RAF Disbands Historic D-Day Group

The Royal Air Force disbanded Number 38 Group on 31 December, marking the end of another chapter in its rich history.

The Royal Air Force has disbanded the famous Number 38 Group, originally formed mid-way through the Second World War as part of Fighter Command.

The group played a significant role in global operations from its origins in the 1940s through to the 21st Century and had been doing so again since its reformation six years ago.

The wings, squadrons and individuals that made up the group will now move to the command of other RAF groups, including the recently formed integrated Support Force.  

Air Chief Marshal Sir Mike Wigston, Chief of the Air Staff, praised Number 38 Group for its recent accomplishments.

"Number 38 Group has contributed immeasurably to operations in the UK and worldwide since its reformation six years ago," the RAF chief said.

Number 38 Group originally formed mid-way through the Second World War (Picture: RAF).

"Its disbandment marks a new chapter in the way we enable future air and space operations. 

"The newly-formed RAF Support Force in No. 2 Group will have the structure, connectivity and resources we need to sustain our battle-winning next-generation Royal Air Force," he added.

Throughout its history, the Number 38 Group has boasted command of various military planes including rotary, fast-jet and transport aircraft including the Stirling, Halifax, Hawker Hunter, Javelin, Harrier, Hercules, Jaguar, VC-10, Chinook and Puma.

Its numerous operations include supporting the Special Operations Executive in the Second World War on Operation Overlord, with the airdrop of 24,000 troops and equipment into German-occupied Western Europe on D-Day.

The group's reformation in 2014 saw the RAF’s engineering, logistics, communications and medical operations units brought together under its banner.

Most recently its members have supported a number of UK-based activities including the Government’s response to COVID-19.

Cover image: RAF.