No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre RAF

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3 PRC RAF.jpg
Metropole Hotel 23 May 1943

Brief History

The seaside town of Bournemouth was host to No 3 Personnel Reception Centre RAF, the arrival point for thousands of Commonwealth aircrew after training in Canada. They were accommodated in scores of requisitioned hotels and luxury flats, and their presence in the town prompted a heavy raid by the Luftwaffe.

At lunchtime on Sunday 23 May 1943, 26 Focke-Wulf 190 fighter-bombers, flying at sea level across the English Channel to avoid radar, swooped up over the town and bombed the central area, destroying 22 buildings and damaging a further 3,000. There were heavy casualties among the aircrew stationed there and many hotels were destroyed, in particular the Metropole wher almost 200, mostly Allied airmen lost their life. Seven Australian airmen were killed at the Central Hotel.

While its main presence was in Bournemouth from July 1941, detachments were also located at Hastings and RCAF Innsworth (UK). The Unit disbanded at Bournemouth in February 1946.

Individual Honours

Personnel Passing through


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