RAF Cardington Camp

No 217 MU RAF Cardington

This unit was a renaming of the former No 279 MU at Cardington formed in 1948 which was itself an expansion of the former gas plant division from the old airship days. No 217MU absorbed other units outside of Cardington and maintained and repaired all gas cylinders for the RAF, Navy, and MOD throughout the world. The unit closed down in 2000 by which time it was entirely civilianised

Arthur RAF sign

217 MU sign at RAF Cardington

An entry in the daily returns for this unit records that:

“No 217 Maintenance Unit was formed on 17th January 1955 as a result of the amalgamation of No’s 244 and 279 Maintenance Units, Wing Commander W G Clegg OBE, was posted in as the Commanding Officer.”

The next record reads:

“No 9 Mobile Oxygen Plant Unit. This Unit was transferred from RAF Kinloss to No 217 Maintenance Union on 25th January 1955. Service personnel arrived on this date and the plant is to follow at a later date.”

A few weeks later in Feb 1955 the Unit also took responsibility from No 95 Maintenance Unit and assumed control of RAF Riseley and RAF Lords Bridge.

Stats for Feb 1955 show the following personnel numbers:

RAF - Officers
Civilians – Officers
Industrial
Non Industrial
Total

4

4
242
33
282

Early Unit Commanders

This list of individuals shows men who had served as commanders from 1955 - 1965. I have been unable to find out who commanded this unit in later years. If anyone can help identify others or has any photographs of those already mentioned please get in touch. Thank you.

Wing Commander Clegg OBE 17 Jan 1955 - 4 Mar 1956

The first commander of this unit was Wing Commander W G Clegg OBE. He was awarded an OBE in June 1944 although it is not known what this was for. In the honours listings he is cited as being a member of the RAF Voluntary Reserves. He retired from the RAF on Aug 20 1958

Wing Commander C V G Usher 5 Mar 1956 - June 1958

The second commander was Wing Commander C V G Usher – I have been unable to find out anything about this man. Can anyone help?

Wing Commander A S Harman OBE 26 July 1960 – 19 May 1963

The next commander was Wing Commander A S Harman - again I have been unable to find out anything about this man.

Wing Commander W T Wakeham MBE 20 May 1963 - unknown

Wing Commander W T Wakeham arrived to take over the unit at Cardington in May 1963. In 1944 he was awarded an MBE. He retired from the RAF in Jan 1967.