|No. 1 Group|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Part of||RAF Air Command|
|Garrison/HQ||RAF High Wycombe|
|Motto(s)||"Swift to attack"|
|Air Officer Commanding||Air Vice-Marshal Allan Marshall|
A panther's head, erased, sable.|
The badge was authorised in 1941 and the black panther's head reflected the fact that Panther was the group's callsign in the early part of the Second World War
No. 1 Group of the Royal Air Force is one of the two operations groups in RAF Air Command. Today, the group is referred to as the Air Combat Group, as it controls the RAF's combat fast-jet aircraft and has airfields in the UK, as well as RAF Support Unit Goose Bay in Canada. The group headquarters is located alongside Headquarters Air Command at RAF High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. The other operational group is No. 2 Group RAF. The current Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group is Air Vice-Marshal Allan Marshall. He succeeded Air Vice-Marshal Harvey Smyth in February–March 2020.
The following stations and squadrons are under the command of No 1 Group:
- Headquarters, No. 1 Group, at RAF High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
- RAF Coningsby
- No. 3 Squadron RAF, (Eurofighter Typhoon)
- No. XI Squadron RAF, (Eurofighter Typhoon)
- No. 12 Squadron RAF (Eurofighter Typhoon) (Joint RAF–Qatar Emiri Air Force training squadron)
- No. 29 Squadron RAF, (Eurofighter Typhoon) (Operational Conversion Unit)
- Battle of Britain Memorial Flight, (Lancaster, Spitfire, Hurricane, Dakota, Chipmunk)
- Typhoon Display Team
- RAF Leeming
- RAF Lossiemouth
- Headquarters, Typhoon Force
- No. 201 Squadron RAF, (Poseidon MRA1) — to be formed in 2021
- No. CXX Squadron RAF, (Poseidon MRA1)
- No. 602 (City of Glasgow) Squadron RAuxAF
- RAF Marham
- RAF Waddington
- Headquarters, ISTAR Force
- No. 5 Squadron RAF, (Sentinel R1)
- No. 8 Squadron RAF, (Sentry AEW1)
- No. 13 Squadron RAF, (MQ-9 Preaper)
- No. 14 Squadron RAF, (Shadow R1)
- No. 39 Squadron RAF, (MQ-9 Reaper) (and Creech AFB)
- No. 51 Squadron RAF, (RC-135W Airseeker)
- No. 54 Squadron RAF, (ISTAR Operational Conversion Unit)
- No. 1 Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing RAF
- No. 1 Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Squadron RAF
- No. 2 Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Squadron RAF
- No. 3 Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Squadron RAF
- No. 54 Signals Unit RAF
- Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Support Squadron RAF
- Headquarters, ISTAR Force
- RAF Scampton
- No. 1 Air Control Centre
- Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team (Red Arrows)
- Mobile Meteorological Unit (Reserve)
- United Kingdom Air Surveillance And Control System
- RAF Fylingdales
- RAF Battlespace Management Force
- RAF Boulmer
- Air Surveillance and Control System
- Control and Reporting Centre
- Support Wing
- Force Development Squadron
- Personnel Management Squadron
- Management Support Squadorn
- Station Health, Energy, and the Environmental Protection and Susatinable Development Section
- Human Resources Business Partner
- ASACS Business Management Team
- ASACS Engineering and Logistics Squadron
- RAF Boulmer
- RAF Coningsby
In April 2019, 1 Group took command of the Army's BN-2 Islander and Defender aircraft from 651 Squadron Army Air Corps. The aircraft will continue to be operated by Army personnel who will gradually be replaced by RAF personnel through attrition. It is as yet unknown which squadron these aircraft are placed under command.
First World War
No. 1 Group was originally formed on Saturday 1 April 1918 in No. 1 Area, which was renamed the South-Eastern Area on 8 May 1918, Southern Area on 20 September 1919 and Inland Area on 1 April 1920.
The Group was renumbered as No. 6 Group on 19 May 1924 at RAF Kenley, and was reformed on the same day at RAF Kidbrooke. Two years later on 12 April 1926 the Group disappeared from the order of battle by being renumbered as No. 21 Group.
The next year the Group was reformed on 25 August 1927 by the renaming of Air Defence Group. This designation lasted until 1936 when it became No. 6 Group again. As in 1924 the Group was reformed the same day, this time as a bomber formation.
Second World War
On receipt of orders to move to France in 1939, Headquarters No. 1 Group became Headquarters Advanced Air Striking Force and the station headquarters and associated squadrons became Nos. 71, 72, 74, 75 and 76 Wings respectively. The Group re-emerged a few days later within Bomber Command on 12 September, but only lasted just over three months, being dropped on 22 December 1939.
It was reformed at Hucknall in Nottinghamshire on 22 June 1940. On 20 July the Group Headquarters moved to Bawtry Hall (RAF Bawtry) near Doncaster, where it was based for 44 years, until 1983. During the Second World War, the Group was primarily based at airfields in north Lincolnshire, like RAF Swinderby.
- Vickers Wellington: 166 & 199 Sqns RAF, and 300 Polish, 301 Polish & 305 Polish Sqns.
- Avro Lancaster: 12, 100, 101 & 103 Sqns RAF, and 460 Sqn RAAF.
All of the Wellington squadrons subsequently converted to Lancasters. No. 1 Group was later augmented with other units, including 304 Polish Squadron.
During Bomber Command's Second World War campaign, No. 1 Group dropped a higher tonnage of bombs per aircraft than any other group, this was mainly due to Air Commodore Edward Rice who was determined to maximise bomb loads, though it was a policy which contributed in no small measure to No. 1 Group having higher than average losses. Rice would later be involved in the development of the Rose turret, sometimes known as the "Rose-Rice turret".
Battle of Normandy
- No. 1 (B) Group HQ, RAF Bawtry, West Yorkshire
- RAF Hemswell
- Station HQ
- No. 1 Lancaster Finishing School (training with Lancaster I/III)
- Night Bomber Tactical School
- RAF Ingham (satellite of RAF Hemswell)
- RAF Sturgate (satellite of RAF Hemswell)
- No. 11 Base
- RAF Lindholme Station HQ
- No. 1656 Heavy Conversion Unit RAF, RAF Lindholme equipped with Avro Lancaster I/III
- No. 1662 Heavy Conversion Unit RAF, RAF Blyton equipped with Avro Lancaster I/III & Handley Page Halifax II/V
- No. 1667 Heavy Conversion Unit RAF, RAF Sandtoft equipped with Handley Page Halifax V
- No. 1 Group Servicing Section, RAF Lindholme
- No. 12 Base
- RAF Binbrook Station HQ
- No. 100 Squadron RAF, RAF Grimsby equipped with Avro Lancaster I/III
- No. 9100 Servicing Echelon
- No. 460 Squadron RAAF, RAF Binbrook equipped with Avro Lancaster I/III
- No. 9460 Servicing Echelon
- No. 625 Squadron RAF, RAF Kelstern, equipped with Avro Lancaster I/III
- No. 9625 Servicing Echelon
- No. 1 Ground Gunnery School, RAF Binbrook
- No. 13 Base
- RAF Elsham Wolds Station HQ
- No. 103 Squadron RAF, RAF Elsham Wolds equipped with Avro Lancaster I/III
- No. 9103 Servicing Echelon
- No. 166 Squadron RAF, RAF Kirmington equipped with Avro Lancaster I/III
- No. 9166 Servicing Echelon
- No. 550 Squadron RAF, RAF North Killingholme equipped with Avro Lancaster I/III
- No. 9550 Servicing Echelon
- No. 576 Squadron RAF, RAF Elsham Wolds equipped with Avro Lancaster I/III
- No. 9576 Servicing Echelon
- No.14 Base
- RAF Ludford Magna Station HQ
- No. 12 Squadron RAF, RAF Wickenby equipped with Avro Lancaster I/III
- No. 9012 Servicing Echelon
- No. 101 Squadron RAF, RAF Ludford Magna equipped with Avro Lancaster I/III
- No. 9101 Servicing Echelon
- No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron, RAF Faldingworth with Avro Lancaster I/III
- No. 9300 Servicing Echelon
- No. 626 Squadron RAF, RAF Wickenby equipped with Avro Lancaster I/III
- No. 9626 Servicing Echelon
By June 1948, 1 Group consisted of:
- 9 Sqn, RAF Binbrook, Avro Lincoln B.2
- 12 Sqn, RAF Binbrook, Lincoln B.2
- 101 Sqn, RAF Binbrook, Lincoln B.2
- 617 Sqn, RAF Binbrook, Lincoln B.2
- 83 Sqn, RAF Hemswell, Lincoln B.2
- 97 Sqn, RAF Hemswell, Lincoln B.2
- 100 Sqn, RAF Hemswell, Lincoln B.2
- 50 Sqn, RAF Waddington, Lincoln B.2
- 57 Sqn, RAF Waddington, Lincoln B.2
- 61 Sqn, RAF Waddington, Lincoln B.2
- 109 Sqn, RAF Coningsby, de Havilland Mosquito B.35
- 139 Sqn, RAF Coningsby, Mosquito B.35
During the Cold War, No. 1 Group also operated the Thor ballistic missile between 1958 and August 1963 ("Project Emily"), with ten squadrons each with three missiles being equipped with the weapon. 1 Group had two sets of five stations, centred respectively on Hemswell and RAF Driffield. When Bomber Command was subsumed into the new Strike Command on 1 April 1968, No. 1 Group took on the old role of the command, holding the bomber and strike aircraft of Strike Command. It then absorbed the squadrons of No. 38 Group RAF after that group disbanded.
In around 1984, Headquarters No. 1 Group moved from RAF Bawtry in South Yorkshire to RAF Upavon in Wiltshire. No. 207 Squadron RAF, part of 1 Group flying Devons from RAF Northolt alongside No. 32 Squadron RAF, was disbanded on retirement of the remaining Devons on 30 June 1984,
On 1 April 1996 No. 2 Group RAF was disbanded by being absorbed into No. 1 Group.
In January 2000 the RAF was restructured and the Group took on its present role. The Group is responsible for UK air defence operations through QRA North at RAF Lossiemouth and QRA South at RAF Coningsby. However, since the disestablishment of Combined Air Operations Centre 9 at RAF High Wycombe, actual control of the fighters is now carried out from a NATO Combined Air Operations Centre in Denmark, CAOC 1 at Finderup. However, High Wycombe retains an air defence direction capability, and the UK Representative there could take back control over QRA South if it was necessary to respond to a terrorist threat from the air. No. 1 Group also has responsibility for the UK's Carrier Strike capability, with the joint RN/RAF Lightning Force, eventually planned to consist of two squadrons from the RAF and two from the Fleet Air Arm, which will be based at RAF Marham when not operating from the UK's Queen Elizabeth-class aircraft carrier.
Air Officer Commanding
Air Officers Commanding have included:
- Pine, L.G. (1983). A dictionary of mottoes (1 ed.). London: Routledge & Kegan Paul. p. 227. ISBN 0-7100-9339-X. https://archive.org/details/dictionaryofmott00tion/page/227.
- Delve, Ken (2005). Bomber Command 1939–1945 : a reference to the men – aircraft & operational history. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Aviation. p. 147. ISBN 1-84415-183-2.
- Royal Air Force (3 February 2020). "RAF Senior Appointments". Royal Air Force. https://www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisation/senior-appointments/. "Air Commodore A P Marshall OBE to be promoted Air Vice-Marshal and to be Air Officer Commanding No 1 Group in March 2020 in succession to Air Vice-Marshal H Smyth OBE DFC"
- "RAF Air Command". Armed Forces. http://www.armedforces.co.uk/raf/listings/l0012.html.
- "Group No's 1 – 9 - RAFweb". http://rafweb.org/Organsation/Grp01.htm. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "#SP232 RAF Coningsby". https://www.squadronprints.com/item/3278/RAF-Coningsby.html. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "11 Squadron Uncle - SERVE". https://www.findforcesjobs.mod.gov.uk/vx/mobile-0/appcentre-ext/brand-5/candidate/so/pm/1/pl/3/opp/456-11-Squadron-Uncle/en-GB. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "RAF CONINGSBY" (in en-gb). https://www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisation/stations/raf-coningsby/.
- "12 SQUADRON". https://www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisation/squadrons/12-squadron/.
- "29 Squadron - Lightning Association". http://lightning.org.uk/29squadron.html. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "Lancaster bomber thunders over Nottingham". Nottingham Post. 23 October 2020. https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/nottingham-news/lancaster-bomber-thunders-over-nottingham-4635864. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "Union claims RAF jobs could relocate from Anglesey to Yorkshire". Business Live. 27 August 2020. https://www.business-live.co.uk/economic-development/union-claims-raf-jobs-could-18840513. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "RAF heroes honoured on 80th anniversary of 'Black Thursday'". Sunderland Echo. 17 August 2020. https://www.sunderlandecho.com/news/people/raf-heroes-honoured-80th-anniversary-black-thursday-2944623. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "JFACTSU". Royal Air Force. http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafleeming/aboutus/jfactsuhome.cfm. Retrieved 5 July 2016.
- "history of the no 1 fighter squadron association". http://www.1fsa.org/history.php. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "RAF Lossiemouth – Facebook post, 9 October 2018". https://www.facebook.com/RAFLossiemouth/posts/typhoons-from-iiac-squadron-raf-lossiemouth-have-completed-their-first-sortie-fr/2214330431933100/. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "RAF Lossiemouth aces scrambled to intercept Russian spy plane and submarine". The Press and Journal. 31 July 2020. https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/2377559/raf-lossiemouth-aces-scrambled-to-intercept-russian-spy-plane-and-submarine/. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "Galliford Try wins £20m RAF Lossiemouth contract". The Construction Index. 24 June 2020. https://www.theconstructionindex.co.uk/news/view/galliford-try-wins-20m-raf-lossiemouth-contract. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "RAF Poseidon MRA1 arrives at RAF Lossiemouth for the first time" (in en-gb). https://www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisation/stations/raf-lossiemouth/news/raf-poseidon-mra1-arrives-at-raf-lossiemouth-for-the-first-time/.
- "Defence Secretary announces new Maritime Patrol Aircraft squadrons" (in en). https://www.gov.uk/government/news/defence-secretary-announces-new-maritime-patrol-aircraft-squadrons.
- "CXX SQUADRON" (in en-gb). https://www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisation/squadrons/120-squadron/.
- Royal Air Force, Lossie Lighthouse: The Magazine of RAF Lossiemouth (Autumn 2020 edition), Royal Air Force.
- "Keeping Skill Sets Alive While Waiting for a Replacement Aircraft: From Nimrod to P-8". Second Line of Defense. 17 November 2016. https://sldinfo.com/2016/11/keeping-skill-sets-alive-while-waiting-for-a-replacement-aircraft-from-nimrod-to-p-8/. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "RAF MARHAM". https://www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisation/stations/raf-marham/.
- "Royal Air Force 207 Squadron Returns to the U.K with 6 F-35B Lightning Jets (Some Of Those Sport New Tail Markings)". The Aviationist. 17 July 2019. https://theaviationist.com/2019/07/17/royal-air-force-207-squadron-returns-to-the-u-k-with-6-f-35b-lightning-jets-some-of-those-sport-new-tail-markings/. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "UK’s Carrier Strike Group Faces Its First Test". Aviation International News. 9 October 2020. https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-news/defense/2020-10-09/uks-carrier-strike-group-faces-its-first-test. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "V (AC) Squadron". https://www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisation/squadrons/v-ac-squadron/. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "Best friend of "much loved" RAF squaddie appeals for more stem cell donors". Charity Today News. 27 October 2010. https://www.charitytoday.co.uk/best-friend-of-much-loved-raf-squaddie-appeals-for-more-stem-cell-donors/. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "RAF employs private contractors in Middle East to launch armed drones in fight against Isis". The Telegraph. 18 August 2020. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/08/18/raf-employs-private-contractors-middle-east-launch-armed-drones/. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "From helicopters to a huge transporter - the military aircraft seen over northern Lincolnshire today". Grimsby Live. 30 September 2020. https://www.grimsbytelegraph.co.uk/news/grimsby-news/helicopters-huge-transporter-military-aircraft-4562696. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "Waddington Wing Commander dies after short cancer battle". The Lincolnite. 6 February 2020. https://thelincolnite.co.uk/2020/02/waddington-wing-commander-dies-after-short-cancer-battle/. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "54 (Reserve) Squadron mark centenary year". RAF Benevolent Fund. 24 May 2016. https://www.rafbf.org/news-and-blogs/54-reserve-squadron-mark-centenary-year. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "No 1 Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Wing". https://www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisation/units/no-1-intelligence-surveillance-and-reconnaissance-wing/. Retrieved 28 October 2020.
- "RAF SCAMPTON". https://www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisation/stations/raf-scampton/.
- "RAF BOULMER". https://www.raf.mod.uk/our-organisation/stations/raf-boulmer/.
- Jennings, Gareth (2 April 2019). "UK transfers Defender and Islander special mission aircraft from AAC to RAF". Jane's Defence Weekly. https://www.janes.com/article/87600/uk-transfers-defender-and-islander-special-mission-aircraft-from-aac-to-raf.
- Air Vice Marshal Harvey Smyth Air Officer Commanding No. 1 Group [@HarvSmyth] (2 April 2019). "Handover of Fixed Wing Manned Aerial Surveillance from Army to RAF.". https://twitter.com/@HarvSmyth/status/1112730019372195842.
- "651 Squadron Army Air Corps". http://www.army.mod.uk/aviation/30331.aspx.
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- Król, Wacław (1982) (in pl). Polskie dywizjony lotnicze w Wielkiej Brytanii. Warsaw: Wydawnictwo MON. pp. 86, 104, 191. ISBN 83-11-07695-2.
- Airfield of Lincolnshire – Patrick Otter- p20/21.
- "No. 1 Group, RAF, 06.06.1944". http://niehorster.org/017_britain/44-06-06_Neptune/Air/z-air_Group-001.htm.
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- Horseman, Martin, ed (January 1983). "RAF Groups HQ to Merge". Shepperton: Ian Allan. p. 7. ISSN 0142-4696.
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- Wing Commander C. G. Jefford, MBE, RAF Squadrons; A Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912.1994: Airlife Publishing Ltd., Shrewsbury, United Kingdom. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.
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