Record group 3 - Post Second World War Establishment

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Post Second World War Establishment

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CA ON00093 2017/5-3

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  • 1944-1970 (Creation)
    Canada. Royal Canadian Air Force. Post Second World War Establishment

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406 files of textual records

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At the cessation of hostilities the RCAF had 164,846 all ranks (the peak was in 1944 with 215,200) serving; this was to be reduced to an authorized strength of 16,000 all ranks. This demobilization was to take place over a two year period. On 6 February 1946 the Cabinet approved a Peacetime RCAF of four components: a Regular Force, an Auxiliary, a Reserve and the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. On 30 September 1947, when this organization came into effect, the RCAF was stood down from "Active Service".

The post-war Regular Force RCAF was not all that different from the pre-war RCAF. Eight squadrons were authorized, but only five stood-up. These were to form the professional nucleus of the air force. Their primary tasks were again: aerial photography, air transport and communications (utility). A new task that the RCAF assumed was search and rescue. In addition, Air Force Headquarters decided that the squadrons that did stand-up would be from the "400 Overseas" block of squadrons.

The post-war infrastructure changed dramatically. Initially Canada was divided into two geographic commands: Central Air Command, located in Trenton, with No. 10 Group in Halifax and North Western Air Command, located in Edmonton, with No. 11 Group in Winnipeg and No. 12 Group in Vancouver. At this time while the regular force was trying to settle into their post-war organization, the auxiliary air force (now primary reserves) was being re-established. In April 1946 the auxiliary air force was authorized an establishment of 4500 officers and airmen and 15 squadrons. The auxiliary air force's role was air defence; this role they kept until 1958.

With the expansion of the RCAF came a corresponding increase in the infrastructure. Beginning in 1948, the RCAF began to structure their commands along operational commands vice regional commands, No. 9 Transport Group became Air Transport Command and No.1 Air Defence Group was formed. In 1949 Maintenance Command became Air Material Command and Central Command became Training Command. Additionally in 1949, Nos. 10 and 11 Groups became Maritime and Tactical Group respectively. In the early 50s, with world tension increasing, expansion continued, No.1 Air Division in Europe, No. 5 Air Division (formerly No. 12 Group) and No. 14 (Training) Group were formed, while other groups were elevated to command status: Air Defence Command, Maritime Air Command and Tactical Air Command.

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Record Group consists of 406 files regarding Post Second World War Establishment and its components:
Air Transport Command; Tactical Air Command; Training Command; Air Material Command; Air Defence Command; Maritime Air Command; and No. 1 (RCAF) Air Division Europe during 1944 to 1970. There are 7 series:

1. Air Transport Command
2. Tactical Air Command
3. Training Command
4. Air Material Command
5. Air Defence Command
6. Maritime Air Command
7. No. 1 (RCAF) Air Division Europe

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Vol. 2 of file no. 181.009 (D3598) is classified.

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