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 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 Raining 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 Raining 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 Raining Squadron (DLT School)
Formed here 29.11.41. Moved to RBNAS 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 RNASNutts 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 18.06.50, re-embarked HMS Vengeance 05.07.50.
Equipped with 8 Sea Hornet NF.21.
810 Torpedo, Bomber, Reconnaissance Squadron
Disembarked from HMS Ark Royal 08 - 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)

 

 

 

 

© 2013 Tony Drury www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk


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