Latitude 41˚35'42"N Longitude 71˚24'54"W

   
ACQUISITION U.S. Naval Air Station loaned to the Admiralty form October 1942

 

COMMISSIONED 01 October 1942 as pat of H.M.S. ASBURY, 1

 

PAID OFF 01 October 1943 and returned to USN custody
   
O.I.C. Major (P) W.H.N. Martin RM Senior British Naval Officer, Naval Air Stations.
   
FUNCTION Formation and work-up of Torpedo, Bomber and Reconnaissance and Single Seat Fighter Squadrons.

 

ADDRESS R.N. Air Station

Quonset Point

Rhode Island

U.S.A.

 

LOCALITY

The airfield lies on the west shore of Narragansett Bay, about 22 miles south of Providence, Rhode Island.

 

LANDMARKS Providence Island 2 miles E.

 

ROAD AND RAIL ACCESS  
   
   
CONTROL Control Building
ELEVATION  ' above M.S.L.
RUNWAYS Four, bituminous,


05/23 QDM. ---˚----˚ .... 1333 x 166yds. 

00/18 QDM. ---˚----˚ .... 1666 x 166 yds. 

16/34 QDM. ---˚----˚ .... 2000 x 55 yds. 

28/91 QDM. ---˚----˚ .... 1333 x 166yds.

 

TRACKS Tracks connect the junction of the N. & E. ends of the 05/23 & 27/90 runways, and NE. end of the 10/19 runway to the centre of runway 16/34.

 

OBSTRUCTIONS Navigation Not known.
Circuit Not known.
Approach Not known.
   
APPROACH Not known.

 

WIND INDICATOR Not known.
   
   
HOMING - VISUAL By day Not known.
By night Not known.

 

HOMING--RADIO D/F Not known.
Beacons Not known.

 

APPROACH - VISUAL By day Not known.
By night Not known.

 

APPROACH - RADIO Not known.
COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT M/F & H/F Not known.
VH/F Not known.
   
GROUND RADAR

Not known.

   
   
ACCOMMODATION Living quarters - Not known.

 

Capacity:

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

 

ARMOURIES Not known.

 

COMPASS BASE Not known.

 

DISPERSAL Not known.

 

HANGARS Hangars - Not known.

 

Number /Type Size Door Height Door Width
       
       
MEDICAL Not known.

 

METEOROLOGICAL Not known.

 

FUEL AND OIL Aviation - Not known.
M/T - Not known.
Oil - Not known.
   
TEST BASE Not known.

 

TEST BUTT Not known.

 

WORKSHOPS Not known.

 

VISITORS Not known.

 

EXPLOSIVES Not known.

 

BOMBING AND FIRING RANGES Not known.

Air to air

 
Air to ground and R. p. Firing  
Live and practice bombing  
Practice bombing  

Assault training

 


 

 

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

 
738

 

Pilot Training Squadron

Formed here 01.02.43. Moved to Lewiston 31.07.43.

Equipped with Avenger, Corsair, Wildcat, Harvard and  Grumman Gosse.


838 Torpedo, Bomber and Reconnaissance Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. ATTACKER  01.01 - 02.03.43.

Equipped with 4 Swordfish 1s.


840 Torpedo, Bomber and Reconnaissance Squadron

Disembarked from H.M.S. BATTLER 26.12.42  Embarked in H.M.S. ATTACKER 02.03.42

Equipped with 6 Swordfish IIs.


845 Torpedo, Bomber and Reconnaissance Squadron

Formed here 01.02.43 Moved to USNAS Norfolk 27.05.43.

Equipped with 12 Avenger 1s.


846 Torpedo, Bomber and Reconnaissance Squadron

Formed here 01.04.43 Moved to USNAS Norfolk 27.05.43.

Equipped with 12 Avenger 1s.


848 Torpedo, Bomber and Reconnaissance Squadron

Formed here  01.06.43. Moved to USNAS Brunswick 15.07.43

Equipped with 12 Avenger 1s.


849 Torpedo, Bomber and Reconnaissance Squadron

Formed here 01.08.43. Moved to USNAS Squantum 24.08.43.

Equipped with 12 Avenger 1s.


850 Torpedo, Bomber and Reconnaissance Squadron

Formed here 01.01.43. Disbanded here 30.01.43.

Intended Equipment was 12 Seamew, no aircraft issued.


894 Single Seat Fighter Squadron

Moved here from USNAS Norfolk 02.11.42. Embarked in H.M.S. BATTLER 08.12.42

Equipped with 6 x Martlet IVs.


896 Single Seat Fighter Squadron

Moved here from USNAS Norfolk 02.11.42. Embarked in H.M.S. VICTORIOUS 01.02.43

Equipped with 6 x Martlet IVs.


898 Single Seat Fighter Squadron

Moved here from USNAS Norfolk 04.11.42. Embarked in H.M.S. VICTORIOUS 03.02.43

Equipped with 6 x Martlet IVs.


1830 Single Seat Fighter Squadron

Formed here 01.06.43.  moved to USNAS Brunswick 21.09.43.

Equipped with 10 x Corsair.
1831 Single Seat Fighter Squadron

Formed here 01.06.43.  moved to USNAS Brunswick 23.09.43.

Equipped with 10 x Corsair.
1833 Single Seat Fighter Squadron

Formed here 15.07.43.  moved to USNAS Brunswick 25.08.43.

Equipped with 10 x Corsair.
1834 Single Seat Fighter Squadron

Formed here 15.07.43.  moved to USNAS Brunswick 27.08.43.

Equipped with 10 x Corsair.
1835 Single Seat Fighter Squadron

Formed here 15.08.43.  moved to USNAS Brunswick 30.08.43.

Equipped with 10 x Corsair.
1836 Single Seat Fighter Squadron

Formed here 15.08.43.  moved to USNAS Brunswick 01.09.43.

Equipped with 10 x Corsair.
1837 Single Seat Fighter Squadron

Formed here 01.09.43.  moved to USNAS Brunswick 01.10.43.

Equipped with 10 x Corsair.

 

 

Quonset Point was a large US Naval Air Station built at he start of the war on a low sandy promontory on the west shore of Narragansett Bay, at North Kingstown, about 22 miles south of Providence, Rhode Island. The station was laid out with four runways, the longest 2000 yards, four seaplane ramps and a 1100-foot carrier pier. It was Commissioned July on 12th 1941.

From October 1st 1942 facilities at he station were made available on loan for the Royal Navy to use the base as forming and working up station for British Naval squadrons equipping with American aircraft supplied under the Lend-Lease agreements. The RN element was commissioned as part of H.M.S. ASBURY, the RN receiving centre and Barracks at Asbury Park, New Jersey. The first squadrons to arrive were 894 and 896 on November 2nd, and 898 on the 4th to begin working-up, all were single seat fighter squadrons each equipped with 6 Wildcat IVs, which had formed at USNAS Norfolk. 894 was the first to become operational, embarking in the escort carrier H.M.S. BATTLER on December 8th.

On Boxing Day 1942 the 6 Swordfish of 840 TBR (Torpedo, Bomber and Reconnaissance) squadron flew ashore from H.M.S. BATTLER having been ferried form USNAS Miami to continue working - up. New Year's day 1943 saw the personnel for 850 Long Range Reconnaissance squadron arrive on the station, this unit was to have been equipped with 12 Curtis O3C-1 Seamews but the se never materialised; The squadron was disbanded on January 30th having only existed on paper (the squadron did form at Squantum in September with Avengers).

On February 1st a new second-line squadron, 738, was formed as a Pilot Training Squadron to teach advanced carrier landing techniques to pilots who had received their preliminary flight training at various US Navy flight schools. These pilots had to learn the British methods and procedures before they could join active front-line units; training included navigation exercises, Aerodrome Dummy Deck landings, night flying, anti-submarine bombing and patrol techniques, formation flying and other skills in use by the Fleet Air Arm. On completion of the courses aircrew were assigned to new squadrons forming in the U.S. Torpedo, Bomber and Reconnaissance squadron aircrew were trained as complete crews. The squadron was equipped with a selection of the US aircraft types in use by the RN, including Avenger, Corsair, Wildcat, Harvard and at least 1 Grumman Gosse.

Also on February 1st 896 embarked in the fleet carrier H.M.S. VICTORIOUS was. and the first of four Avenger TBR squadrons, 845 squadron, was formed receiving 12 Avenger Is. On the 3rd the last of the Wildcat squadrons departed 898 embarked in H.M.S. VICTORIOUS. Next to depart was the stations only bi-plane squadron, 840 squadrons Swordfish embarked in H.M.S. ATTACKER on March 2nd. A second Avenger squadron was formed on April 1st, 846 squadron equipped with 12 Avenger 1s. After working-up both 745 & 846 moved to USNAS Norfolk on May 27th.

In June three new squadrons were formed, 848 TBR squadron and 1830 & 1831 Single Seat Fighter squadron, all on June 1st. 1830 & 1831 were equipped with 10 Corsair Is each. 848 moved to USNAS Brunswick on July 15th, a further two Corsair squadrons, 1833 & 1834 formed on that date. At the end of July the Pilot Training role and 738 squadron was relocated to USN Auxiliary Aviation Facility Lewiston, the satellite airfield to USNAS Brunswick, Maine, both of which had been loaned to the RN and commissioned on August 1st 1943.

At the start of August the last TBR squadron to form at Quonset Point, 849 squadron, was formed with 12 Avenger is, this squadron was relocated to USNAS Squantum on August 24th to make room for 1835 & 1836 squadrons which Formed here on the 15th; at this point the station was host to six corsair squadrons with 60 aircraft, the situation was short lived however as they began relocating to USNAS Brunswick from the 25th when 1833 left, followed by 1834 on the 27th and 1835 on the 30th. 1836 departed on September 1st, its place being taken by the final RN squadron to form at Quonset Point, 1837.

By October 1st 1943 all the RN squadrons had departed for USNAS Brunswick, 1830 on September 21st,. 1831 on the 23rd and 1857 on October 1st. The RN presence at Quonset Point was paid off one year to the day its function of forming Corsair squadrons was transferred to USNAS Brunswick, and Avenger squadrons to USNAS Squantum.

 


Note:

1 HMS ASBURY was the RN Barracks and Accounting Base, Asbury Park, New Jersey (200 miles to the SW) which also commissioned 01 October 1942 - it is therefore possible that Quonset point should be 'on books of ASBURY' rather than ASBURY.

 

Click here for a list of Primary sources


Additional sources:

www.airfieldsdatabase.com

www.airfieldsdatabase.com/ww2/WW2%20R27e%20ID-NH.htm Accessed 10-07-2014

 

www.history.navy.mil

http://www.history.navy.mil/library/online/buildbaseswwii/bbwwii1.htm#page235 Accessed 10-07-2014

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 © 2013 Tony Drury www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk


Comments (1)

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P.E.N. Martin (ESPOO, Finland) says...
According to my late father's memoirs Major W.H.N. Martin RM he supervised the formation of 12 squadrons of TBF/TBM Avenger aircraft and 14 squadrons of Corsair 4U aircraft during the period Nov 1942 - Dec 1944.
The British unit was moved to Squantum Massachusetts in June 1943 and subsequently to Brunswick, Maine in 1944. On 26 June 1944 he transferred to the Royal Navy as Lieutenant Commander (A) and retired as Commander (A) in 1958.
12th October 2014 3:49pm
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