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No. 5 Wing of the Royal Air Force was a wing of aircraft squadrons which was originally established as the Fifth Wing of the Royal Flying Corps. Currently inactive, the wing has been formed and disbanded five times over the course of its history.

1914 to 1920

The Fifth (Corps) Wing of the Royal Flying Corps was one of the earliest wings to be established. On 15 April 1915 No. 8 Squadron and No. 13 Squadron of the RFC were grouped together at Fort Grange, Gosport to form the 5th Wing. Major LEO Charlton, No. 8 Squadron commander, temporarily took command of the Wing until he travelled to France.[1]

In November 1915 the 5th Wing, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel W G H Salmond arrived in the Middle East. At this time it consisted of No. 14 Squadron, No. 17 Squadron and an aircraft park.[2][3] Between June 1916 and October 1917, No. 1 Squadron, Australian Flying Corps – which was known as 67 Squadron in British military circles (to avoid confusion with similarly named RFC and RNAS units) – was also part of the wing.

From 1918 to 1919 the Fifth Wing was headquartered at RAF Ramleh in Palestine.[4] In 1918 the Wing, then designated the Fifth (Corps) Wing, played a key part in the Battle of Megiddo.[5] The 5th Wing was disbanded on 1 April 1920.[6]


1923 to 1924

No. 5 Wing was reformed on 1 April 1923 and its function was to control all RAF fighter squadrons north of the River Thames. On 30 April, Wing Commander John Tyssen was appointed as the Officer Commanding.[7] However, this period of the Wing's existence was short-lived and it was disbanded in April 1924.[6]

1935 to 1936

Following the tensions surrounding the Abyssinia Crisis, the Wing was reformed on 26 October 1935. The Officer Commanding was Group Captain Raymond Collishaw.[8] It controlled No. 3 Squadron RAF, No. 35 Squadron RAF, No. 47 Squadron RAF and No. 207 Squadron RAF during the Second Italo-Abyssinian War. The Wing was disbanded on 14 August 1936.[6]

1939 to 1940

During the first year of the Second World War, No. 5 Wing was responsible for controlling radar units based in France.

1953 to 1966


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