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. 1146° -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.

 

 

 

 

© 2013 Tony Drury www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk


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