operational jet transport), and the Blackburn Beverley. In 1959, the Bristol Britannia was introduced.
During the 1960s the command was divided into three different forces:
During the 1950s and 1960s Transport Command evacuated military personnel from the Suez Canal Zone prior and after the Suez Crisis of October–November 1956; evacuated casualties from South Korea during the Korean War and from the Malaya during the Malayan Emergency; moved essential supplies to Woomera, South Australia, and ferried personnel and supplies out to Christmas Island for the UK's atomic bomb tests. In addition, Transport Command ran scheduled routes to military staging posts and bases in the Indian Ocean region, Southeast Asia and the Far East, to maintain contact between the UK and military bases of strategic importance. It also carried out special flights worldwide covering all the continents bar Antarctica. Many varied tasks were undertaken during the 1950s.
During its existence the command operated a number of groups:
During its existence the command operated a number of wings:
Aircraft type followed by airfield and RAF squadron number. Note: Does not include Detachments locations
22, 28, 32, 84, 103, 110, 202, 225, 228, 230, 275,
Becher's Brook was a major operation of Transport command – the ferrying of 400 Canadair Sabre fighters from North America to the UK. This required pilots and ground crew to be transported to Canada. The Sabres were flown via Keflavik (Iceland) on to Shetland and from there to mainland Scotland.
Transport Command supported the British North Greenland expedition a research expedition over two years on the Greenland ice.
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