Latitude 54°37'05"N Longitude 05°52'18"W

   

ACQUISITION

Lodger facilities at RAF Station Sydenham

Transferred to Admiralty control June 1943.

 

COMMISSIONED

21 June 1943 as H.M.S. GADWALL, accounts 'on Books of CAROLINE'. Independent command bearing own accounts from 01 October 1944.

01 May 1946 Re-Commissioned as H.M.S. GANNET III

Became civilian manned facility from 1959.

 

PAID OFF

30 April 1946 9As GADWALL)

31.05.59 (GANNET III).

 

CLOSED

02 July 1973  returned to R.A.F. control.

   

C.O.

Commander H/ Wright RN

Commander (P) M.C. Pascoe (ret) 10.02.44

   

FUNCTION

Aircraft Maintenance Yard

Facilities for the embarkation and disembarkation of aircraft.

Reserve aircraft storage

Support for disembarked squadrons

 

ADDRESS

R.N. Air Station

Belfast,

Northern Ireland

 

LOCALITY

The airfield is built on a level expanse of land forming the E. side of Belfast Docks between the coastal railway and the sea wall.

Sydenham railway station adjoins its SE. corner.

 

LANDMARKS

Belfast Lough, with the harbour and city of Belfast art its head.

 

ROAD AND RAIL ACCESS

Direct road and railway communications with Belfast.

   
   

CONTROL

Control Building on SE. side of airfield, inside perimeter track near 42 end of runway 14/32. A.T.C. civilian manned 9730 - sunset daily.

Ground signals area adjacent NW. of Control building,

 

ELEVATION

18 ' above M.S.L.

 

RUNWAYS

Two, concrete

     

    Extensibility

05/23

QDM. 146° -226°

1100 x 67 yds. 

 Subject to land reclamation

 

14/32

QDM. 143° -323°

1100 x 67 yds.

 

Original runway realigned when second pier was built in 1945:

13/31

QDM. 133° -313°

1100 x 67 yds.

 
       

TRACKS

50' perimeter track.

 

OBSTRUCTIONS

Navigation

Mountain range with summit 1.574 ft, distant 5 miles W.

Land rising to over 600 ft. within 1½ miles E.

Circuit

Land rising to over 200 ft. within 2.000 yds.s E.

Approach

Electricity Gris pylons 1,000 yds. from SW. end of runway 05/23.

Railway 59 yds. from SE end of runway 14/32.

APPROACH

 

 

WIND INDICATOR

Two windsock, one NW, side and one near Control building.

   
   

HOMING - VISUAL

By day

None.

By night

None.

 

HOMING--RADIO

D/F

None. but M/F. post war.

Beacons

None.

 

APPROACH - VISUAL

By day

None.

By night

None.

 

APPROACH - RADIO

Airfield and Approach controls on 6440 and 117.9

 

COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT

M/F & H/F

2 transmitters, 1 receivers.

VH/F

 ? transmitters,  ? receivers.

 

CALL SIGNS

R/T

BELFAST

W/T

MAK

Identity letters

BE

   

GROUND RADAR

None.

   

   

ACCOMMODATION

Living quarters at S. corner of the airfield and in Victoria Park, adjacent SW.

 

Capacity:

Officers:

58

Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings:

440

W.R.N.S. Officers:

6

W.R.N.S.  Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings;

125

 

ARMOURIES

To accommodate approx 1½ squadrons.

 

COMPASS BASE

One, in A.M.Y., diameter 70'.

 

DISPERSAL

8 A/C standings off perimeter track on E. side and 9 on N. side.

 

HANGARS

Hangars in four main sites - Squadron on SW. side, Storage on NE and SW. side, Receipt & Despatch on W. side, and Class B repair yard on E. Side.

 

Number /Type

Size

Door Height

Door Width

1 x Bellman (Squadron)

176' x 95'

25'

90'

1 x Bellman (Squadron)

210' x 82'

20'

200'

7 x Mains (Storage)

60' x 70'

17'

55'

4 Fromson (Receipt & Despatch)

92' x 70'

17'

55'

1 x T.2 (Receipt & Despatch)

240' x 114'

25'

113' 6"

1 x T.2 (Air yard)

240' x 114'

25'

113' 6"

5 x Pentad (Repair yard)

185' x105'

25'

105'

8 x Workshops

84' x 60'

10'

10'

4 x  Bessonneau

temporary hangers used to aircraft assembly at the disembarkation site.

138' x 64' 10''

13' 2''

 

64' 10'

       

MEDICAL

Sick Bay on S. side of airfield, near hangars.

 

METEOROLOGICAL

Meteorological office in the Control building. Fill meteorological service by Naval personnel available.

 

FUEL AND OIL

Aviation:

Storage for 4,000 gallons. All grades available.

M/T:

1.200 gallons

Oil :

No permanent storage.

   

TEST BASE

Proposed but not built.

 

TEST BUTT

M.G. range on SE. side of airfield.

 

WORKSHOPS

R.N.A.M.Y. facilities.

 

VISITORS

Visitors parking area behind Control Building.

 

EXPLOSIVES

No known. Practice stocks to provision 2 T.B.R. and 1 F.R. squadron to be held.

 

BOMBING AND FIRING RANGES

Wartime only

Air to air

One.

A/S bombing

One.

   
   

Information taken from CB 4368 B. Admiralty Handbook of Naval Air Stations Aug. 45 & BR. 1807 Admiralty Handbook of Royal Naval Air Stations Home and Abroad. Mar. 1949  Sep. 1955

 

 

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

 

702

 

 

706

 

 

721

 

 

800

 

804

 

807

 

808

 

811

 

812

 

813

 

815

 

818

 

819

 

822

 

85

 

826

 

827

 

835

 

836

 

836M

 

838

Torpedo, Bomber and Reconnaissance Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. ACTIVITY 30.07.43.  Embarked in MAC ship MV RAPANA 02.08.43.

Equipped with 4 Swordfish 1s.


842

 

845

 

848

 

849

 

857

 

870

 

881

 

882

 

885

 

886

 

887

 

888

 

889

 

891

 

899

 

1772

 

1790

 

1830

 

1831

 

1833

 

1835

 

1836

 

1843

 

1850

 

1851

 

1852

 

 

PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

 

Click here for a list of Primary sources


Additional sources:

 

Admiralty Fleet Orders:

4877/44 R.N. Air Station, Belfast - Accounting Arrangements.

 

Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders:

 

 

 

 

June 1943 - April 1946

 

1957 - 73

 

 

 

 


View Larger Map

 

 

Overhead view of RNAS Belfast taken November 1945. (Part of Plate 6 BR. 1807 Admiralty Handbook of Royal Naval Air Stations Home and Abroad. March 1949)

 

RCN Sea Furies being loaded aboard HMCS Magnificent 24 May 1948.

 

 

 


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