27 O.T.U. HISTORY
On the 23rd April 1941 27 O.T.U. was formed and this became the largest unit on the airfield, the service population rapidly expanding to 3500 with a large contingent of the Womens Auxillary Air Force. The Aircrew who arrived were mainly from the Commonwealth Countries and in particular Australia, here they trained on Wellingtons and formed their crews before going on to their Squadrons or H.C.U’s in the case of the four engined bombers, of which 460 (RAAF) Sqdn became the most dominant. The airfield became so busy (114,000 movements from December 42 to June 45) that it was necessary to use initially the satellite airfields of Tatenhill then Church Broughton to satisfy training commitments. In May 1942 the first Operational Bombing Missions were flown as part of the 1000 bomber raid to Cologne and continued until 1943, after this mainly ‘Nickel' raids were flown until disbandment on 22nd June 1945.
A WELLINGTON CREW IS FORMED IN AUGUST 1942
Don Charlwood, Geoff Maddern, Ted Batten, Max Burcher, Arthur Browett
Navigator-Pilot-Bomb Aimer-W.Op-Rear Gunner
They flew their first Operational Mission to Bremen from Lichfield on 13th September 42 and shortly afterwards were posted to 103 Sqdn Elsham Wolds