Information on 354 Wing Bomber Command

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Dave354, Jul 8, 2024.

  1. Dave354

    Dave354 Member

    This photograph was sent to my Grandad who was a POW by his brother Joseph Kelly who was in the RAF.

    It says, in rather faded in pencil, on the back: No 354 wing Bomber Command. Can anyone shed any light other than this info here

    No. 354 Squadron RAF - Wikipedia

    Attached Files:

  2. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Quite a bit of confusion here - Wing and Squadron are different formations in RAF terms.

    The picture is from from what looks like an Initial Training Wing - no one in it has any aircrew indications as either trained or under training.

    You have not shown the back of the photograph so we can try to unravel the 354

  3. Dave354

    Dave354 Member

    Thanks Ross - Very helpful. I'll get my sister to photograph the back and post it. Hopefully later today.

    Unfortunately it is very faded. It says
    No 354 Wing
    Bomber Command
    With best wishes


    A little more info that may, or may not, be helpful. Joseph Kelly was born in 1903 in Leeds which would mean he was 36 (relatively old) at the outbreak of WW2.
  4. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

  5. Dave354

    Dave354 Member

    Thanks for the reply Ross. What does that indicate - i.e. the non existence of the Wing- that the training Wing never formed an actual Wing?
  6. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Suggests that 354 was not an established wing in the sense that it controlled a group of like role squadrons.

    Where a large number of Recuits passed through an establishment they split the intakes into number wings/flights for internal recording purposes eg 3 Wing, D Squadron, 54 Flight.

    The background seems to show a pebbledash house that is not the usual coastal hotel/guest house which was a regular backdrop for intake formal photos.

    No white cap flashes so not aviation candidates, no range of shoulder classification badges that suggest a post recruit unit photo. So looking like a ground trade induction group.

    All this is a shotgun scatter attempt - quickest and easiest way to get a suggestion of where is to apply for his service record - currently running at about a month for return from online application.

  7. Dave354

    Dave354 Member

  8. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

  9. Dave354

    Dave354 Member

    OK thank you very much indeed Ross you have been extremely helpful.
  10. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    It is possible that the unit served in was within the RAF Bomb Disposal Squadrons. The service was founded by the Air Ministry early in the war from NCO Armourers and initially were designated as Demolition Squads. Training consisted of a 5 day course at the RAF Armament School at Manby.,some training apparently was at RAF Melksham. Operations were directly controlled by the Air Ministry to deal with unexploded ordnance on RAF assets and by September 1940 had a total of nearly 200 NCOs trained for the purpose. This arrangement was replaced by a formal structure in April 1943 when a Wing was established, commanding up to 6 Bomb Disposal Squadrons which were responsible for up to 6 Bomb Disposal Flights giving a total of 29 Bomb Disposal Flights.

    The photograph caption might be misleading as to confuse the enemy. One would have thought that correspondence to a POW would have been subject government censor screening for intelligence reasons.

    As said, the service record is the key to reveal the mystery of Joseph Kelly's service...may have been a prewar regular
  11. Dave354

    Dave354 Member

    Thanks for the additional information Harry.

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