27 Operational Training Unit (RAF)

About This Unit

RAF OTU were the last stage of training for aircrew before being assigned to an operational unit in NW Europe and other RAF theatres of war. By this stage, individuals had 'crewed up' (ie formed and trained as a crew in the aircraft type they were to fly in combat operations) with the other men who were to make up their crew and with whom they would fly until separated by death, injury, illness or re-posting. In some cases, OTU detached aircraft to take part in actual operations, notably the first "Thousand Bomber Raid" on Cologne in May 1942. Loss rates in training were high due to inexperience, crowded airspace, often poor weather, and even enemy action over the United Kingdom. 

No. 27 Operational Training Unit RAF (27 OTU) 27 OTU was formed in April 1941 at RAF Lichfield as part of No. 6 Group RAF Bomber Command to train night bomber crews using the Vickers Wellington. Trained Royal Australian Air Force crews in 1942 and it was disbanded in June 1945.