Latitude 06°54'10"N Longitude 79°52'00"E

   
ACQUISITION Transferred from R.A.F. 01 September 1943

 

COMMISSIONED 01 October 1943

 

PAID OFF 30 November 1945

 

CLOSED -
   
C.O.  Captain A.F. Campbell, O.B.E., R.N.
   
FUNCTION Accommodation and training facilities for disembarked squadrons,
F.R.U. and communications squadron. Fighter Direction Training.

Outlying establishments include:-

R.N. Aircraft Repair Depot, Colombo

Naval Aircraft Embarkation Unit, Colombo

R.N.A. M/T Depot, Nugegoda.

R.N. School of Malarial Control and Tropical Hygiene.

 
ADDRESS The airfield lies 2 miles NE. of Wellington, 6½ miles SSW. of R.N.A.S. Hinstock and 8 miles E. of Shrewsbury.

 

LOCALITY

The airfield lies in the SE. suburbs of Colombo, 2¼ miles SSE. of Colombo harbour, and ¾ miles inland from the W. coast of Ceylon.

 

LANDMARKS The city of and harbour of Colombo.
"Slave Island", a promontory surrounded by a lake, lying one mile NW. of the airfield.

 

ROAD AND RAIL ACCESS Good road communications with the harbour, which is served by railway sidings. Bambalapityne railway station, on the coastal line from the harbour to R.N.A.S. Katukurunda, lies ¾ miles (R) WSW., and Maradana railway station, Colombo, lies 1½ miles (R) N.
   
   
CONTROL Control Building immediately SE. of centre of runway.

 

ELEVATION  25' above M.S.L.

 

LANDING AREA One, Tar Macadam covered with coconut fibres, with a sub-base of 6-inch broken stone on a consolidated earth foundation; all types, all weather.


06/24 QDM. 056°-236° .... 1600 x 50 yds.

 

TRACKS 40' taxi tracks run along either side of the runway, and connect to hangars, hard standings and workshops.

 

OBSTRUCTIONS Navigation None.
Circuit W/T masts, 260', distant 1800 yds. NE. from the NE. end of the runway. Towers and tall buildings of the town.
Approach Town buildings, height not known, lie within 220-300 yds. from the ends of the runway, but do not interfere with normal approach.

 

APPROACH Safe approach sector - mean QDM. 056° - 236°

 

WIND INDICATOR One windsock, opposite control building.
   
   
HOMING - VISUAL By day None.
By night Landmark beacon on airfield flashing letters "CO" in red.

 

HOMING--RADIO D/F H/F
Beacons YG

 

APPROACH - VISUAL By day None.
By night Portable lighting only. Illuminated "T" by signals area.

 

APPROACH - RADIO Mobile 2573.

 

COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT M/F & H/F 8 transmitters, 12 receivers.
VH/F None.

 

GROUND RADAR Fighter Direction using G.C.I. and Interrogator, and Fighter Direction using low and medium power Radar set with Interrogator.

   
   
ACCOMMODATION Living accommodation in buildings on W. side of the airfield.

 

Capacity:

Officers: 229
Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings: 1528
W.R.N.S. Officers: 44
W.R.N.S.  Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings; 125

 

ARMOURIES To accommodate 6 squadrons.

 

COMPASS BASE Two, diameters 90' and 100' respectively.

 

DISPERSAL 9 aircraft standings.

3 aprons, dimensions approximately 200 s 35 yds., 160 x 50 yds., and 150 x 35 yds.

 

HANGARS 25 covered pens and small hangars (75' x 50') dispersed around the airfield.

 

MEDICAL Sick bay on airfield, W. of Torrington Place. Sick Quarters on N. Boundary of airfield, N. of Grogory's road.

 

METEOROLOGICAL Office in Control Building Full service by Naval personnel available.

 

FUEL AND OIL
Aviation: Three installations with capacity

12.000 gallons (91 Octane)

22.000 gallons (100 Octane)

Further tanks being installed will bring capacity to 68.000 gallons.

M/T: 2.000 gallons
Oil : No bulk storage.
   
TEST BASE One aircraft radar base and one polar diagram base available.

 

TEST BUTT Available, suitable for cannon.

 

WORKSHOPS One A.R.S. hangar (250' x 95'), one E.R.S. (55' x 90'), two Equipping and Erecting hangars (250' x 95') and workshops to 6 squadron scale. Replacement engines held.

Five cranes available, maximum lift 5 tons. Heavier lifts, up to 16 tons, on application to N.A.E.U. Colombo.

 
VISITORS Visiting aircraft apron on N. side of runway opposite control building.

 

BOMBING AND FIRING RANGES  

Air to ground

Use of Puttalam range.

Air to air

Negombo (R.A.F.) and Kalutara.

Dive bombing

Conagala Rock and Puttalam.

Low dive booming

Conagala Rock and Puttalam.

R.P. Range

Puttalam.

A/S Bombing

Conagala Rock and Maggona (R.N.A.S. Katukurunda).
   
   
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
 
742  
755  
756  
797  
800  
803  
804  
807  
808  
814  
832  
845  
848  
851  
888  
889  
898  
1830
1834  
1836  
1837  
1838  
1839  
1841  
1842  
1843  
1844  

 

 

 

PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION


 

Click here for a list of Primary sources


 

Additional sources:

Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders:

2314/43 Transfer from RAF and commissioning

Admiralty Fleet Orders:

7231.45 Paying Off

 

Photographs from the collection of the late Leslie Howlett, kindly supplied by his daughter Mrs. Kay Morgan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


View Larger Map

 

 

 

 

Click to see gallery of images relating to the Naval Aircraft Embarkation Unit, part of HMS Berhunda

 

 

 

 

 

 © 2013 Tony Drury www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk


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