RAFĀ Cardington Camp

Arthur Gowers began his career in the army in 1932 but by 1938 was awarded his flying badge at No 5 Flying Training School RAF. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for "gallantry and devotion to duty in the execution of air operations" on July 1st 1941. He is credited with three Messerschmidt hits and one probable and one damaged. Below is his full service record:

1923 - 1928: Royal Grammar School, Colchester;
? Marconi Wireless and Telegraph Works, Chelmsford;
June 1932 - June 1933: Private, HAC;
June 1933 - March 1936: Royal Army Service Corps (TA);
July 5th, 1936: Airman u.t Pilot, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserves;
August 1937: No. 13 Elementary & Reserve Flying Training School;
November 6th, 1937: No. 5 Flying Training School;
June 4th, 1937: No 26 Maintenance Unit, Cardington;
August 10th, 1938: No. 85 Squadron;
March 1941: Blind Approach Course, Watchfield;
July 26th, 1941 - October 21st, 1941: Control Room Duties, RAF Kenley;
October 1941: Refresher Course No. 56 Operational Training Unit, Sutton Bridge;
November 14th, 1941: Flight Commander No. 504 Squadron, Ballyhalbert;
February 16th, 1942: Air Headquarters Far East;
May 7th, 1942: Conversion Typhoon, No. 53 Operational Training Unit, Llandow;
August 8th, 1942: No. 56 Squadron, Snailwell;
August 29th, 1942: Station Sick Quarters Coltishall;
November 20th, 1942: Commanding Officer No. 183 Squadron, Church Fenton.

August 18th, 1940: Junkers Ju 78 (probably);
August 28th, 1940: Messerschmitt Bf 110 (damaged);
August 30th, 1940: Messerschmitt Bf 110;
August 31st, 1940: Messerschmitt Bf 109;
August 31st, 1940: Messerschmitt Bf 109.

March 2020 - a further update. I have managed to find a little more information about this unit which does shed a light as to its function.

Notes from the daily ORBS throw up the following:

1938: 10th February No 2 Aircraft Storage Unit renamed No 26 Maintenance Unit.
1939: 2nd March No 26 Maintenance Unit disbanded.
1940: 1st January No 1 Balloon Repair Depot formed at Cardington.
1940: 1st July No 1 Balloon Repair Depot renamed No 26 Maintenance Unit
1947: 15th April No 26 Maintenance Unit disbanded.

So it would appear that balloon repairs were undertaken by No 26 MU. Actually this was an important and large operation as it is known that a steady stream of damaged barrage balloons were sent to Cardington to be hastily repaired and sent out again.

If you know anything about this unit or anyone associated with it please get in touch.

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