RAF Gloucester

This post dating originally to 2016 has become a meeting place for people who worked here and some recent comments have come in so we’ve updated the post.


RAFG0 photo by David Thompson

who served as an ops clerk at ATCC Gloucester from 1955 to 1957 and in the Spring of 1956  took this photo showing the Centre from the outside across Eastern Avenue.

“Overseas Aircraft Control was at Eastern Avenue, Barnwood, Gloucester. It formed out of Overseas Air Movement Control on 15.8.41. The latter unit had been formed on 9.9.40 at the same location. Its duty was to control non-operational flights operating outside UK airspace, including the then small number of aircraft from North America. The location was due to the nearby W/T station at Birdlip. OAC carried on the function under RAF Ferry Command No 44 Group after 15.8.41 and by 1943 controlled all non-opl aircraft approaching or leaving the UK to south or west for approx 1,000 miles.”
Source: Air-Britain’s Flying Training and Support Units since 1912. David Smith

RAF Gloucester 2RAFG1

RAF Gloucester 3RAFG2

RAF overseas aircraft control Gloucester 1944RAFG3


RAFG4 taken in August 1944 – Les Tranter

15 thoughts on “RAF Gloucester”

    1. Hi Terry
      The control centre was at RAF Barnwood opposite the RAF Records Office. This was situated on Eastern Avenue which is about 2 miles due south of Innsworth and in the northern suburbs of Gloucester city.
      David Thompson


  1. I have a letter dated 20 May 1952 from John Innes 3131967 ATCU RAF Eastern Ave Gloucester. He says “I took y AC1 exam today and so I shall probably go on shift soon. Anybody remember him?


    1. I was there betweenSept 1950 &Sept 1953. Finished as Cpl in the Ops Room on shift work.I have forgotten the names of my colleagues. It is now almost 70 years ago. I remember one fellow only appearing on pay day paying off someone to work his shifts & disappearing for the week!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I served at ATC Gloucester 1950-53 I was originally from Wrexham North Wales but have lived in Preston Lancs for 52 years. I was a Cpl working in the Ops. Room until Sept 1953 . I should know Bill Borwick but many years have passed !!! I remember that a lot of American A/C passed through in my time. All the best to everyone


  3. I was a teleprinter operator at Eastern Ave Barnwood 1957-1958
    Also with Dave Allen, Maurice Wagstaf, Arthur Williams
    Roy Cull and Bill Williams were killed on a motor Bike
    Outside the centre
    My name John Weeks from Bristol


  4. Hi David
    My dad just showed me this article. He was posted at ATC Gloucester from 1950 to 52. His name is John William Borwick (known as Bill) rank Corp.
    Cheers Susan Borwick


    1. Hi Susan, Thanks for telling me about your Dad. I was posted to Gloucester 3 years after your Dad left so I never had the chance to meet him. Tell him that I started in the ops room but after I was promoted to SAC I was moved to AIS on the top floor and was then promoted to Corporal. Looking back I enjoyed my National Service but I am glad I never signed on. Give him my best regards


      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Dave, remember me? ‘Mac’ Reed Ops clerk AIS1956-57. living in Australia for the last 50 years.
        Regards Mac


  5. Hi David – I may be able to add some small data to Dave’s previous comments, as I encountered the following during my associated research of the Birdlip operation.
    The Overseas Air Delivery Flight was also created at Kemble as a detachment of OAMCU on 09/09/1940. The first flight handled by OAMCU was a Consolidated PBY (G-AGBJ “Guba”) from Botwood to Stranraer on 25-26/10/40 and then to Pembroke Dock on 27th. On the 11/11/40 seven Hudsons were handled from Botwood to Aldergrove, which marked the start of the major eastbound influx of aircraft for WW2. On 15/08/41 No. 44 Group formed Ferry Command at Gloucester & absorbed OAMCU which was then disbanded. No. 44 Group were later to take over Kemble & Prestwick.
    On the 01/10/1960 all overseas traffic & communications were taken over by S.R.A.T.S.C.Uxbridge, when all fixed telecommunications & telephone land lines closed down and Gloucester ATCSC ceased to operate.
    Probably not much help to your query but I’m afraid that’s all I have! If you can recall any contact that you may have had with Birdlip during your posting to Gloucester, I would be delighted to hear from you.
    Regards, Colin McKeeman


    1. Hi David, I see that you served at Barnwood from 55 through 57. Do you remember John Taft the Signals Officer in your time? I worked in the radio section back then and also as the operator in the radio shack working with the Air Traffic Controllers monitoring the R/T and W/T. Dave B

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice to see something on ATC Gloucester. I have been searching the internet for info and I began to think I dreamt the entire time I was posted there (55). Any info you have on ATC Gloucester such as camp layout and other info, please forward or contact me. Well done. David.


    1. Hi David, Iam afraid John Taft’s name means nothing to me. If he was a civilian radio operator we in Ops and AIS had no contact with them other seeing them through the window of their room behind the controller’s balcony. All our mates in Signals were teleprinter operators. Sad to see that all trace of RAF Barnwood has gone with huge retail parks on the site and the Records Office building gone. David T

      Liked by 1 person

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