6 December 1916 – Flight, Squadron or Wing?

The RNAS has bowed to the inevitable and finally adopted the same organisational structure as the RFC. Up to this point the RNAS has used the terms Wing, Squadron and Flight almost at random with a unit’s name giving little indication of its size or function. The RNAS has added to the confusion by often using the same name for completely different units serving in the different theatres. The recent cooperation with the RFC further added to the confusion as the two services used different terms to describe their formations.

Today, Wing Commander Charles Laverock Lambe’s proposals, a revision of nomenclature to bring the RNAS into line with the RFC, were approved. Under this scheme a unit of six pilots will be known as a Flight. A Squadron will be made up of two or three lights. A Wing will be a group of Squadrons with the number varying on circumstances.

An important side-effect of this change is that the RNAS can now make best use of Flight Commanders and Squadron Commanders which were in short supply.


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