Latitude 04°02'24"S Longitude 39°35'24"E

   

ACQUISITION

Lodger facilities for an RN Air Section at an RAF station.
 

COMMISSIONED

01 June 1942 on books of 'KIPANGA
01 May 1944 on books of 'TANA'
 

PAID OFF

31 March 1944 on books of 'KIPANGA
 
OFFICER IN CHARGE Commander  J,D, Harvey June 1942
Lieut. Commander C. A. N. Hooper August 1943
 

FUNCTION

Facilitates for 2 disembarked squadrons (24 aircraft).

Fleet Requirements Unit (788 squadron).

Aircraft erection facility.
 

ADDRESS

R.N. Air Section.

R.A.F. Station

Port Reitz,

Mombasa

Kenya,

East Africa
 

LOCALITY

The airfield lies on a plateau at Ras Hodi, 3 miles W. of Mombasa Island, on the N. shore of Port Reitz, the inlet extending westward from that island.
Kilindini harbour and wharves lie 3 miles ESE.
R.N.A.S., Mackinnon Road, lies 40 miles WNW.
 

LANDMARKS

Mombasa Island, Kilindini harbour and Port Reitz.
 

ROAD AND RAIL ACCESS

Access by road to Kwa Jomvu, I j miles (R) N., and to Kilindini wharves
ACCESS 6~ miles (R). The road to Kilindini is suitable for the transport of aircraft.
Railway station at Kwa Jomvu, on the main Mombasa-Nairobi line ; a branch line runs N. from the NE. corner of the landing area to connect with the main line.
Kilindini harbour has 5 deep-water berths served by railway tracks. There are several 3- and 5-ton electric mobile cranes one 10-ton crane and a 6o-ton floating crane available.
 

   

CONTROL

Control Building 350 yds. ESE. of main runway intersection.
 

ELEVATION

180' above M.S.L.
 

RUNWAYS /LANDING AREA

Two, stone pitching with bitumen grout carpet, and with cleared and graded strips 8o yards wide on either side


09/27 QDM. 093°/273° .... 1200 X 40  yds.

15/33 QDM. 153°/333° .... 1530 X 40  yds.

 

A third short runway, used for dispersal only

03/21 QDM. 053°/213° .... 800 X 40  yds.
 

TRACKS

40' tracks to Naval Air Section Squadron areas. 5o' tracks connecting runways with one another.
 

OBSTRUCTIONS

Navigation -None.
Circuit - 4 W/T masts, 18o', distant about 2,SOO yds. ENE.
Approach - Trees, 8o' to N. and E., but runway approaches cleared
 

APPROACH

No special approach sector recommended.
 

WIND INDICATOR

One windsock, S. of landing strip junction.

   
   

HOMING - VISUAL

By day -None

By night - Landmark beacon at airfield, flashing in red the letters "PR"
 

HOMING--RADIO

D/F - M/F & H/F

Beacon - M/F beacon
 

APPROACH -VISUAL

By day - None 

By night - Portable electric Glim lamps. Chance light. Gooseneck emergency flare paths.
 

APPROACH -RADIO

None.
 

COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT

W/T station at airfield. 2 R/T channels maintained.
 

GROUND RADAR

None.

 

   

ACCOMMODATION

Living quarters in camp on E.  of the airfield, (shred with R.A.F.).

 

Capacity:

Officers:

30

Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings:

70

W.R.N.S. Officers:

None.

W.R.N.S.  Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings;

None.

 

ARMOURIES

One small Naval Air Section Armoury.

 

COMPASS BASE

One, concrete, diameter 70' (shared with R.A.F.).

 

DISPERSAL

Runway 03/21 is used for dispersal, also the area on the W. side of the airfield, S. of runway 09/27.

 

HANGARS

In two groups on the N. side of the airfield, for Naval Air Section use:

Number /Type

Size

Door Height

Door Width

10 Mainhill  (Squadron) 60' x 180' 17' 55'
3 Mainhill (Storage) 60' x 84' 17' 55'
3 Pentad (Reserve Servicing) 185' x 110' 25' 100'
There are also two R.A.F. hangars on the SE. side of the airfield.
 

MEDICAL

R.A.F. Sick quarters on SE. side of airfield, S. of Mombasa Road, accommodation for 30 Naval ratings only.
R.N. Hospital at Kilindini.

 

METEOROLOGICAL

Air Ministry provide facilities; office in the control building.  There is a Naval Meteorological liaison officer.

Prevalent winds : Between N.E. and NW., December-March.
Between SE. and SW., April-November.
Rainy Seasons : April-June and November and December. Heavy afternoon showers prevalent throughout the year.

Average Cloud Base :
June-September, above 500 feet.
September-January, above x,000 feet.
January-May, above 1,500 feet.

 

FUEL AND OIL

Aviation:

Facility shared with R.A.F.  3 underground storage tanks with a capacity of 11.300 gallons each. tank, and 3 with a capacity of 6,000 gallons each.

M/T:

Stored in original containers.

Oil :

Drum storage

   

TEST BASE

Non a/c radar test base.

 

TEST BUTT

None.

 

WORKSHOPS

One A.R.S. hangar (Callander, 185' x 100'  25' x 100'), one Equipping and Erection hangar (Bellman, 187' x 80'), and workshops to two squadron scale.

 

EXPLOSIVES

 

 

BOMBING AND FIRING RANGES

Use of R.A.F. range in Port Reitz, adjacent S. of the airfield
   

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

 

710

Seaplane Squadron

Disembarked from HMS ALBATROSS 31.05.42. Operated various detachments aboard ALBATROSS before the squadron moved to RAF Majunga 09.09.42.

Equipped with 6 Walrus


788

Fleet Requirements Unit

Moved here from RNAS Tanga 24.06.1842

Disbanded here 11.06.1945.

equipped with Albacore. Fulmar, Sea Hurricane, Skua and Swordfish.


796

Eastern Fleet Torpedo, Spotter and Reconnaissance Pool.

Formed here out of 818 squadron 25.07.1942.

Moved to RNAS Tanga 30.09.1942.

equipped with Albacores and Swordfish.


800

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Personnel passed through in transit to UK from RNAS Tanga 08.07.1942


803

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Disembarked from HMS FORMIDABLE 10.05.1942, re-embarked 25.05.1942.

Disembarked from HMS FORMIDABLE 122.08.1942. Moved to RNAS Tanga 29.08.1942.

Disembarked from HMS ILLUSTRIOUS 12.12.1942, moved to RNAS Tanga 12.01.1943.

Equipped with 12 Fulmar IIs


806

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Disembarked from HMS INDOMITABLE 23.05.1942 'A' flight re-embarked INDOMITABLE 11.06.1942.

Squadron moved to RNAS Tanga 20.06.1942.

Equipped with 6 Fulmar II & 6 Martlet


810

Torpedo, Spotter and Reconnaissance  squadron

Detachment (3) disembarked from HMS ILLUSTRIOUS 26-29.05.1942

Detachment (?) disembarked from HMS ILLUSTRIOUS 25.08.1942 - 06.09.1942.

Equipped with Swordfish


814

Torpedo, Spotter and Reconnaissance  squadron

Detachment (5) disembarked from HMS HERMES 09-14.10.1941. Entire squadron disembarked 15.10.1941.

Re-embarked HERMES 19.10.1941.

Equipped with Swordfish


824

Torpedo, Spotter and Reconnaissance  squadron

Disembarked from HMS  EAGLE 26.04.1941. Re-embarked EAGLE 28.04.1941

Equipped with Swordfish


827

Torpedo, Spotter and Reconnaissance  squadron

Disembarked from HMS FORMIDABLE 20.04.1942, re-embarked 26.05.1942.

Equipped with Swordfish


829

Torpedo, Spotter and Reconnaissance  squadron

Daily detachments from RNAS Tanga, 18-29.08.1942

Equipped with Swordfish


851

Torpedo, Spotter and Reconnaissance  squadron equipped with Avenger & Wildcat

Detachment (10) disembarked from HMS SHAH 21.09 - 05.10.1944

Equipped with Avenger & Wildcat


877

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Moved here from RNAS Tanga 06.07.1943. Disbanded here 30.12.1943.

Equipped with Hurricane IIb


880

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Disembarked from HMS INDOMITABLE 22.05.1942  re-embarked INDOMITABLE 10.06.1942.

Disembarked from HMS INDOMITABLE 16.06.1942  re-embarked INDOMITABLE 09.07.1942.

Equipped with Hurricane IIb


881

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Detachment (2) disembarked from HMS ILLUSTRIOUS 26-29.05.1942

equipped with Fulmar IIs


888

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Disembarked from HMS FORMIDABLE 10-29.05.1942

Detachment from HMS FORMIDABLE  01`-15.07.1942

Disembarked from HMS FORMIDABLE 11-24.08.1942

 equipped with Martlets


 

 

Kipanga is Swahili for Hawk.

 

 

PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

 

Click here for a list of Primary sources


Additional sources:

 

Admiralty Fleet Orders:

 

Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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