Latitude 12°49'25"N Longitude 44°54'20"E

ACQUISITION Lodger facility for an RN Air Section on RAF station.

Transferred to Admiralty for development as RNAS.


COMMISSIONED As HMS RAPAX December 1944 accounts on 'books of SHEBA'


CLOSED Unclear, but to Care & Maintenance post war


PAID OFF June 1945 to Care & Maintenance until Mid 1950s
FUNCTION Support of 2 disembarked squadrons.

Reserve aircraft storage.

War Reserve airfield on Care & Maintenance basis post war.


ADDRESS R.N. Air Section

R.A.F. Station Hiswa

Aden Protectorate



The airfield is situated in flat, desert country, ½ mile from the NW. shore of Bandar Tawahi, and 5 miles WNW. of Steamer Point, Aden.

It lies 4 miles N. of Liottle Aden peninsular, and 2½ miles WSW. of the village of Hiswa.


LANDMARKS The peninsular of Aden and Little Aden.

Wadi Al Kahir, with stretches of cultivated land along its banks, distant 2 miles ENE. running in a SSE. direction to the coast, at Hiswa.

The runways show up distinctly against surroundings.


ROAD AND RAIL ACCESS Access by road to Sheikh Othman (distant 7 miles (R) ENE.), to Khor Maksar airfield 11 miles (R), to the town of Aden and to Steamer Point 16 miles (R). No railweay.
CONTROL Control Building on S. side of landing area, 180 Yds. S,. of runway intersection.


ELEVATION  23' above M.S.L.


RUNWAYS Two, all weather, Gypsum laid on prepared ground with strips of cleared ground, 25 yards wide, on either side; the cleared strips are apt to become muddy after rain, which is very infrequent.


05/23 QDM. 045° -225° ....1970 x 50 yds. 
13/31 QDM. 125° -305° .... 2000 x 50 yds. 


TRACKS 40' perimeter track.


OBSTRUCTIONS Navigation Little Aden peak (1218'), distant  4 miles SSW. and Jabal Shamahan, Aden (1725'), distant 6½ miles ESE.
Circuit None.
Approach None.


APPROACH No special approach recommended.


WIND INDICATOR Two windsocks, to E. and to W. of runway intersection.


HOMING - VISUAL By day None.
By night None.


Beacons Mone.


By night Mobile beacon lights, parafin flares, glim lamps, amgle of glide indicators.




COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT M/F & H/F 6 transmitters, 6 receivers.
VH/F 2 transmitters, 2 receivers.




ACCOMMODATION Temporary living quarters in bungalow huts, S. of landing area.



Officers: 99
Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings: 641
W.R.N.S. Officers: None.
W.R.N.S.  Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings; None.


ARMOURIES To accommodate 2½ squadrons.


COMPASS BASE One combined with A/C Radar test base.


DISPERSAL Six hardstandings in storage hangar area.


HANGARS On SW. and S. of landing area.


Number /Type Size Door Height Door Width
4 x Mainhill 60' x 84' 17' 55'
2 x Bellman 175' x 95' 25' 87' 9"
MEDICAL Sick Bay on airfield. R.A.F. Hospital at Steamer Point, Aden.


METEOROLOGICAL Air Ministry provide Meteorological facilities.


Prevalent winds: September - April, ME. to E. May - August, variable.

Herat is intense at Middy.

The airfield lies outside the main dust storm area.


Aviation: 10,000 gallons, stored in drums.
M/T: 1,000 gallons, stored in drums
Oil : Drum storage.
TEST BASE A/C Radar base combined with Compass base.


TEST BUTT Suitable for Cannon, under construction.


WORKSHOPS One A.R.S. hangar (Callendar), E.R.S. and general workshops under construction.




Information taken from CB 4368 B. Admiralty Handbook of Naval Air Stations Aug. 45 and B.R. 1807 andbook of Royal Naval Air Stations Dec. 48 +amendment Mar 1952.


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



No recorded squadron use.






Click here for a list of Primary sources

Additional sources:


Admiralty Fleet Orders:

5073.—R.N. Shore Wireless Stations—Wireless and Radar Specifications for
Shore Station Equipment—Standard Distribution—REPORTS
R.N. Shore Wireless Stations, Shore Radar Stations, R.N. A ir Stations and
Authorities concerned.
(R.E. 02777/44.—21 Sep. 1944.) Hiswa listed under RN Air Stations


3916/45.—R.N. Shore Wireless Stations—Admiralty Signal Establishment Specification!
for Wireless and Radar Equipment used on Shore—Standard Distribution—REPORTS
R.N. Shore Wireless Stations, R.N. Shore Radar Stations, R.N. Air
Stations, Mobile Naval Wireless Stations and Authorities concerned
(R.E. 02213/45.-19 Jul. 1945.) Hiswa listed under RN Air Stations



Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders:

2451/44 R.N. Air Establishments Overseas
Hiswa listed as RN Air Section












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© 2013 Tony Drury


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