Home Page World War II Armed Forces — Orders of Battle and Organizations Last Updated 22.05.2022
British, Colonial, and Dominion Air Forces
Glossary and Abbreviations
Abbreviation Meaning
AAC Anti-Aircraft Co-operation
AACU Anti-Aircraft Co-operation Unit
A&AEE Aeroplane and Armamanets Experimental Establishment
AAF Auxiliary Air Force
AAP Air Ammunition Park
AAS Air Armaments School
AASF Advanced Air Striking Force
AAU Aircraft Assembly Unit
AC Army Cooperation
ACD Airmen's Convalescent Depot
ACS&MB Aviation Candidate Selection and Medical Board
ACU Army Cooperation Unit
ADF Aircraft Delivery Flight
ADGB Air Defence of Great Britain (= Fighter Command)
ADLS Air Delivery Letter Service
ADRU Air Despatch and Reception Unit
AEAF Allied Expeditionary Air Force
AF&O Aviation Fuel and Oil
AFDU Air Fighting Development Unit
AI Airborne Interception
AID Aeronautical Inspection Directorate
AIO Aeronautical Inspection Officer
ALG Advanced Landing Ground
AM Air Ministry
AMCS Air Ministry Communication Staff
AMES Air Ministry Experimental Station (i.e. radar station)
ANS Air Navigation School
AOC Air Officer Commanding
AONS Air Observer Navigation School
AOP Air Observation Post
AOS Air Observers School
APC Armament Practice Camp
ARD Aircraft Repair Depot
AR & MU Aircraft Repair and Maintenance Unit
ARU Aircraft Repair Unit
ASP Air Stores Park
ASU Aircraft Storage Unit
ASR Air Sea Rescue
ATSU Air Transportable Signal Unit
ATDU Airborne Torpedo Development Unit. Also known as:
   Air Torpedo Development Unit
   Torpedo Development Unit
ATTDU Air Transport Tactical Development Unit
AVG American Volunteer Group (in the Chinese Army Air Force)
Avn Aviation
B Bomber
BAAF British Air Forces in France
BAGS Bombing & Gunnery School
BAS Blind Approach School
BAT&DU Blind Approach Training and Development Unit
Redesignated Wireless Intelligence Development Unit (WIDU) 30.09.40
BAT Blind Approach Training (up to late 42)
Beam Approach Training (as of late 42)
B.(D)T.F. Bomber (Defence) Training Flight
BR Bomber Reconnaissance
BS Bomber Support
BVAF Burma Volunteer Air Force
C & M Care and Maintenance
CAC Coast Artillery Cooperation
CACU Coast Artillery Cooperation Unit
CAEU Casualtiy Air Evacuation Unit
CAF Citizen Air Force (reserve)
Cal. Calibration
CAS Chief of Air Staff
CEO Chief Education Officer
CF Caostal Fighter
CFS Central Flying School
CGS Central Gunnery School
CH Chain High (radar AMES Type 1)
CHL Chain High Low (radar AMES Type 2)
COL Chain Overseas Low (radar AMES Type 5)
Commo Communications
CS Coastal Strike
CSO Chief Signals Officer
CSS Combined Signals School
CTC Combined Training Centre
CU Conversion Unit
Det Detachment
D/F Direction Finding
D.Arm.D. Director of Armament Development
DJAG Deputy Judge Advocate General
E&WS Electrical & Wireless School
EAC Equipment Approvals Committee
EFT Emergency Fitting Party
EFTS Elementary Flying Training School
ETS Equipment Training School
ETS(O) Equipment Training School (Officers)
F Fighter
FAA Fleet Air Arm (Naval Aviation)
FC Fleet Cooperation
FIS Flying Instructors' School
FIU Fighter Interception Unit
Fmn Formation
F/R Fighter Reconnaissance
FSP Forward Staging Post
FTS Flying Training School
FTU Flying Training Unit
GAS (Ground) Armament School
GCC Group Control Centre
GCI Ground Controlled Interception
GDIS Ground Defence Instructors School
GDGS Ground Defence Gunnery School
Gee Radio (Radar) navigation. The name came from the first letter of the word "grid".
GP General Purpose
GR General Reconnaissance
GRU General Reconnaissance Unit
GSE Glider Servicing Echelon
Abbreviation Meaning
HCU Heavy Conversion Unit
HCVDF Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Force
Hellenic Royal Greek Air Force
HMT His Majesty's Transport
HQ / Hqs Headquarters
IAF Indian Air Force
(The "Royal" not used before 12.03.1945)
ITW Initial Training Wing
ITS Initial Training School
LDB Light Day Bomber
LG Landing Ground
LRCR Long Range Communications Relay
LWU Light Warning Unit
MAEE Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment
ME Middle East
Met Meteorological (i.e. Weather)
MCS Metropolitan Communications Squadron
MLD Marineluchtvaartdienst
(Navy Air Service of the Royal Dutch Navy)
MPSU Mobile Parachute Servicing Unit
MSU Maintenance Sub Unit
MT Mechanical Transport
MTLRU Mechanical Transport Light Repair Unit
MU Maintenance Unit
MV Motor Vessel (Merchant Vessel)
MVAF Malaya Volunteer Air Force
NFDU Night Fighting Development Unit
NL Netherlands
NLEI Netherlands East Indies
NTU Navigation Training Unit
O&DP Operational and Development Party
O&RTU Operational and Refersher Training Unit
OADU Overseas Aircraft Despatch Unit
OAPU Overseas Aircraft Preparation Unit
OIC Officer-in-Charge
OTU Operational Training Unit
Payr Paymaster
PFF Path Finder Force
PMO Principle Medical Officer
PMRAFNS Princess Mary's RAF Nursing Service
PM&SU Parachute Maintenance and Servicing Unit
PR Photo-Reconnaissance
PRU Photo-Reconnaissance Unit
PTC Personnel Transit Centre
PTS Parachute Training School
PTU Parachute Training Unit
Parachute Test Unit
PWD Psychological Warfare Division
R&R Pty Refuelling and Re-Arming Party
R&SU Repair & Salvage Unit
RAF Royal Air Force
RAAF Royal Australian Air Force
RAAFNS Royal Australian Air Force Nursing Service
RAE Royal Aircraft Establsihment
RAF IPTM RAF Institute of Pathology and Tropical Medicine
RAuxAF Royal Auxiliary Air Force
RCAF Royal Canadian Air Force
RCM Radar and Radio Counter-Measures
RDF Radio Direction Finder (Radar)
REAF Royal Egyptian Air Force
Recon Reconnaissance
RIAF Royal Indian Air Force
(The "Royal" as of 12.03.1945)
RM Royal Marines
RN Royal Navy
RNAS Royal Naval Air Station
RNethN Royal Netherlands Navy (also seen as RNLN)
RNZAF Royal New Zealand Air Force
RNZAF Royal New Zealand Air Force
RSS Radio Servicing Section
(until 21.09.40: RMU = Radio Maintenance Unit)
SAAF South Arican Air Force
SAE School of Aeronautical Engineering
SD Special Duty
SFTS Service Flying Training School
SO Signals Office(r)
SOPT School of Physical Training
SOTT School of Technical Training
SOE Special Operations Executive
SR Strategic Reconnaissance
SRD Service Repair Depote
SSVAF Straights Settlements Volunteer Air Force
SSWT Supplementary School of Wireless Training
STU Signals Training Unit
TAMO Transportation and Movement Office
TB Torpedo Bomber
TCNVTS Transport Command Night Vision Training School
TEU Tactical Exercise Unit
TRE Telecommunications Research Establishment
TT Target Towing
TTU Torpedo Training Unit
UDF Union Defence Force (South Africa's army)
UK United Kingdom
USAAF United States Army Air Forces
VLA Very Low Altitude
WAGS Wireless Air Gunners School
WIDU Wireless Intelligence and Development Unit
WIS Wireless Intelligence Section
WSU Wireless Servicing Unit
W/T Wireless Telegraphy
British Counties
This is a listing of British counties as they were in World War II. In some cases, designations, geographic areas covered, or composition, have been changed, or even dropped, since then.
Abbreviation County Region
Abers. Aberdeenshire Scotland
Armagh County Armagh Northern Ireland
Ang. Anglesey Wales
Angus Angus Scotland
Antrim County Antrim Northern Ireland
Argyll. Argyllshire Scotland
Ayrs. Ayrshire Scotland
Banff. Banffshire Scotland
Beds. Bedfordshire England
Berks. Berkshire England
Bwick. Berwickshire Scotland
Brec. Brecknockshire Wales
Bucks. Buckinghamshire England
Bute County of Bute (Buteshire) Scotland
Caerns. Caernarvonshire Wales
Caith. Caithness Scotland
Cambs. Cambridgeshire England
Cards. Cardiganshire Wales
Carmar. Carmarthenshire Wales
Ches. Cheshire England
Clacks. Clackmannanshire Scotland
Cornwl. Cornwall England
Cumb. Cumberland England
Cumbria Cumbria England
Denb. Denbighshire Wales
Derbys. Derbyshire England
Derrry County Derry (Londonderry) Northern Ireland
Devon. Devon(shire) England
Dorset. Dorset(shire) England
Down County Down Northern Ireland
Dumfrs. Dumfriesshire Scotland
Dunb. Dunbartonshire Scotland
Dundee Dundee Scotland
Durham Durham England
E.Lothian East Lothian Scotland
Essex Essex England
Fermanagh County Fermanagh Northern Ireland
Fife Fife Scotland
Flints. Flintshire Wales
Glam. Glamorgan Wales
Glasgow Glasgow Scotland
Gloucs. Gloucestershire England
Hants. Hampshire England
Heref. Herefordshire England
Herts. Hertfordshire England
Hunts. Huntingdonshire England
Inverness. Inverness-shire Scotland
Kent Kent England
Kin. Kincardineshire Scotland
Kinross. Kinross-shire Scotland
Kirkbt. Kirkcudbrightshire Scotland
Lnrks. Lanarkshire Scotland
Lancs. Lancashire England
Leics. Leicestershire England
Lincs. Lincolnshire England
Meri. Merionethshire Wales
Middx. Middlesex England
Midl. Midlothian Scotland
Mon. Monmouthshire Wales
Montg. Montgomeryshire Wales
Moray County of Moray Scotland
Nairns. Nairnshire Scotland
Norfolk Norfolk England
Northants. Northamptonshire England
Northumb. Northumberland England
Notts. Nottinghamshire England
Orkneys Orkney Islands Scotland
Oxon. Oxfordshire England
Peebles. Peeblesshire Scotland
Pem. Pembrokeshire Wales
Perth. Perthshire Scotland
Rad. Radnorshire Wales
Ren. Renfrewshire Scotland
R.&C. Ross and Cromarty Scotland
Roxb. Roxburghshire Scotland
Rutland Rutland England
Sel. Selkirkshire Scotland
Shetlands Shetland Islands Scotland
Shrops. (Salop.) Shropshire England
Somst. (Somset.) Somersetshire England
Staffs. Staffordshire England
Stirl. Stirlingshire Scotland
Suffolk Suffolk England
Surrey Surrey England
Sussex Sussex England
Suth. Sutherland Scotland
Tyrone County Tyrone Northern Ireland
Warks. Warwickshire England
W.Lothian West Lothian Scotland
Westm. Westmorland England
Wigs. Wigtownshire Scotland
Wilts. Wiltshire England
Worcs. Worcestershire England
Yorks. Yorkshire England
Australian States & Territories
ACT Australian Capital Territory
NSW New South Wales
NT Northern Territory
Qld. Queensland
SA South Australia
Tas. Tasmania
Vic. Victoria
WA Western Australia
Canadian Provinces and Territories
Alb. Alberta
BC British Columbia
Man. Manitoba
NB New Brunswick
Newfld. Newfoundland (Independent British Dominion)
NS Nova Scotia
NWT Northwest Territories
Ont. Ontaria
PEI Prince Edward Island
Queb. Quebec
Sask. Saskatchewan
YT Yukon Territory
South African Provinces
This is a listing of the four South African provinces as they were in World War II. These administrative subdivisions were completely revised in 1994 and the former provinces were abolished.
CP Cape of Good Hope
Natal Natal
OFS Orange Free State
Tvl. Transvaal
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