RAF Army Cooperation Command
|RAF Army Co-operation Command|
|Branch||Royal Air Force|
|Role||Cooperation with the British Army|
|Engagements||Second World War|
|Commander||Air Marshal Sir Arthur Barratt|
The command was formed on 1 December 1940 when No. 22 (Army Co-Operation) Group, previously a part of Fighter Command, was raised to command status. Initially it controlled two groups: No. 70 Group RAF for training and No. 71 Group RAF for operations. In August 1941, 71 Group re-organized its squadrons into a Wing basis. Each Wing was directly attached to a UK based Army regional Command.
Its function was to act as the focus for activities connected with the interaction of the British Army and the RAF, such as close air support, tactical reconnaissance, artillery spotting, training of anti-aircraft defences. It was also responsible for developing tactics for the future invasion of Europe, where direct air support proved to be decisive.
Army Co-Operation Command proved to be a controversial command, with the Chief of the Imperial General Staff General Sir Alan Brooke being an implacable foe of the command arrangement. It was disbanded on 31 March 1943, when most of its assets were used to form the Second Tactical Air Force.
The command had only had one commander during its short existence, Air Marshal Sir Arthur Barratt.
Army Co-operation Command (April 1942)
No 70 (Army Co-Operation Training) Group – 1 December 1940 – 1 June 1943 (transferred to ADGB)
- No. 41 OTU RAF – Lysander / Tomahawk – RAF Old Sarum
- No. 42 OTU RAF – Various Aircraft – RAF Andover
- No. 271 Squadron RAF – Albatross / Dominie – RAF Doncaster
- No. 651 Squadron RAF – Taylorcraft I – RAF Old Sarum
- Various other flights and minor training units.
- No. 32 Wing – Scottish Command – Edinburgh
- No. 33 Wing – Northern Command – York
- No. 34 Wing – Eastern Command – Luton
- No. 35 Wing – South Eastern Command – Reigate
- No. 36 Wing – South Western Command – Salisbury
- No. 37 Wing – Western Command – Chester
- No active squadrons assigned.
- No 38 Wing – Airborne Division – RAF Netheravon
- RAF Northern Ireland – Belfast
- Delve 1994, p. 100.
- Delve 1994, p. 100.
- "The Army's Wings are in the news" contemporary reporting of Army Cooperation Command