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CRANWELL VILLAGE

The name of the village is said to derive from the Crane family estate. The three crane birds from the family coat-of-arms are incorporated in the arms of the RAF College. Also the Airmen's NAAFI is named The White Cranes Club.

 


OUTLINE HISTORY OF RAF CRANWELL

1915

3000 acres commandeered from the Earl of Bristol's estate.

1916

RNAS (Royal Naval Air Service) Training Establishment opened on 1st April as HMS Daedalus.
The airship/balloon sheds were on North Drome, and the aeroplane hangars were on South Drome.
The RNAS Electrical and Wireless School moved in.

1917

Single track railway branch line from near Sleaford opened.

1918

April 1st - The RNAS and the RFC (Royal Flying Corps) were combined and the Royal Air Force was formed.
The RAF took over the station at Cranwell, becoming Training Depots Nos: 201, 202, 213, which were later renumbered 56, 57, 58. These were home to: the Airship Training Wing, the Boys' Training Wing, the Wing Aeroplane Repair Section, the Physical Training School, and the Wireless Operators' School.

1919

Churchill-Trenchard Memorandum established the RAF College.

1920

The College opened using the old wooden huts, on 5th February.
No.4 (Apprentice) Wing housed until Halton was ready in 1926.

1922

RAF Hospital opened to serve surrounding airfields.

1926

No.4 (Apprentice) Wing moved to Halton.

1929

The Electrical and Wireless School Apprentice Wing moved from Flowerdown on 6th August, In November 1938 it became No.1 Electrical and Wireless School.

1933

New College building completed.

1934

New College opened by the Prince of Wales on 11th October.
Old wooden hangars replaced by two "C" type with tower and flashing beacon.
School of Store Accounting and Storekeeping opened in July.

1936

A Supplies Depot opened in October.
School of Storekeeping renamed Equipment Training School in December.

1938

Became H.Q. No.21 Group, Training Command, in December.

1939

School of Clerks Accountancy opened in May.

1940

No.1 Electrical and Wireless School renamed No.1 Signals School, in August.
RAF Hospital moved to former mental hospital buildings, Rauceby.

1941

School of Clerks Accountancy closed on 28th January.
No.8 Radio School opened on 10th March.
The Gloster-Whittle E28/39 jet-propelled aircraft made its maiden flight from South Drome.
Equipment Training School ended in June.
Incendiary bomb cracked a tile on the roof of The College. This was the only damage due to enemy action throughout the war.

1942

Whitley P5052, of No.3 OTU, hit college roof in fog, and fell into lecture room. Crew of 3 killed.

1943

No.1 Signals School renamed No.1 Radio School, in January.
There were 7,000 service personnel and 3,000 civilians on the Battle of Britain parade in September.

1944

Ceased to be H.Q. No.21 Group in December.

1946

No.8 Radio School closed on 26th June.

1947

Secretarial Branch Training Establishment and equipment officers' School moved in.

1948

Secretarial Branch Training Establishment and equipment officers' School moved out.

1949

The Supplies Depot closed in November.

1950

No.1 Radio School moved to RAF Locking in October, and the Apprentice Wing became No.6 Radio School.

1952

Apprentice Wing moved to Locking on 1st December.

1954

Two concrete runways constructed on South Drome for the benefit of jet aircraft.

1960

2 million spent replacing old wooden huts with more substantial buildings; Officers' Mess, Instructional block, Aerothermodynamics and Engineering complex, plus married quarters.

1963

New Sergeants' Mess opened.

1964

New Airmen's NAAFI social club opened, and named The White Cranes Club.

1965

The Technical College from Henlow amalgamated with the RAF College.

1974

College of Air Warfare moved in from Manby in January.

1976

Central Flying School (CFS) moved in from Little Rissington in April.

1977

Central Flying School left Cranwell for Leeming on 21st November.

1978

College of Air Warfare moved out.

1979

All Initial Officer Training for commissioned rank centralised at Cranwell.
Basic Flying Training School created, later renamed Flying Training School (FTS).

1987

Two 1914-1918 type "F" sheds on North Drome reclad with modern sheeting.

1989

Flying Training School became No.3 Flying Training School.

1995

Central Flying School H.Q. moved in February from Scampton.
The CFS Bulldog Squadron became part of No.3 FTS, operating from the south side of the South Drome, sometimes under the location title of RAF Rauceby.

1997

Red Arrows aerobatic team moved in.

1998

Western Band moved in from RAF Locking to become The Band of the RAF Regiment, alongside The Band of the RAF College.

2000

Red Arrows aerobatic team departed Cranwell for RAF Scampton.



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