Latitude 09°56'50"N Longitude 76°16'25"E

OPENED Lodger facilities from R.A.F.


COMMISSIONED 01 February 1945


PAID OFF 01 October 1946


FUNCTION Aircraft erection depot serving R.N.A.S. Coimbatore.


ADDRESS R.N. Air Section,

R.A.F. Station Cochin,

Southern India



The airfield is located at the south end of Willington Island, in Cochin harbour, 2 miles SE of the town buildings of British Cochin, on the west coast of India.


The town of Coimbatore lies 7 miles NE and  R.N. Air Maintenance Yard, Coimbatore, 8 miles NE.



Willington Island and the town and harbour of Cochin, Bridges connect the southern end of the Island to the mainland at the east and west. Cochin harbour lies 8 miles S. of the N. end of a 48 miles of coastal lakes and lagoons.



The South Indian Railway line enclose the airfield on the south and west, Mattancheri train halt situated at the SW. corner and the Cochin harbour terminus directly NW.

Road and rail links to R.N. Aircraft Maintenance Yard, Coimbatore and R.N. Aircraft Storage Depot, Sullur.



An access road with 60' clearance connects the N. end of runway 17/35 with the wharf at the terminus station.

Loading platform and one 5 Ton, one 10 Ton, and several 3 Ton cranes available.

Communication by launch, held by the section, to British Cochin (one mile by sea) and Ernakylam (two miles by sea).

CONTROL R.A.F. one storey Control Building on N. side of landing area, adjacent N. of taxi track.


ELEVATION 8' above M.S.L.


RUNWAYS Three, Tar Macadam with sub-base of road metal on a consolidated earth foundation.

10/28 QDM. 101°-281° .... 1250 x 50 yds. 
13/31 QDM. 132°-312° .... 1550 X 50 yds.
17/35 QDM. 169°-349° .... 1800 x 50 yds.


In addition there is a fourth, disused runway

05/23  QDM. 048°-249° .... 990 X 50 yds.


TRACKS 50' taxi tracks connect the southern ends of the runways and a broad track connects runways 17/35 and 05/23 in the N. sector.


OBSTRUCTIONS Navigation -None
  Circuit and approach - there are numerous cranes, flagstaff's and buildings along the  W. and NW. side of Willington Island, some adjacent to the airfield. The road bridge to Cochin State has a lift span (100') distant 875 yards W. from the S. end of runway 17/35.


APPROACH A safe approach can be made on any bearing from a radius of 5 miles at a height not below 300'.


WIND INDICATOR Windsock on W. side of runway intersection.
By Night - Landmark beacon on airfield flashing letters "CC". Operated on request or when aircraft are expected in conditions of poor visibility.


Beacons - One type not known






COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT M/F and H/F. - 2 transmitters, 2 receivers.
VH/F - 1 transmitters, 1 receivers.





ACCOMMODATION Living quarters in camp 1/4 mile N.  of landing area.



Officers: 30
Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings: 214
W.R.N.S. Officers: None.
W.R.N.S.  Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings; None.

Planed to expand total for Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings to 766



DISPERSAL 16 aircraft standings. Main dispersal area is S. of the runways.


HANGARS On N. & W. side of airfield, for erection depot use  only, there are no squadron hangars.


Number /Type Size Door Height Door Width
2 Bellman  250' x 95' 26' 90'
1 Callendar 175' x 100'   19' 100'
2 Callendar 187' x 110' 25'  110'
In addition there is one R.A.F. hangar on the N. side of the airfield, close E. of the control building.


MEDICAL Sick bay in camp. 700 bed combined military hospital in Ernakylam (2 miles by launch then 7 miles by road).


METEOROLOGICAL From R.A.F. and R.N.A.S. Coimbatore.


Aviation: Not known.
M/T: Not known.
Oil : Not known.


TEST BASE Not known.


TEST BUTT 25 yd. range for M.G.


WORKSHOPS Not known.


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

722 Fleet Requirements Unit

Z flight operated a detachment of (2) Martinet T.T.1s at RN Air Sect Cochin. Squadron HQ at RNAS Tambaram from 01.09.44 until it disbanded there 24.10.45

800 Single Seat Fighter Squadron

Disembarked from HMS EMPEROR 23/0545. Remarked in HMS EMPEROR 09.06.45.

Equipped with 20 Hellcat !Is.

807 Single Seat Fighter Squadron
Disembarked from HMS HUNTER 054.06.45. Moved to RAF Vizagapatam 23.06.45.
Equipped with 20 Seafire L.IIIs.
815 Torpedo-Bomber and Reconnaissance  squadron

Disembarked from HMS SMITER 25.07.45. Moved to RNAS Katukurunda 27/07.45.

Equipped with 10 Barracuda TR3s.

818 Torpedo-Bomber and Reconnaissance  squadron

Disembarked from HMS ATHELING 06.10.44 - squadron disbanded here 14.10.44.

Equipped with 4 Swordfish IIs.

821 Torpedo-Bomber and Reconnaissance  squadron

Disembarked form HMS TRUMPETER 26.07.45. Moved to RNAS Katukurunda 11/08.45.

Equipped with 12 Barracuda IIs.

834 Torpedo-Bomber and Reconnaissance  squadron

Moved here from RNAMY Coimbatore 267.09.44 on route to embark in HMS BATTLER the following day.

Equipped with 12 Swordfish IIs and 6 Wildcat Vs.

851 Torpedo-Bomber and Reconnaissance  squadron

Disembarked from HMS SHAH 23.02.44. Re-embarked in HMS SHAH 06.03.44.

Equipped with 12 Avenger Is.

854 Torpedo-Bomber and Reconnaissance  squadron

Disembarked from HMS ACTIVITY 07.10.44. Moved to RNAS Katukurunda 11.10.44.

Equipped with 12 Avanger Is.

882 Single Seat Fighter Squadron

Disembarked from HMS SEARCHER 20.07.45. Re-embarked in HMS SEARCHER 08.08.45

Equipped with 24 Marrtlet IVs.

888 Single Seat Fighter Squadron

Moved here from RNAS China Bay 19.10.44. Moved o RNAS Colombo Racecourse 23.10.44.

Equipped with 6 Hellcat II(PR)s.






Click here for a list of Primary sources

Additional sources:

Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders:

511/45 Commissioning


Mr. Michael Moore supplied the war-time photos of his father, Air Mechanic Dennis Moore.










See the Cochin site on Google Earth below


View Larger Map





Click to see gallery of images relating to the RN Air Section Cochin






© 2013 Tony Drury


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