Latitude 08°32'24"N Longitude 81°10'55"E

 

Includes R.N. Air Section China Bay and R.N.A.M.Y. Clappenburg Bay

 

ACQUISITION

R.A.F. Station China Bay opened 01.08.1938 with lodger facility for RN Air Section. from August 1940. Station transferred to Admiralty 15.11.1944 and renamed RNAS Trincomalee.

 

COMMISSIONED

01.08.1940 on Books of 'LANKA'

01..071943 on Books of 'HIGHFLYER'

01.01.1944 as 'BAMBARA'

 

CLOSED

 

 

PAID OFF

31.12.1847 to C & M

Returned to R.A.F. 05.1950

   

C.O./O.I.C.

 
   

FUNCTION

R.N. Aircraft Maintenance Yard (Clappenburg Bay).

Accommodation for disembarked squadrons.

Reserve aircraft storage.

Torpedo facilities.

Fleet Requirements Unit (733 Squadron)

No. 4 M.A.T.M.U. (Mobile Air Torpedo Maintenance Unit)

Seaplane facilities.

 

ADDRESS

R.N. Air Section

R.A.F. Station China Bay

Trincomalee

Ceylon

 

R.N. Air Station,
Trincomalee,
Ceylon

R.N. Aircraft Maintenance Yard, Clappenburg Bay,

Trincomalee
Ceylon

LOCALITY

The R.N. Air Station is situated on the W. side of Trincomalee harbour, on the neck of the peninsula which separates the harbour from Tambalagam bay on the W.
Trincomalee, on the E. side of the harbour, lies 3 miles NE.

 

LANDMARKS

Trincomalee harbour and the town of Trincomalee with the Naval base adjacent S.
The peninsula, on which the airfield is situated, separating Trincomalee harbour from Tambalagam bay.
Great Sober Island, at the entrance to the inner harbour, lying ½ mile E. of the airfield.

 

ROAD AND RAIL ACCESS

Main road and rail communication with China Bay and Trincomalee.
The distance by road to Trincomalee is 10 miles (R).
Railway stations at China Bay, distant ½ mile (R), and at Trincomalee, both on the Colombo-Trincomalee broad gauge line.
At Clappenburg Bay, a pier with 15' of water alongside, fitted with a 10 ton crane, is available.

   
   

CONTROL

Control Building on SE. side of landing area

 

ELEVATION

 10' above M.S.L.

RUNWAYS

One, tar macadam, with a sub-base of 6-inch broken stone on consolidated earth foundation.


06/24 QDM. 062° -242° .... 2,400 x 50 yds. 

 

TRACKS

80' taxiways connect the end of the runways and give access to dispersal areas, hangars and Aircraft Maintenance Yard.

 

MOORINGS

"Short" type rubber buoys in Malay Cove.

 

SLIPWAYS

Two slipways each connected to a Bellman hangar, on the S. side of Malay Cove. The easterly slipway is suitable for small marine craft only, but the westerly one is capable of working large flying boats.

 

OBSTRUCTIONS

Navigation

Hill (493), distant 3 miles NW.

Circuit

Hills: (3541, 2200 yds. NNW. ; (234'), on Great
Sober Island, 2100 yds. E. ; and (362'), 1800 yds. SE.

Approach

W/T masts, zoo', moo yds. NW. of " 06 " end of runway. W/T masts (alt. 150') and (230'), 600 yds. SE. and 1400 yds. ESE. respectively of the "24" end of the runway.

 

APPROACH

Normal approach is either from the NE. or SW.
In both cases the approach, over water, can be made low.

 

WIND INDICATOR

Two windsocks, one on S. side of airfield, one on hangar on S. side of Malay Cove. the eastern approach to the runway.

   
   

HOMING - VISUAL

By day

None.

By night

None.

HOMING--RADIO

D/F

H/F and VH/F

Beacons

251 MS, YG & YJ.

APPROACH - VISUAL

By day

None.

By night

 

APPROACH - RADIO

R.A.F. ASV. beacon H.T.

COMMUNICATION

EQUIPMENT

M/F & H/F

8 transmitters, 8 receivers.

VH/F

 3 transmitters,  3 receivers.

 

CALL SIGNS

R/T

TRINCO

W/T

MHV

Identity letters

TM

   

GROUND RADAR

Fighter direction using G.C.I. and Interrogator.

   
   

ACCOMMODATION

Camps at Natchykanda promontory, TambalagamBay, at Clappenburg Bay and in Headquarters buildings.
There is also accommodation for W.R.N.S.


Capacity

Officers:

390

Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings:

3, 900

W.R.N.S. Officers:

12

W.R.N.S.  Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings;

100

 

ARMOURIES

Stocks to provision 8 squadrons of all types, except A/C fitted with R.P.

 

COMPASS BASE

One, diameter 80'.

 

DISPERSAL

Dispersal areas, on SE. and NW. sides of airfield, are at present being re-sited and re-modelled to suit R.N. needs [R.A.F. layout]. Existing facilities, 20 heavy A/c standings. Parking area for 200 single engined A/c.

 

HANGARS

Two Bellmans, at the head of the two seaplane slipways on the S. side of Malay Cove. One large hangar on SE side of the airfield.

 

Number /Type

Size

Door Height

Door Width

2 Bellman ..

175' X 95'

25′

87' 9"

I Type "C" ..

300' X 150'

35′

150'

 

MEDICAL

Main Sick Quarters at Clappenburg bay and in Headquarters buildings.
Limited accommodation at Natchykanda Camp.

 

METEOROLOGICAL

Full service by Naval personnel.

 

Weather conditions are governed primarily by the monsoons.
December to March (NE. Monsoon). Flying conditions in the vicinity of
the airfield are to a large extent governed by the strength of the monsoon ; when ‘it is strong, skies are generally overcast, cloud base is low, and rain is often heavy and persistent—especially in December and January ; when it is weak clear or partly cloudy skies are common. Cloud amount averages about 6/10 in December and January and 3/10-4/10 in February and March ; there is little diurnal variation. Rain falls on 12-16 days per month in the first two months decreasing to 3-4 days per month in February and March.
April to May. Conditions are generally good apart from thundery squalls which are common in May and sometimes reach gale force. Cloud cover is similar to that during the latter half of the NE. Monsoon season, hut with a considerable increase in amount during the afternoon and evening.
June to September (SW. Monsoon). Flying conditions near the airfield are generally good in June and July ; there is little rain, and cloud amount averages 5/10 in the forenoon increasing considerably in the afternoon and evening. In. August and September showers and thunderstorms occur on 4-7 days per month.
October to November. Conditions are often unfavourable. Thundery squalls are common in October and rain, sometimes heavy and persistent, falls on 13-17 days in each of these months. Cloud amount, which is a maximum in the afternoon and evening averages about 6/10.
Visibility in all seasons is good except when reduced by heavy rain, and sometimes in the early morning from November to January when light mists may occur.

 

FUEL AND OIL

Aviation -

90,00o gallons in two installations.
Three further installations with a total capacity 72,000 gallons are projected.
Installation with capacity of 18,000 gallons at the A/C Maintenance Yard.

M/T -

9,500 gallons (including A/c. Maintenance Yard).

Oil -

8,000 gallons. In addition 4,000 gallons at A/c Maintenance Yard.

 

TEST BASE

A/c Radar base projected.

 

TEST BUTT

Test butts for M.G. and for cannon available.

 

WORKSHOPS

A double Class "B" Aircraft Repair Yard with Torpedo Workshops (later reclassified as an Aircraft Maintenance Yard) situated on the W. shore of Clappenburg Bay, about one mile SE. of the Control Building and connected to the airfield by taxi-tracks. There are 6 hangars in the Yard, types and sizes not known.

 

VISITORS

Visiting A/c. park subject to change.

 

EXPLOSIVES

 

BOMBING AND FIRING RANGES

 

 

Air to air

One. At R.A.F. range Nileveli

Air to ground

One. At R.A.F. range Nileveli

Dive bombing

One. At R.A.F. range Nileveli

Practice bombing

One. At R.A.F. range Nileveli

R.P. range

One. (R.A.F.)

   

Note: Seaplane hangars and facilities in Malay Cove are in use by R.A.F.

   
Information taken from CB 4368 B. Admiralty Handbook of Naval Air Stations Aug. 45 and B.R. 1807 Dec 48.

 

 

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

 

733

 

Fleet Requirements Unit

Moved here from RAF Minnerriya 25.03.1944. Disbanded here 31.12.1947

Equipment included: Avenger, Barracuda, Beaufighter, Beaufort, Corsair, Defiant, Expeditor, Fulmar, Harvard, Martinet, Mosquito, Reliant, Seafire, Sea Otter, Swordfish, Tigermoth, Vengeance, Walrus, and Wildcat.


788

 

Eastern Fleet TBR Pool

Foamed at China Bay 16.02.1942. All six aircraft destroyed by enemy action 05.04.1942

Squadron personnel to RNAS Tanga to reform as an FRU departing 08.04.1942

Equipped with 6 Swordfish I.


791

 

Fleet Requirements Unit

Formed here 01.11.1945. Embarked in SMITER 23.12.1945 and disembarked to RNAS Sembawang 27.12.1945.

Equipped with 6 Corsair, 6 Vengeance and 1 Harvard.


800

 

Fleet Fighter Squadron

 


802

 

 

803

 

804

 

806

 

807

 

808

 

8-9

 

810

 

811

 

812

 

814

 

817

 

818

 

822

 

824

 

828

 

830

 

831

 

832

 

834

 

837

 

845

 

847

 

851

 

854

 

879

 

8880

 

888

 

896

 

898

 

1700

Air Sea Rescue Squadron

Moved here from RAF Koggala 26.05.1945.  Absorbed  into 733 squadron 03.06.1946.

Equipped with Reliant, Sea Otter, Seafire, Swordfish, Tiger Moth, and Walrus.


1830

 

1831

 

1833

 

1839

 

1844

 

1851

 

 

 

 

 

 

PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

 

Click here for a list of Primary sources


Additional sources:

 

Admiralty Fleet Orders:

 

Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders:

 

 

 

 

Unofficial badge: Bmbara is the Ceylonese wo

 

 

 

 


View Larger Map

 

 

 

 

 


Comments (1)

Sort
Andrew Wijesuriya (Pitakotte, Sri Lanka) says...
RAF China Bay is still being used as the Air Force Academy of the Sri Lanka Air Force. Area is smaller. Clappenburg is outside the Academy and the WRNS quarters now abandoned. Runway was extended slightly and very much in use. Slipways were later used to facilitate boat repairs and remembers of the racetracks leading from Malay cove and Clappenburg could still be made out by a discerning eye.
17th February 2019 12:28am
Page 1 of 1

Add Comment

 

Click to refresh the page after posting your comment or to hide the form