RAF No 18 Squadron emblem


No 59 Operational Training Unit

Personnel assembled at Turnhouse on 4 December 1940 but the unit did not form until 16 December. Initially controlled by No 13 Group, it was transferred to No 81 Group on 31 December and finally moved to its designated station of Crosby-on-Eden on 20 February 1941. It intended to be a single seat fighter training unit and it first aircraft arrived in early March and training began at the end of the month, with Hurricanes as its main equipment. In August 1942 it moved to Milfield, by which time it was also operating Typhoons. In April 1943 control passed to No 9 Group and on 26 January 1944 it was disbanded when it was amalgamated with the Specialised Low Attack Instructor's School to form the Fighter Leaders School. In the event of a German invasion the OTU would have become No 559 Squadron (and later also as No 564 Squadron) to operate from Newcastle.

The unit reformed at Acklington at half strength on 26 February 1945 to train Typhoon pilots, but after only one course it was disbanded on 6 June 1945.

Squadron Codes used: -

MF Dec 1940 - xxx 1943
II Feb 1945 - Jun 1945
7L Feb 1945 - Jun 1945
4Q Feb 1945 - Jun 1945

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This webpage was updated 30th June 2023