48 Air Dispatch Group

The Air Despatch Group, Royal Army Service Corps was formed in April 1944 & within a couple of months had a strength of over 5000 men.

It was to provide maintenance & supply by air to units that may be cut off during the forthcoming Normandy Invasion & ensuing campaign in north west europe.

RASC Air Despatchers in RAF Transport Command aircraft were to drop ammunition, fuel & other supplies by parachute (maintenance), & the Group transported to airfields & loaded such supplies (supply).

Amongst the Groups activities was maintenance by air of allied troops in the Falaise Gap, at Arnhem & at Walcheren.

Post 1965, The Group was renamed to the newly formed Royal Corps of Transport, & in 1993 to The Royal Logistic Corps which was formed by amalgamation of The Royal Corps of Transport with The Royal Pioneer Corps, The Army Catering Corps, The Royal Army Ordnance Corps, & The Postal and Courier Section of The Royal Engineers.

47 Air Despatch Squadron, Royal Logistic Corps is now the only regualr army Air Despatch unit.

 

Air Despatch Units, Royal Army Service Corps

  • 48 Air Despatch Column

  • 49 Air Despatch Column

  • 1 Army Air Supply Organisation

  • 3 Army Air Supply Organisation

  • Air Supply Training Wing

  • 16 Coy (AD)

  • 22 Coy (AD)

  • 47 Coy (AD) (renumbered from 223)

  • 55 Coy (AD) (renumbered from 799)

  • 61 Coy (AD)

  • 63 Coy (AD)

  • 73 Coy (AD)

  • 223 Coy (AD)

  • 749 Coy (AD)

  • 799 Coy (AD)

  • 800 Coy (AD)

  • 138 Air Supply Platoon (Cyprus) 1955-60(became ‘C’ Pln 47 Coy RASC (AD))

  • Air Despatch Units, Royal Corps of Transport

  • 14 AD Regt

  • 15 AD Regt

  • 16 AD Sqn

  • 22 AD Sqn

  • 47 AD Sqn

  • 55 AD Sqn

  • 69 AD Sqn

 

Air Despatch Units, Royal Logistc Corps

 

  • 47 AD Sqn

 

The original "47th Squadron" had been 47th Company of The Army Service Corps, a Horse Transport Company formed in 1900. 47 Squadron RLC, the sole remaining Regular Army Air Despatch Unit, is the direct descendant of 47th Company.

The Air Despatch Groups sign was a yellow Dakota on a royal blue horizontal rectangle, authorised in September 9, following Arnhem - durng the battle, 116 Ar Despatchers had been killed.

 

The insignia were worn in forward facing pairs on Battle Dress, Denison smocks etc, & latterly on the left breast of flying overalls (the badge which would otherwise be worn on the left arm).

Some versions showed a door in the side of the Dakota on the badge worn on the left arm.

There are variations in the shape of the tail fin, some being rounded, others flat topped, & there are variaions in the appearance of the airraft, a more "delicate" representation on a square bakground being worn in recent years - the badge is still in wear by The 47th Air Despatch Squadron Royal Logistic Corps (The RLC succeeding The RCT).