Latitude 56°34'51"N  Longitude 02°36'55"W

   

ACQUISITION

Purpose built for Admiralty.

 

COMMISSIONED

19 June 1940.

 

PAID OFF

31 March 1970.

 

CLOSED

31 March 1970 - Establishment transferred to Royal Marines 3 Commando Brigade and became Condor Barracks, home to 45 Commando.

   

C.O.

Captain E.M.C. Able-Smith 5 July 1940

Captain R.M.T. Taylor

Captain V.C.R. St.V. Sherbrooke DSO 6 August 1954

Captain L.E. Porter 10 July 1945

   

FUNCTION

WW2

Naval Air Signals School

No.2 Air Observers School

Fleet Requirements Unit
 

Post 1945

H.Q. Rear Admiral Reserve Training (R.A.R.T.), Air Artificer Training Establishment. FAA Mechanical Training School. ;

Technical Conversion Courses,

Fleet Requirements Unit (North),

Accommodation for 2 1st Line Squadrons,

All-weather airfield.
 

Post 1953

Training Establishment for Aircraft Mechanicians (A.E., and S.O.). Petty Officer and Airman Fitters (A.E. and O.) and Aircraft Artificers (A. and E.). Special Category Airfield. Short Aircraft Maintenance Courses. Aircraft Inspection and Survey Party. Ground Helicopter School.

 

PARENT STATION TO

RNAS Dundee & RNAS East haven.

 

ADDRESS

R.N. Air Station

Arbroath

Angus,

Scotland

 

LOCALITY

The airfield lies 1½ miles NW. of the coastal town of Arbroath; on the E. side of the main road and close W. of the railway leading NW. from the town.

 

LANDMARKS

Buddon Ness. the N. entrance point of the Firth of Tay, distant 8 miles SSW.

The town of Arbroath. The S.R. railway running NNW. from Arbroath, parallel with the NE. boundary and distant about 500 yds.

 

ROAD AND RAIL ACCESS

Main road to Arbroath and to Dundee, 19 miles (R); Station at Arbroath, distant 1¾ miles (R)., on the main Arbroath-Dundee line.

   
   

CONTROL

Control building on the W. side of the landing area in front of the squadron hangars.

Facilities and Safety Aids as laid down for All-weather airfield.

 

ELEVATION

160 ' above M.S.L.

 

RUNWAYS

Four, Tarmac.


03/21 QDM. 234˚-214˚ .... 1000 x 33 yds. 

08/26 QDM. 079˚-259˚ .... 1320 x 33 yds.  (Low visibility)

12/30 QDM. 124˚-304˚ .... 1130 x 33 yds. 

17/35 QDM. 169˚-349˚ .... 1150 x 33 yds. 

 

note: W. end of runway 08/26 is to be curtailed in accordance with A.F.O. 3594/47.

 

TRACKS

The western ends of the runways are connected to the hangars and workshops by 40' tracks.

 

   

OBSTRUCTIONS

Navigation

None.

Circuit

None.

Approach

None.

 

APPROACH

Recommended sector, mean QDM 240˚ (Changed to 135˚ after 1953)

 

WIND INDICATOR

Windsocks outside the perimeter track on the NE., and SE. sides of the airfield.

   
   

HOMING - VISUAL

By day

None.

By night

Pundit on request. (Withdrawn after 1953)

 

HOMING--RADIO

D/F

M/F, H/F and VH/F. (Withdrawn after 1953)

Beacons

YG., 251 MS. (Withdrawn after 1953)

 

APPROACH - VISUAL

By day

None.

By night

Airfield lighting (Naval).

1953 - Portable emergency lighting only

 

APPROACH - RADIO

 

 

COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT

M/F & H/F

8 transmitters, 8 receivers.

(Withdrawn after 1953)

VH/F

4  transmitters,  4 receivers.

After 1953 reduced to 2 transmitters and receivers.

 

CALL SIGNS

R/T

ARBROATH

W/T

GZI

Identity letters

 

AO

 

GROUND RADAR

None.

   
   

ACCOMMODATION

Living quarters in camp on NW corner of the airfield.

 

Capacity:

1946

Austerity

Interim

Officers:

202

144

144

Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings:

602*

1,638

1,056

W.R.N.S. Officers:

20

21

20

W.R.N.S.  Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings;

176

240

168

*Accommodation for 544 of the above ratings (apprentices) is at RNAS East Haven (sleeping only).

 

 

ARMOURIES

To 2 squadron scale.

 

COMPASS BASE

Two, on the N. side of the lancing area. (1) Fixed. Diameter 70' (2) rotatable. Diameter 50'.

1950s - one 100', second 70'

 

DISPERSAL

Area to N. end of runway 17/35 with limited covers accommodation known locally as Peebles dispersal.

Not used after 1953.

 

HANGARS

in groups on the W. and S. sides of the airfield. (only S. site in use by 1960)

Number /Type

Size

Door Height

Door Width

9 x Bellman

(only 3 in use by 1960)

187½' x 106'

26'

106'

1 Training Workshop

250' x 110'

25'

110'

       

MEDICAL

Sick bay on the W. side of the airfield near the main hangar area.

 

METEOROLOGICAL

Office in Control building. Limited meteorological service by Naval personnel.

 

FUEL AND OIL

Aviation:

72.000 gallons in two installations of 36.00 gallons each.

M/T:

4.000 gallons.

Oil :

4.000 gallons..

   

TEST BASE

Polar diagram base available. Radar maintenance facilities for 5 squadrons.

 

TEST BUTT

N. side of landing area.

 

WORKSHOPS

Limited facilities for squadron support in training workshops. Mark NU 8 Universal Test Bench situated SE. of runway 03/21 (until 1953).

 

VISITORS

Visitors parking area.

 

EXPLOSIVES

Explosives area E. of landing area, adjacent to '35' end of runway 17/35.

 

BOMBING AND FIRING RANGES

 

Air to air

Two (withdrawn by 1953)

Air to ground and

Practice bombing

At Leuchars ranges by arrangement with R.A.F. Leuchars

(withdrawn by 1953)

Live and practice bombing

None.

Assault training

None.

   
   

Information taken from CB 4368 B. Admiralty Handbook of Naval Air Stations Aug. 45, B.R. 1807 Handbook of Royal Naval Air Stations Dec. 48 & September 1955


 

 

List of first and second line squadrons, station flight and other flying units based at this location

 

703

 

A Flight "Clockwork Mice"
Moved from RNAS Ford 22/02.54. Returned to RNAS Ford 30.06.54
Equipped with 6 x Firefly AS 6?


735

ASV Training Unit
Detachment (?) operated at Arbroath 28.08.44 to 15.04.45 when it returned to RNAS Burscough.
Equipped with Barracuda and Anson.


737

ASV Training Unit
Moved here from RNAS Inskip 28.08.44 moved to RNAS Burscough 15.04.45
Equipped with Swordfish and Anson.


740

 

740 Observer Training Squadron (No.2 Observer Training School)
Formed here 04.05.43 Disbanded here 05.08.43
Equipped with Walrus, Kingfisher and Swordfish.


741

 

741 Observer Training Squadron(No.2 Observer Training School)
Formed here 01.03.43 Disbanded here 19.03.45
Equipped with Swordfish.


751

 

Observer Training Squadron(No.2 Observer Training School)
Moved here 19.08.40. Operated from the Satellite station at RNAS Dundee from 13.08.41. Disbanded 02.05.44.
Equipped with Walrus.


753

Observer Training Squadron(No.2 Observer Training School)
Moved here from RNAS Lee-on-Solent 19.08.40. moved to RNAS Rattray 01.11.45
Equipped initially with Sharks, later replaced by Albacore and Swordfish, finally ASV Barracuda.


754

Observer Training Squadron(No.2 Observer Training School)
Moved here from RNAS Lee-on-Solent 07.09.40. Disbanded 27.03.44.
Equipped with Albacore, Harvard IIb, Lysander III, Proctor, Reliant and Swordfish.


758

Telegraphist Air Gunner Training Squadron (No. 2 Air Gunners School)
Moved here from RNAS Eastleigh 14.10.40. Disbanded 01.02.41.
Equipped with Proctor, Roc and Skas.


767

 

Deck Landing Training Squadron (DLT School)
Regrouped at Arbroath .8.07.40 Moved to RNAS East Haven 05.05.43
Equipped with Albacores and Swordfish.


768

Deck Landing Training Squadron (DLT School)
Formed here 13.01.41. Moves to RNAS Machrihanish 01.03.43.
Equipped with Fulmar, Martlet, Sea Hurricane, Spitfire Vb (hooked) and Swordfish.


769

 

Deck Landing Training Squadron (DLT School)
Formed here 29.11.41. Moved to RNAS East Haven 07.11.43
Equipped with Albacores and Swordfish.


770

 

Fleet Requirements Unit
Detachment (?) operated here 3-14.09.45 from RNAS Drem.
Equipment Mosquito B.XXV.


771

 

Fleet Requirements Unit
Detachment (?) operated here 13.10.48 - 03.09.51 from Lee-on-Solent.
Equipment Mosquito FB.6 & PR.16?


772

 

Fleet Requirements Unit (North)
Detachment (?) 16.10.45 to 10.01.46 from RNAS Ayr.
Detachment (?) 10.01.46 to ??.07.46 from RNAS Burscough
Entire squadron moved here from RNAS Anthorn 26.06.47. Disbanded 13.10.48
Equipped with Martinett TT.I, Wildcat, Seafire, Mosquito B.XXV, Mosquito PR.16, Mosquito PR.34.


778

 

Service Trials Unit
Moved here from RNAS Lee-on-Solent 06.07.40. Moved to RNAS Crail 05.03.43
Moved here from RNAS rail 15.08.44. Mover to RNAS Gosport 09.08.45
Equipped with all aircraft types operated by, and evaluated by, the Fleet Air Arm.


791

 

Air Target Towing Unit
Formed here 15.10.40. Disbanded 10.12.44.
Equipped with Defiant TT.III, Roc I, Skua II, Swordfish I & II, Albacore, Sea Gladiator, Sea Hurricane, Spitfire I.


800

Fleet Fighter Squadron
'Y' flight moved here from RNAS Lee-on-Solent and operated here 02-12.05.41 before moving to RNAS Abbotsinch.
Entire squadron disembarked from HMS 05.08.41. Moved to RNAS Lee-on-Solent 11.08.41.
Equipped with 9 Fulmar I ('Y' flt 3 x Fulmar I).


801

Fleet Fighter Squadron
Moved here from RNAS Culdrose 30.04.48. Moved to RNAS Anthorn 21.05.48
Equipped with 12 x Sea Hornet F.20.


802

Single Seat Fighter Squadron
Reformed here 01.05.45. Moved to RNAS Twatt 21.06.45.
Equipped with 24 Seafire L.III.
Reformed here 01.02.53. Embarked in HMS THESEUS 29.04.53.
Equipped with 12 x Sea Fury FB.11.


803

Single Seat Fighter Squadron
Reformed here 15.06.45. Moved to RNAS Nutts Corner 23.09.45
Equipped with 25 x Seafire L.III.


807

Single Seat Fighter Squadron
Moved here from RNAS Lee-on-Solent 15.06.51 to reform on 04.07.51. Embarked in HMS OCEAN 24.07.51.
Equipped with 8 x Sea Fury FB.11.


809

Night Fighter Squadron
Disembarked from HMS VENGEANCE 18.06. to 05.07.50.
Equipped with 8 Sea Hornet NF.21.


810

Torpedo, Bomber, Reconnaissance Squadron
Disembarked from HMS ARK ROYAL08 - 29.10.40
Equipped with 12 x Swordfish.


Anti Submarine Squadron
Disembarked from HMS THESEUS 29.05.51 to regroup and re-equip. Embarked HMS Ocean 25.07.51
Equipped with 12 Firefly A.S.5.


811

Torpedo, Bomber, Reconnaissance Squadron
Moved here from RNAS Lee-on-Solent 01.11.41. Moved to RNAS Machrihanish 16.03.42.
Equipped initially with 12 x Chesapeake and 2 x Sea Hurricanes but replaced by 6 x Swordfish II in November 1941.

 

Single Seat Fighter Squadron
Reformed here 17.08.53 Moved to RAF Leuchars 19.08.53.
Equipped with 12 x Sea Fury FB.11.


813

 

814

 

815

 

818

 

819

 

820

 

821

 

824

 

825

 

826

 

841

 

845

 

846

 

880

 

883

 

885

 

898

 

1771

 

 

PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

 

Click here for a list of Primary sources


Additional sources:

 

Admiralty Fleet Orders:

P.57.53 BR 18907 December 1948 Amendment No.18

p.384/60 BR 18907 March 1960 Amendment No.6

 

Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders:

AFO 48/46 R.N. Aircraft Training Establishment, Newcastle-under-Lyme-Removal; to R.N. Air Station Arbroath

 

 

 

 

SORS VARIA, OPUS IDEM

(OUR LOT VARIES, OUR TASK IS ONE)
 

 

 

 


View Larger Map

 

Aerial view of RNAS Arbroath taken in June 1945.

 

A Lend Lease American Vought-Sikorsky Kingfisher aircraft going down the slipway at Arbroath, to set out on patrol. © IWM (A 19568)

 

A range of Fairey Albacores, flown by naval pilots learning deck landing, ready for take off at HMS CONDOR. Note the dummy aircraft carrier island, a single deck© IWM (A 19574)

 

 

The deck landing control officer gives a Fairey Albacore pilot the signal to cut his engine during deck landing practice at Arbroath. © IWM (A 19577)

 
 

 


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