No. 30 (Balloon Barrage) Group was formed on 17th March 1937 at Stanmore Park, Middlesex and was commanded by an Air Commodore.
Balloon Barrages in the UK were first flown over London in 1917 as another level of protection against aircraft attempting to bomb the Capital.
Having proved their worth in WW1, not least as some assurance to the civilian population, a scheme was approved by Government in 1936 whereby 450 barrage balloons would be available as part of the strategy for the Air Defence of London.
The Barrage Balloon Squadrons that were to make up 30 Group would be manned by the Auxiliary Air Force.
No. 30 (Balloon Barrage) group locations
Headquarters RAF Stanmore Park
The Balloon Centres were responsible for maintenance and supply to the Balloon Squadrons in its area as well as balloon repair and flight control.
Balloon Barrages proved to be an effective method of protecting strategically important areas against air attack, in that should enemy aircraft fly into the winch cable the damage inflicted would almost always result in destruction. Should enemy aircraft attempt to avoid the cables by flying above the Barrage Balloons then they could not bomb their targets with accuracy.
On the formation of Balloon Command, 30 Group, Headquarters moved to a new location at Chessington, Surrey where it remained from 1st November 1938 to 7th January 1945.
Balloon Command was disbanded in February 1945.