Latitude 36°09'04"N Longitude 5°20'59"W

   

ACQUISITION

RAF station North Front transferred to Admiralty 26 September 1940 as R.N.A.S  Gibraltar but returned to RAF 01 August 1941. Status changed to  R.N. Air Section, lodger facilities retained.

 

COMMISSIONED

26.09.1940 On 'books of Cormorant'

27.05.1943 as independent command 'CORMORANT II'

On 'books of Cormorant' from 01.11.1944

On 'books of Rooke' from 01.07.1946

CLOSED

 

PAID OFF

31.10.1944 as independent command.

 

   

C.O./O.I.C.

Commander H. C. Coysh

Commander (A) C. E. Eckersley-Maslin

Lt. Cdr (P) E. L. Meiklejohn RNVR (In command 779 squadron and O.I.C. RN Air Section)

Commander D. Mc. I. Russell ?

   

FUNCTION

Fleet Requirements Unit.

Accommodation for a limited number of disembarked Front-Line Aircraft.
 

PARENT TO

RN Air Section at RAF Station Tafaraoui

   

ADDRESS

R.N. Air Station

Gibraltar

RN Air Section,

RAF Station North Front,

Gibraltar

 

LOCALITY

The airfield lies at North Front, that part of the Isthmus joining Gibraltar with the mainland of Spain which lies at the northern foot of the Rock. The Neutral Ground lies immediately N., with La Linea on its far side, distant I mile.

 

LANDMARKS

 

 

ROAD AND RAIL ACCESS

Main road to Gibraltar town and the R.N. Dockyard, distant one mile (R).
All shipping facilities at the R.N. Dockyard.

 

   
   

CONTROL

Control Building on S. side of runway near the shore of Gibraltar Bay.
Caution: In S. winds there is considerable turbulence near the face of the Rock, and in high winds at the ends of the runway, i.e. over the water. During the hot season up currents are found over the ends of the runways. A slow engine-assisted approach is recommended.

 

ELEVATION

 8' above M.S.L.

 

RUNWAYS

One. An asphalt runway has been built across North Front and extends westward for about 600 yds. into Gibraltar bay. The total width of this asphalt strip is 150 yds., of which the centre 50 yd,., narked by white dotted lines, is the landing area.


10/28 QDM. 098° -278° .... 1,800 x 50 yds. 

 

TRACKS

The two 50 yd. side strips on either side of the marked runway ore in use on taxi .trips.

 

OBSTRUCTIONS

Navigation

Sierra Carbomera (1,017 ft.) distant 3½ mile. N.

Circuit

The north face of the Rock, rising to a summit of 1,396 ft., 1,000 yds S. of the ruway.

Approach

Shipping nay be anchored in the immediate approach to the "10" end of the runway.

 

APPROACH

Any approach except from N. or S.

 

WIND INDICATOR

Windsocks al either end of the runway on the N. side and on the S. side near the Control Building.
Wind ‘T’ (lit at night) on the N. side of the runway at the "10" end and on the S. aide (unlit) at the "28" end.

   
   

HOMING - VISUAL

By day

None.

By night

Air light – Gp.FL.R. at Europa point 2½ miles S. Flashes letters "GR"4 times every minute.

 

HOMING--RADIO

D/F

H/F and VH/F

Beacons

Radio and Responder.

 

APPROACH - VISUAL

By day

None.

By night

Totem poles and angle of approach indicators. Double electric flare-path. Light buoy (fixed white) 1,000 yds. 038° (mag.) from "28" end of runway.

 

Note In addition to the visual approach aids by night shown above, the 6 W/T. masts close S. of the “28” end of the runway are lit by red obstruction lights. 2 searchlights mark the extremities of the Rook when cloud is below 1,200. or visibility below 4 miles.

 

APPROACH - RADIO

B.A.B.S.

 

COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT

M/F & H/F

 Available.

VH/F

  Available.

 

CALL SIGNS

R/T

GIBRALTAR

W/T

CFG

Identity letters

GB

   

GROUND RADAR

None.

 

 

   
   

ACCOMMODATION

Living quarters in the N.A.A. camp in the SE. corner of the airfield.

 

Capacity:

Officers:

12

Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings:

200

W.R.N.S. Officers:

None.

W.R.N.S.  Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings;

None.

 

ARMOURIES

 

 

COMPASS BASE

One, NE. corner of runway. Diameter 60'.

 

DISPERSAL

On the open ground S. of the runway, and immediately N. of the N.A.A. camp buildings. There is a large parking area on the N. side of the eastern half of the runway.

 

HANGARS

For R.N. use, in the N.A.A. area

 

Number /Type

Size

Door Height

Door Width

1

120' x 70' (Approx.)

20'

60'

1

180' x 70' (Approx.)

16'

60'

1(?) Dorland portable hangar

?

?

?

 

MEDICAL

Sick Bay in R.A.F. camp.

 

METEOROLOGICAL

R.A.F. provide facilities.
Easterly and Westerly winds alternate in spells of a few days.
Levantes blow mostly from the E. though they may blow occasionally from the N.E.
The Westerly winds (Ponientes) are more variable in direction than the easterlies.
In summer the easterlies are usually light and moderate accompanied by fair weather. In winter and early spring they may be strong and squally and accompanied by low cloud and rain.
During moderate and strong winds there are violent and confused wind eddies on the lee of the Rock and great care should be exercised. Nearly all the rain falls between October and April. July and August are often rainless.

 

FUEL AND OIL

Aviation -

87, 100 and 130 octane.

M/T -

Not known.

Oil -

All normal grades from R.A.F. sources.

 

TEST BASE

None. Radar workshop near Flying Control.

 

TEST BUTT

Off E. end of runway, seawards.

 

WORKSHOPS

None.

 

VISITORS

Naval aircraft to Naval Section.

 

EXPLOSIVES

 

 

BOMBING AND FIRING RANGES

 

 
 

Target can be towed from Dockyard to a suitable position. Air-to-Air and Sea firing ranges available.

   
 

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

 

700 Gib

 

Anti-submarine Patrol duties

Formed here 27.11.1941 Disbanded here 27.04.1943

Equipped with 6 Walrus aircraft.


727

 

Fleet Requirements Unit

Formed here 26.05.1943. Operated detachments at Tafaraoui, and Blida. Moved to TaKali 01.11.1944.

Equipped with Defiant TT.1, Hurricane IIc, and Swordfish I.


728

 

Fleet Requirements Unit

Formed here 01.05.1943. Operated detachments at Tafaraoui, and Oujda. Moved to RNAS Dekheila 15.06.1943

Equipped with Defiant TT.1, and Swordfish I.


737X

 

Anti-Submarine Trials Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. INDEFATIGABLE 07.02.1951.  Moved to RNAS Lee-on-Solent25.04.51.

Equipped with 1 Anson and 1 Firefly 5.


751

 

Radio Warfare Unit

Moved here from RAF Watton 31.01.1957. Returned to RAF Watton 28.02.1957.

Equipped with Avenger AS.4,


773

 

Fleet Requirements Unit (Formed and disbanded as required for the Home Fleet Cruises)

Disembarked from H.M.S. THESEUS 05.02.1949. Embarked in H.M.S. IMPLACABLE 18.03.1949.

Moved here from RNAS Lee-on-Solent 03.02.1950. Embarked in H.M.S. IMPLACABLE and H.M.S. VENGEANCE 31.03.1950. Returned to RNAS Lee-on-Solent 30.03.1950.

 Moved here from RNAS Lee-on-Solent 14.09.1950. Returned to RNAS Lee-on-Solent 27.11.1950.

Equipped with Martinet TT.1, Sea Fury FB.11, Seafire F.15, Mosquito FB.VI.


775

 

Fleet Requirements Unit

Moved here from RNAS Dekheila 01.02.1944. Returned to RNAS Dekheila 05.08.1945

Equipped with Beaufighter X, Defiant TT.1, Martinet TT.1, Hurricane, and Seafire IIc.


779

 

Fleet Requirements Unit

Formed here 01.10.1941. Operated detachments at Taranto, Tafaraoui, Oujda,  Blida, Maoson Blanche and La Senia. Disbanded here 05.08.1945.

Equipped with Beaufighter II, Defiant TT.1, Martinet TT.1, Fulmar II, Sea Hurricane IIc, and Swordfish I & II, Seafire Ib, Skua II,


800

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. ARK ROYAL 25-29.08.1940

Detachment disembarked from H.M.S. ARK ROYAL 17.01-06.02.1041 and 23-24.03.1941.

Disembarked from H.M.S. ARGUS 31.05.1941. Embarked ion H.M.S. FURIOUS 05.06.1941

Equipped with  9 Fulmar Is.


801

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Detachment (6) disembarked from H.M.S. ARGUS 07-10.06.1942.

Disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 22.06.1942. 6 a/c re-embarked on 12.07.1942, EAGLE was sunk 11.08.42 and squadron ceased to exist.

Detachment (6) disembarked from H.M.S. FURIOUS 25-30.10.1942.

Detachment (?) disembarked from H.M.S. FURIOUS 10-15.11.1942.

Detachment (9) disembarked from H.M.S. FURIOUS 05-30.01.1943.

Detachment (5) disembarked from H.M.S. INDOMITABLE 12-27.11.1951.

Detachment (3) disembarked from H.M.S. INVINCIBLE 16-19.10.1984.

Detachment (6) disembarked from H.M.S. ARK ROYAL 19-25.10.1990.

Equipped with 9 Sea Hurricane Ib  (EAGLE).

Equipped with  12 Seafire Ib (FURIOUS).

Equipped with 12 Sea Fury FB.11 (INDOMITABLE).

Equipped with 8 Sea Harrier FRS.1 (INVINCIBLE & ARK ROYAL)


802

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. THESEUS 05.02.1949. 25-31.01.1952.

Detachment (4) disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 23.08-08.09.1955

Disembarked from H.M.S. ARK ROYAL 09.02.1957. Embarked in H.M.S. ALBION 28.02.1957.

Disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 15-30.10.1958.

Disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 03.02.1959 Moved top RNAS Hal Far 06.02.1959.

Detachment (2) disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 02-13.03.1959.

Equipped with13 Sea Fury FB.11 (THESEUS)

Equipped with 12 Seahawk FGA.4 (EAGLE)

Equipped with 11 Seahawk FB.3 (ARK ROYAL/ALBION)

Equipped with 12 Seahawk FB.5 (EAGLE)


803

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Detachment (8) disembarked from H.M.S. HERMES 27.07-09.08.1952

Equipped with Scimitar F.I.


804

Catapult Armed Merchant (CAM) Ship  Fighter Squadron/Fleet Fighter Squadron

Detachment (6) 10.09-23.11.1941.

'A' Flight arrived from RNAS Belfast 8.09.1941. Embarked in H.M.S. 14.10.41.

Detachment (?) disembarked from H.M.S. ARGUS 08.10.1941-02.06.1942.

Disembarked from H.M.S. ARGUS 10.08.1942, embarked in H.M.S. FURIOUS  13.10.42.

Detachment (?) disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 23.08-08.09.1055

Equipped with Sra Hurricane (various marks).

Equipped with Sea Hawk FGA.4 (EAGLE).


805

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Detachment (?) disembarked from H.M.S. OCEAN 15.07-01.08.1946.

Equipped with Safire F.XV.


806

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 03-13.08.1959.

Equipped with Sea Hawk FGA.6


807

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. ARK ROYAL 15.11.1941. Embarked in H.M.S. ARGUS 27.02.1942.

Disembarked from H.M.S. ARGUS 01.04--21.05.1942.

Disembarked from H.M.S. ARGUS 07.06.1042. Embarked in H.M.S. EAGLE 12.07.1942.

Disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 17.07.1942. Embarked in H.M.S. ARGUS 18.07.42.

Moved here from RNAS Machrihanish 25.10.1942.  Embarked in H.M.S. FURIOUS 30.10.1942.

Disembarked from H.M.S. INDOMITABLE 23.06-10.07.1943.

 Disembarked from H.M.S. INDOMITABLE  29.07.1943. Embarked in H.M.S. BATTLER 14.08.1943.

Detachment (7) disembarked from H.M.S. HUNTER 24.05.-07.06.1944.

Detachment (4) disembarked from H.M.S. HUNTER 06-12.06.1944.

Detachment (6) disembarked from H.M.S. HUNTER 27.06.-21.07.1944.

Detachment (?) disembarked from H.M.S. ARK ROYAL 20.06-05.07.1960.

Equipped with Fulmar II, then Seafire  (various marks)

Equipped with Scimitar F.I (ARK ROYAL)


808

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. HUNTER 23.09-01.10.1943.

Equipped with Seafire L.IIc.


809

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Detachment (?) disembarked from H.M.S. STALKER 24.05-05.06.1944.

Detachment (12) disembarked from H.M.S. STALKER 17-21.07.1944.

Moved here from RNAS Culdrose 19.09.1950 Returned to Culdrose 16.10.1950

Disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 20.02.1054. Moved to RNAS Culdrose 28.03.1954.

Detachment (6) disembarked from H.M.S. ARK ROYAL 18-28.02.1977.

Equipped with Seafire L.IIc.

Equipped with Sea Hornet (Various marks, at Culdrose)

Equipped with Buccaneer S2d (ARK ROYAL))


810

Torpedo Bomber Recognisance Squadron

Detachment (4) disembarked from H.M.S. ARK ROYAL 28.04.-05.05.1941.

Moved here from RNAS Culdrose 06.06.1959. Embarked in H.M.S. CENTAUR 08.06.1959.

Equipped with Swordfish I/II.

Equipped with Sea Hawk FGA.6 (CENTAUR).


811

Torpedo Bomber Recognisance Squadron

Detachment (2) disembarked from H.M.S. BITER 25.02-02.03.1944.

Equipped with  Swordfish II and Wildcat IV.


812

Torpedo Bomber Recognisance Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. FURIOUS 07.09.1941 Embarked in H.M.S. ARK ROYAL 10.09.1941.

Disembarked from H.M.S. ARK ROYAL 01.10-10.11.1941.

Disembarked from H.M.S. ARK ROYAL 15.11.1941. Embarked in H.M.S. ARGUS 16.11.1941.

Disembarked from H.M.S. ARGUS 27.11.1941 - 27.01.1942.

Equipped with  Swordfish I.


812

Torpedo Bomber Recognisance Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 08.03-17.05.1942.

Disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 16.06.1942.  Embarked in H.M.S. ILLUSTRIOUS & S.S. LANCASHIRE (no a/c) 04.10.1942.

Detachment (2) disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 23-24.08.1955.

Equipped with  9 Swordfish I & 2 Sea Hurricane Ib..

Equipped with Wyvern S.4 (1955).


814

Anti-Submarine Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 03-13.02.1959.

Disembarked from H.M.S. HERMES 15-29.11.1960

Detachment (4) disembarked from H.M.S. BULWARK 12-20.02.1981

Equipped with Gannet AS.4 (EAGLE).

Equipped with Whirlwind HAS.7 HERMES).

Equipped with Sea King HAS.2 (BULWARK).


815

Anti-Submarine Squadron

Detachment (4) disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 19-22 & 26-29..03.1954.

Detachment (4) from RNAS Culdrose 23.08-08.09.1955.

Equipped with Avenger AS.4 /AS.5


817

Torpedo Bomber Recognisance Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. INDOMITABLE 20.07.1943 - squadron non-operational from 01.09.1943, aircrew dispersed.

Equipped with  Albacore I.


818

Torpedo Bomber Recognisance Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. ARK ROYAL 07-28.01.1941.

Detachment (6 'Z' flight) disembarked from H.M.S. UNICORN 23-30.08.1943

Equipped with Swordfish II.


820

Torpedo Bomber Recognisance Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. ARK ROYAL 01.16-28.04.1941.

Disembarked from H.M.S. FORMIDABLE 12.02.1943 Moved to La Senia 16.02.1943.

Disembarked from H.M.S. BLAKE 17.11-16.12.1971

Disembarked from H.M.S. BLAKE 12-22.10.1979

Detachment (2) disembarked from H.M.S. INVINCIBLE 13-25.04.1983

Equipped with Swordfish I (ARK ROYAL).

Equipped with Albacore I (FORMIDABLE).

Equipped with 4 Wessex HAS.3 (BLAKE).

Equipped with Sea King HAS.5 (INVINCIBLE).


821X

Torpedo Spottier Recognisance Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. ARGUS 29.12.1940.  Embarked in H.M.S. ARK ROYAL 31.12.1940.

Equipped with 6 Swordfish I .


824

Torpedo Spottier Recognisance / Anti-Submarine Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 24.02.1040. Detachments operated in ARGUS and EAGLE - when EAGLE was sunk in August 1940 remnants of squadron disbanded into 813 Squadron.

Moved here from RNAS Lee-0n-Solent 19.05.1954 - returned to Lee-0n-Solent 10.06.1954

.Disembarked from H.M.S. EAGLE 13.03.1959. Moved to RNAS Culdrose 20.03.1959.

Detachment (4) disembarked from H.M.S. ARK ROYAL 22.06-04.07.1960.

Disembarked from H.M.S.  CENTAUR 14-29.06.1961

Disembarked from H.M.S.  CENTAUR 29.08-19.09.1962.

Detachment (1) disembarked from R.F.A. OLNA 09-29.01.1977.

Equipped with Swordfish I.

Equipped with Avenger AS.4 (Lee-0nSolent).

Equipped with Whirlwind HAS.7 (Eagle/Culdrose/ARK ROYAL/CENTAUR).

Equipped with Sea King HAS.1 (OLNA).


824B

Royal Fleet Auxiliary Flight

Disembarked from R.F.A. OLNA 26.02-26.03.1972.

Disembarked from R.F.A. OLWEN 12-23.04.1983.

Equipped with Sea King HAS.2 (OLNA).

Equipped with Sea King HAS.5 (OLWEN).


826

Anti-Submarine  Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. INDOMITABLE 07.02-03.03.1952.

Disembarked from H.M.S. INDOMITABLE 0712-30.03.1953

Moved here from RNAS Hal Far 22.08.1955. moved to Le Boirget09.09.1955 on route to RNAS Lee-on-Solent.

Disembarked from H.M.S. HERMES 06-20.02.1967.

Detachment (3) disembarked from R.F.A ENGADINE 14-18.06.1976.

Equipped with Firefly AS.6.

Equipped with Gannet AS.1 (Hal Far).

Equipped with Wessex HAS.1 (HERMES).

Equipped with Sea King HAS.1 (ENGADINE).


828

 

830

 

831

 

833

 

834

 

837

 

845

 

846

 

849A

 

849B

 

849C

 

849D

 

879

 

880

 

885

 

886

 

888

 

891

 

892

 

893

 

894

 

887

 

898

 

899

 

1841

 

1842

 

 

 

 

 

PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

 

Click here for a list of Primary sources


Additional sources:

 

Admiralty Fleet Orders:

 

Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders:

 

 

 

 

LABORIS AVIDUS
(GREEDY OF WORK)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RN Air Section Gibraltar July 1944. Seafires disembarked from carriers in the harbour ranged on the RN Air Section hardstanding. © IWM (A 25234)

 

A/F (E) Abbott and L A/F (E) Tozer assembling the Rolls Royce Merlin Engine on a Naval Fairey Barracuda. Note the Dorland portable hangar behind them. Image: © IWM (A 21927)

 

January 1944; looking out from one of the Dorland hangars at HMS CORMORANT II used as assembly sheds, Barracudas in varying stages of assembly can be seen on the apron. © IWM (A 21930)

 

January 1944; pilots leaving the wardroom mess (converted cowshed) at HMS CORMORANT II for a morning's flying. They are all RNVR. Left to right: Sub Lieutenants, Cox, Coulthurst, Gray, Innes, and Kenne, and Lieutenant Jeffrey, and Sub Lieut Eastwood. © IWM (A 21938)

 

Sunset at HMS CORMORANT II, Officer of the day salutes the Ensign as it is hauled down by the Quartermaster. Image © IWM (A 21939)

 

Personnel of 700 (Gibraltar) squadron - with one of their 6 Walrus aircraft. Photo: Courtesy of Peter Langsdale whose father RAF Flight Sergeant CFW Langsdale, the only member of the RAF on the unit, he is pictured leaning against the aircraft's nose row.

 

 

 

 


Comments (1)

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Ernest Falquero (Bungay, UK) says...
Hello... I an an Admin on a Gibraltar Old photos group on Facebook and shared some of your great photos (with a link back to this page of course). One of our members posed the following question regarding the photo of the station's map & layout: "I believe the current markings are 09 and 27, not 10 and 28." Any idea what the answer is? I thought this may have been the RNAS's own designated markings for it... but perhaps you can clarify?

Many thanks in advance!

Regards

Ernest
15th July 2017 5:51pm
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