RAF Patch 237 OCU Operational Conversion Unit Claymore Ops a
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RAF Patch 237 OCU Operational Conversion Unit Claymore Ops a

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RAF Patch 237 OCU Operational Conversion Unit Royal Air Force Buccaneer Claymore Late 1970s RAF Honington embroidered on twill 89mm by 89mm three and one half inches by three and one half inches.

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Unit history 1947 1991

237 OCU Operational Conversion Unit was activated at RAF Benson on 31 July 1947 equipped with Mosquito and Spitfire aircraft as the Photographic Reconnaissance OCU from 8 OTU Operational Training Unit. 237 OCU moved to RAF Bassingbourn and was disbanded when merged into 231 OCU on 1 December 1951.

237 Operational Conversion Unit was reformed at RAF Wyton on 23 October 1956 equipped with Canberra PRs on the renaming of 231 OCUs C Squadron Photo Reconnaissance. 237 OCU was disbanded again when it remerged with 231 OCU on 21 January 1958.

237 OCU was reactivated at RAF Honington on 1 March 1971 as the Buccaneer OCU to take over the training of RAF crews for the Buccaneer which had been provided by the Fleet Air Arm 736 Squadron Buccaneer Conversion Unit since 1968. 237 Operational Conversion Unit moved to RAF Lossiemouth in 1984 joining 12 and 208 Squadrons roled for Maritime Attack. In addition to its crew conversion training 237 OCU was tasked delivering front line capability in the event of war with overland low level Laser designation target marking for Jaguar aircraft.

Initially the RAFs Buccaneer aircraft were not allocated to take part in Operation Granby Desert Storm as enemy airfield bombing would be undertaken by Tornado GR 1aircraft in low level attacks with JP 233 Airfield Denial munitions. In the first days of the offensive commenced on 17 January 1991 Iraqi small arms anti aircraft fire brought down a number of Tornados on low level attacks and tactics were changed from low level to medium level bombing. Buccaneers were the RAFs only aircraft in service with laser target marking and Lossiemouth wing although its bombing role was also low level and Lossiemouth was given 72hrs notice to deploy to Muharraq AB Bahrain on 23 January 1991.

The detachment including elements from 237 OCU arrived at Muharraq on 26 January 1991 undertook theatre training and commenced combat laser guided bombing operations on 2 February 1991. The lasers were also used to guide bombs dropped from Tornado aircraft which did not have the laser equipment. These tactics proved very successful and continued until the end of the campaign on 28 February 1991. The twelve Buccaneers left Muharraq on 17 March 1991to return to RAF Lossiemouth.

With the reduction of the Buccaneer force 237 Operational Conversion Unit was disbanded on 1 October 1991 and its tasking taken over by the Buccaneer Training Flight attached to 208 Squadron. The Buccaneer was retired on 31 March 1994.

This patch dates from the late 1970s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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