About This Unit
RAF Conversion units undertook training of aircrew to new aircraft types. During WW2 they were established throughout the UK. On occasion crews in training were assigned to scheduled raids / missions, notably on the first Thousand Bopmber Raid on Cologne in 1942.
Like all other training untis in the UK, Conversion units faced risks borne of weather, air traffic congestion, equipment failure (aircraft were often those retired from front line service), interdiction by enemy night fighters and inexperience of crews on new aircraft types. It was a sad fact of life that in what was probably the busiest airspace in the world at that time, in all weather conditions and ranging far and wide over all types of terrain, accidents were a fact of life. When a heavy bomber went down in training it was often due to procedural error, weather or navigation. Accidents on take off varied from minor to catastrophic, but accidents in flight generally took the entire crew of up to seven with it.
Experienced pilots and aircrew were posted back to Training Units to train and mentor new crews. Things were no less risky for them.
There is an extensive list of Conversion Units. The RAAF ran its own Conversion system in Australia, but RAAF crews assigned to other theatres of war went through the RAF units shown below or RCAF units listed separately.
It is not the aim of this site to document detail other than to provide a link to a list of the very large number of them: