Latitude 63°55'51"N Longitude 21°10'15"W

 

 

ACQUISITION

Lodger facilities for an RN Air Section from RAF Coastal Command

 

OPENED

 01 May1943

Accounts carried 'on books of HMS BALDUR II'

 

WITHDRAWN/CLOSED

Withdrawn 02 November 1943

 

   

O.I.C.

Lt. (P) H R N Barron RNVR 30 April 1943

Lt. Cdr. (A) (P) A.G. Mayhew RNVR 21 June 1943

   

FUNCTION

Reserve storage of up to 12 Swordfish (Erected) for possible use as replacement a/c for escort carriers on N. Atlantic convoy duties.

Support of one disembarked squadron.

   

ADDRESS

R.N. Air Section

RAF Station Kaldadarnes,

Iceland

 

LOCALITY

The airfield lies on the southern banks of the Ülfus river, around 5 miles west of the town of Selfoss.

 

LANDMARKS

Straumsnes point which forms a large bend in the Ülfus river, lies ½ mile W. of the airfield on the river estuary. The town of Selfoss E. 5 miles (R).

 

ROAD AND RAIL ACCESS

Road to Reykjavík 41 miles (R). No railway.

   
   

CONTROL

 Not known

 

ELEVATION

3' above M.S.L.

 

RUNWAYS

Three

 

10/29 QDM. 103°-287° .... 1083 x 50 yds. 
17/35 QDM. 171°-351° .... 1014 X 50 yds.
23/05 QDM. 228°-052° .... 1416 x 50 yds.

 

TRACKS

Taxi track from the '10' end of runway 10/29 connects to all A/C pens, hangers and explosives area, terminating at the '35' end of runway 17/35.

   

OBSTRUCTIONS

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

 Not known

 

APPROACH - RADIO

Not known

 

COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT

M/F and H/F. - Not known

VH/F - Not known

 

CALL SIGNS

Not known

 

GROUND RADAR

Not known

 

 

   

ACCOMMODATION

Capacity:

 

Officers:

6

Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings:

100

W.R.N.S. Officers:

None.

W.R.N.S.  Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings;

None.

 

COMPASS BASE

One, size unknown.

 

DISPERSAL

13 pan-handle A/C standings disperse around the perimeter track.

 

HANGARS

2 on the SE. side of the landing area.

 

Number /Type

Size

Door Height

Door Width

2 x Type unkown

?

?

?

 

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

 

EXPLOSIVES

Explosive area on SE. corner of the airfield accessed from taxi track near '35' end of runway 17/35.

 

BOMBING AND FIRING RANGES

None.

 

 

 

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

 

819

 

Torpedo, Bomber & Reconnaissance squadron

Disembarked from HMS ARCHER 05-06.05.43.

Equipped with 9 Swordfish II & 3 Wildcat IV


823

 

Torpedo, Bomber & Reconnaissance squadron

Disembarked from HMS PRETORIA CASTLE 29-30.09.43.

Equipped with 8 Swordfish II and 6 Sea Hurricanes.


892

 

Fighter squadron

Disembarked from HMS ARCHER 05-06.05.43.

Equipped with 6 Martlet IVs.


 

 

With the arrival of the American built escort carriers Atlantic convoys were now covered by naval aircraft for the whole of the crossing, in order to replenish squadrons on these small carriers strategic reserves of replacement aircraft were established. In May 1943 Royal Naval Air Sections were established at USNAS Argentia, Newfoundland, and RAF Kaldadarnes, Iceland, to provide and maintain, in storage, a reserve of up to 12 Swordfish for possible use as replacement aircraft for escort carriers on N. Atlantic convoy duties. The Sections would also be able to support one disembarked squadron.


RN use of the airfield

R.N. Air Section Kaldadarnes, was commanded by Lt. Cdr. (A) (P) A.G. Mayhew RNVR under the administrative control of Admiral Commanding Iceland,. personnel serving on the section were be borne for pay and discipline on the books of H.M.S. 'BALDUR II'.

Kaldadarnes was chosen as a site for reserve aircraft storage only after an extensive search for an alternative site. The RAF was maintaining the station but no operational use was being made of it during 1943. The station's two hangers could accommodate 12 erected Swordfish, and up to 100 ratings and 6 officers could be accommodated on site. On May 5th A number of Swordfish were flown ashore from HMS ARCHER and were prepared for storage. ARCHER's squadrons also flew ashore for an overnight stop ; 819 TBR squadron with 9 Swordfish II & 3 Martlet IVs and 892 Fighter squadron equipped with 6 Martlet IVs. The only other recorded squadron use was 825 TBR squadron from HMS PRETORIA CASTLE which disembarked some of it's Swordfish and Sea Hurricanes 29-30th September.


RN Air Section withdrawn

By September the RAF were making plans to reduce the station to a Care & Maintenance status unless the Admiralty took over control of the site, this idea was rejected since little use had been made of the Air Section.  It is assumed that both the R.N. Air Section sites, Kaldadarnes & Hvitanes were evacuated by HMS FENCER sometime during September.

 


 

Click here for a list of Primary sources


Additional sources:

 

Admiralty Fleet Orders:

 

Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders:

 

 

 

 

No location map available for this station - see the Kaldadarnes site on Google Earth below

 


View Larger Map

 

 

 


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