652 AOP/light aircraft squadron

#1
Edited to add more detail.

I was talking to a surprisingly interesting german bloke recently and he asked whether I'd ever been stationed at Hobart. Suddenly I was transported back in time only to realise that the films I was watching on my memory-cam would mean nothing to him so I just said 'yes'. Anyway he asked whether I could help him out with some historical info concerning post-war aviation at Detmold for a pamphlet he is writing for his glider club which is now based on the airfield. Embarrassingly it turned out that he knew much more than I did but he is still missing a lot of detail and I promised that I would get back to him. After a few hours on Google I came up with the following but I was wondering whether any of you guys had anything more?


RAF Detmold 1945-57

1945 2897 Squadron
Formed at Ford in October 1942, the squadron joined 2nd Tactical Air Force in April 1944 and became a Rifle squadron in July. It moved to the continent in August 1944 serving at Detmold in 1945

1945/6 2719 Squadron

Formed as No 719 Squadron at Lindholme on 19 December 1941, having been unnumbered from the previous April. On 1 February 1942 all RAF Regiment Squadrons had 2000 added to their numbers. It moved to Coltishall in 1942 and Wittering in 1943. The squadron joined 2nd Tactical Air Force in April 1944 converting to a Rifle squadron in July 1944 and it moved onto the continent in November 1944. It was based at Grimbergen during Operation 'Bodenplatte' (the Luftwaffe attack on Allied airfields on 1 January 1945). The squadron disbanded at Detmold in April 1946.

1945/6 2831 Squadron

Formed as No 831 Squadron at Inverness on 19 December 1941, having been unnumbered from the previous April. On 1 February 1942 all RAF Regiment Squadrons had 2000 added to their numbers. The squadron converted to the Light Anti Aircraft role in May 1943 and joined 2nd Tactical Air Force in August 1944. It moved to the continent in September 1944 it becoming a Rifle squadron in the same month. The squadron disbanded at Detmold in March 1946.



1949 652 AOP documented as being in RAF Detmold.

652 AOP Sqn Formed 1 May 1942 Old Sarum from B Flt 651 Sqn which 'Fathered' 653 - 662 Sqns.

652 was equipped with: Auster V Dec 1944 - Dec 1953. Auster AOP Mk 6 Sep 1946 - Sep 1957.

During WW2 652 AOP was part of 2nd Tactical Air Force supporting 2nd Army and remained in Germany as part of the occupation forces.

1951 652 oversees the Austers of 1904, 1905 and 1909 Flights.
1952 652 now included 1901 Flight (C flt of 657 sqn which had become 1 Flt with four Auster AOP6 and one Auster T7.
1956 1 Flight re-equipped with the Auster AOP9.
1957 1 Flight re-titled 1 Recce Flight.
1958 1 Recce Flight receives its first Skeeter.
1962 655 Light Aircraft Squadron equipped with Sud-Aviation Alouette II helicopters forms at Detmold. Later operated the Sioux AH.1 and the Beaver AL.1.
1964 1 Recce Flight becomes part of 655 Squadron and is renamed 1 Flight Army Air Corp..
1967 1 Flight Army Air Corps receives Sioux.
1968 1 Flight Army Air Corps receives Scout.
1968 1 Flight was amalgamated with the Air Troops of 17/21 Lancers, the Queens Dragoon Guards and 3 Royal Horse Artillery to form 1 Interim Squadron AAC.
1969 1 Interim Squadron AAC renamed 661 Squadron.
1969 661 arrives in Detmold .
1973 655 Light Aircraft Squadron redesignated 655 Sqn AAC.
1973 4 Regiment forms.
1974 71 and 73 Field Workshops amalgamated to form 71 Aircraft Workshop.
1977 4 Regt RHQ moves to Detmold. 661 renamed 654 and becomes part of 4 Regt based at Detmold. 654 is equipped with Scout.
1978 654 now equipped with12 lynx in 2 flights.
1979 655 leave Detmold to become part of newly-formed 5 Regt AAC.
1983 652 and *661 move to the newly-formed 1 Regt at Hildesheim.
659 and 669 join 4 Regt from the disbanded 9 Regt..
1993 71 Ac redesignated 7 Bn REME.
1995 4 Regt move to Wattisham.
1995 7 Bn REME complete the move to Wattisham.



* There is some confusion about 661/654. In 1977 (according to the 654 squadron history page on mod.uk) as a result of the Wide Horizon Scheme 654 Squadron moved to Soest and was renamed 653 Squadron. 661 Squadron in Detmold was renamed 654 Squadron. This implies that 661 ceased to exist. Where did the 661 come from that 1 Regt has? :)

Anyone know when 9 Regt moved to Detmold? Did it only have two squadrons (659 669)?

Any assistance (and gap-filling) would be much appreciated :)
 
#2
Bumped 'cos I've added more detail on the original post. Also came across this picture whilst googling. When did they pull THAT down? Didn't know there had ever been one there. The gym is in the background:
 
#3

http://www.army.mod.uk/newaac/units/1_regiment_aac/661_sqn_history.htm
661 Sqn - 31st October 1945 it was disbanded.
The Squadron was resurrected in the early 1990s and was based at Hildesheim in Germany with 651 and 652 Squadrons.


http://www.army.mod.uk/aac/units/4_regiment_aac/654_sqn_history.htm
654 Sqn - On 1 December 1977, restructuring occurred, (as part of the Wide Horizon Scheme) 654 Squadron moved to Soest and was renamed 653 Squadron and 661 Squadron in Detmold was renamed 654 Squadron.

To add to the confusion,

In the history of

http://www.army.mod.uk/aac/units/1_regiment_aac/regiment_history.htm

The Regiment was formed as 1 Regiment Army Air Corps at Hildesheim in Germany in January 1983 from three Squadrons dating back to the Second World War. The Squadrons were 651 Squadron, 652 Squadron and 661 Squadron. It was equipped with the Lynx and Gazelle helicopter.

According to 661 history, wasn't resurrected til early 1990s. :)
Yet in 654 history, 661 was renamed in 1977 :?
In 1 regt history, 661 formed part of the new ! Regt in 1983 :?

was
659 and
669

(Old memory! 9 Regt 1978 but AAC units there since 1962? needs checking)
 
#6
@silsoesid - exactly! Very confusing :)

@Gunny The Americans made this map as part of the assessment and repair of the airfield in 1945 and you can easily see the parts of the camp that were added by us (and removed) in later years. Proper Third Reich pool though :)



9 Regt seem to have omitted the Detmold disbandment from the regimental history. Convenient but not helpful..... ;)
 
C

cloudbuster

Guest
#9
LeG made Major? Good on him!

IIRC, the pool was between the Gym/SKC and the track, (where the T is in the pic) and was filled in when the tank turret simulator building was built. Bl00dy shame, the pool was great for trapping sticky. One reason given for back-filling the pool was its proximity to the Cav Officers's Mess, since they had developed a childish habit of lobbing cars into the deep end.
 
#10
cloudbuster said:
LeG made Major? Good on him!
Yep. One of the few blokes who commanded 3 flying sqns. Respected by all. Old cliche of 'work hard, play hard'.

Now flying big silver tubes full of chavs for one of the more economical airlines.
 
#11
652 Sqn will be holding a reunion Gutersloh early next year (March tbc) for all the past and present 'Chosen Few'. As for more on the Sqn history... details I should be able to post later, including the story behind Fred's arrival in 1967; the occasion that prompt's the reunion being Fred's 40th birthday of course. Don't forget to look here & in the Corps Journal etc for further details on the reunion... :alien: (as close to a frog as I could find!)
 
#12
[Geek Mode On]

SS . . . have a look at SE's post regarding 661 Sqn. 661 were, indeed, resurrected in 1969 . . . not in the early 1990s as you have suggested. Guys on Op Granby 1 with the Sqn will know that :wink: Thus, the history plaque remains, to my knowledge, correct.

[Geek Mode Off]

Any others for or against???
 
#13
Pongo-Pilot said:
SS . . . have a look at SE's post regarding 661 Sqn. 661 were, indeed, resurrected in 1969 . . . not in the early 1990s as you have suggested.
That would be, 'As the mod website suggested'!!!
http://www.army.mod.uk/newaac/units/1_regiment_aac/661_sqn_history.htm

Because if you read the rest of my post, of course you would have seen

"According to 661 history, wasn't resurrected til early 1990s.
Yet in 654 history, 661 was renamed in 1977
In 1 regt history, 661 formed part of the new ! Regt in 1983 "

Didn't you! :wink:


p.s. The history plaque is/was given to all us old boys on leaving the Squadron.
 
#14
Thanks for the comments everyone :) As far as 9 Regt goes, I was talking to an ex-BAT over here who is positive that the regt consisted of 2 squadrons only: 659 and 669.
 
#15
Sorry Sid . . . seems I've jumped into the deep end again! I think the point here is that there are a number of places which don't accurately report the history of the Sqn. Nuff said!

PS . . . yeah, I know - I got one too! You must have left (relatively) recently as they were only "brought in" a couple of years ago. PM ID hints would be appreciated! :wink:

You have to laugh though . . . a thread for 652 taken over by 661 . . . is that just cos 661 are worth talking about more?! :wink:

Standing by for incoming!
Helmet . . . Body Armour . . . Door . . .
 
#18
Ok history buffs - what was the flight based at Verden called ? BTW 71 a/c wksps was there in Detmold in 1964 - no idea when it was first named as such.
 
#19
cloudbuster said:
LeG made Major? Good on him!

IIRC, the pool was between the Gym/SKC and the track, (where the T is in the pic) and was filled in when the tank turret simulator building was built. Bl00dy shame, the pool was great for trapping sticky. One reason given for back-filling the pool was its proximity to the Cav Officers's Mess, since they had developed a childish habit of lobbing cars into the deep end.
If my memory serves me correctly...the tank turret simulator was the brown flat topped building right of the gym and was in place next to the swimming pool at the time. I know this because I used the pool in the mid 70s and practiced my gunnery drills/.22 expertise (against mini rubber tank targets in a sand pit) in the simulator approximately about the same time period.

I think the main reasons for the pool closure was more to do with admin and H&S.............cars being shoved into the pool may have been an urban myth (I stand to be corrected) as I was there from 76 to its closure and no evidence/story was shown/mentioned post/prior 76 of car dunking. Quite a few squaddies shat in it tho.....................
 
#20
@ Deefer

Thanks for the info. So the second line unit in Detmold in 1964 must have been 1 Light Aircraft Workshop? Was redesignated 71 Ac in 1966.

The Verden squadron was 651 I reckon. (I can't find evidence for them being there in 1964 but they were definitely there in the late sixties :)

Edited as Google just coughed up a past post on ARRSE from Deefer where he says that 652 was the squadron. That can't be right?? Can it?? ;)
 
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