Latitude 47˚18'10"N Longitude 53˚59'14"W

   
ACQUISITION Lodger facilities for RN Air Section at USN Air Station,

 

OPENED 01 May 1943 on 'books of AVALON III'.

 

COMMISSIONED November 1943 - as AVALON IV [accounts remained on 'books of AVALON III'.

 

PAID OFF 05 July 1944.

 

CLOSED 05 July 1944.

 

   
O.I.C. Lt. Commander (A) E.W. Kenton RNVR 01 May 1943
   
FUNCTION Reserve storage of up to 12 Swordfish for possible use as replacement a/c for escort carriers on N. Atlantic convoy duties. Support of one disembarked squadron.

 

ADDRESS R.N. Air Section,
Argentia,
U.S.N. Air Station

Argentia,

Newfoundland

 

LOCALITY

 

 

LANDMARKS  

 

ROAD AND RAIL ACCESS  

 

   
   
CONTROL Control Building SE of landing area.

 

ELEVATION  ?' above M.S.L.

 

RUNWAYS Three, Asphalt concrete


04/22 QDM. ---˚----˚ .... 2.466 x 100 yds. 

08/26 QDM. ---˚----˚ .... 1,700 x 100 yds.

14/32 QDM. ---˚----˚ ....1 .666 x 100 yds.

 

TRACKS  
   
OBSTRUCTIONS Navigation None.
Circuit Not known.
Approach None.

 

APPROACH No special approach recommended.

 

WIND INDICATOR Not known.
   
   
HOMING - VISUAL By day None.
By night None.

 

HOMING--RADIO D/F Not known.
Beacons Not known.

 

APPROACH - VISUAL By day None.
By night Not known.

 

APPROACH - RADIO Not known.

 

COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT M/F & H/F  transmitters,  receivers.
VH/F   transmitters,   receivers.

 

GROUND RADAR Not known.

   
   
ACCOMMODATION Capacity:
Officers: Unknown.
Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings: Unknown.
W.R.N.S. Officers: None.
W.R.N.S.  Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings; None.

 

ARMOURIES Not known.

 

COMPASS BASE Not known.

 

DISPERSAL Not known.

 

HANGARS Hangars
Number /Type Size Door Height Door Width

?

? ? ?
       
MEDICAL Sick Quarters on technical site to S. of landing area.

 

METEOROLOGICAL Not known.

 

 

FUEL AND OIL
Aviation: Not known.
M/T: Not known.
Oil : Not known.
   
TEST BASE Not known.

 

TEST BUTT Not known.

 

WORKSHOPS Not known.

 

VISITORS Not known.

 

EXPLOSIVES Not known.

 

BOMBING AND FIRING RANGES

 

None.
   
   

Information taken from CB 4368 B. Admiralty Handbook of Naval Air Stations Aug. 45


 

 

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

 
816 Torpedo, Bomber, Reconnaissance Squadron

Disembarked from HMS TRACKER 14 - 22.11.43.

Equipped with Swordfish.


 

 

A large US naval base complex was built at Argentia, the flat headland formed by a small natural bay called Little Placentia Sound and the western end facing Placentia Bay. The land was ceded to the United States as part of the 1940 "Destroyers for Bases" agreement, part of the lend-lease program, Argentia became an American territory on January 25th 1941

Construction began to build two bases, a Naval Operating Base and an adjoining air field. On July 15, 1941, the Naval Operating Base was commissioned. Naval Air Station Argentia commissioned on August 28, 1941. The air station was used to base convoy protection, coastal patrol and anti-submarine aircraft, both land-based aircraft and seaplanes.

With the arrival of the American built escort carriers Atlantic convoys were now covered by naval aircraft for the whole of the crossing, in order to replenish squadrons on these small carriers strategic reserves of replacement aircraft were established. In May 1943 Royal Naval Air Sections were established at USNAS Argentia, Newfoundland, and RAF Kaldadarnes, Iceland, to provide and maintain, in storage, a reserve of up to 12 Swordfish for possible use as replacement aircraft for escort carriers on N. Atlantic convoy duties. The Sections would also be able to support one disembarked squadron. R.N. Air Section Argentia was commanded by Lt. Cdr (A) E.W. Kenton RNVR. under the administrative control of Captain (D) as Senior British Naval Officer Argentia. personnel serving on the section were be borne for pay and discipline on the books of H.M.S. 'Avalon III'.

R.N. Air Section Argentia also issued and received aircraft to/from R.N. Air Section Dartmouth, Halifax, Nova Scotia and R.N. Air Section Yarmouth, Nova Scotia; there are records of 6 Swordfish having been held on the station during 1943 and being issued to No.745 squadron at Yarmouth Only one replacement airframes for a squadrons on an escort carriers is recorded; Swordfish HS440 was issued to 819 Squadron aboard HMS ARCHER May 19th 1943.

Only one squadron is recorded as having operated ashore, 816squadron from HMS TRACKER made a brief stop over 14 - 22 November 1943. The Air Section was paid off and withdrawn on July 5th 1944

 


 

Click here for a list of Primary sources


Additional sources:

 Naval Station Argentia Wiki article

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naval_Station_Argentia

 

Building the [US] Navy's Bases in World War II - History of the Bureau of Yards and Docks and the Civil Engineer Corps 1940-1946 - Volume I - Chapter XIX Bases in the North Atlantic

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USN/Building_Bases/bases-19.html

 

Admiralty Fleet Orders:

3785/44 Closing Down of R.N. Air Section, Argentia, Newfoundland

 

Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders:

2574/43 R.N. Air Section, Argentia, Newfoundland - Administration

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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© 2013 Tony Drury www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk


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