Latitude 06°54'10"N Longitude 79°52'00"E

   

ACQUISITION

Transferred from R.A.F. 01 September 1943

 

COMMISSIONED

01 October 1943

 

PAID OFF

30 November 1945

 

CLOSED

-

   

C.O.

 Captain A.F. Campbell, O.B.E., R.N.

   

FUNCTION

Accommodation and training facilities for disembarked squadrons,
F.R.U. and communications squadron. Fighter Direction Training.

Outlying establishments include:-

R.N. Aircraft Repair Depot, Colombo

Naval Aircraft Embarkation Unit, Colombo

R.N.A. M/T Depot, Nugegoda.

R.N. School of Malarial Control and Tropical Hygiene.

 

ADDRESS

The airfield lies 2 miles NE. of Wellington, 6½ miles SSW. of R.N.A.S. Hinstock and 8 miles E. of Shrewsbury.

 

LOCALITY

The airfield lies in the SE. suburbs of Colombo, 2¼ miles SSE. of Colombo harbour, and ¾ miles inland from the W. coast of Ceylon.
 

LANDMARKS

The city of and harbour of Colombo.
"Slave Island", a promontory surrounded by a lake, lying one mile NW. of the airfield.

 

ROAD AND RAIL ACCESS

Good road communications with the harbour, which is served by railway sidings. Bambalapityne railway station, on the coastal line from the harbour to R.N.A.S. Katukurunda, lies ¾ miles (R) WSW., and Maradana railway station, Colombo, lies 1½ miles (R) N.

   

 

   

CONTROL

Control Building immediately SE. of centre of runway.

 

ELEVATION

 25' above M.S.L.

 

LANDING AREA

One, Tar Macadam covered with coconut fibres, with a sub-base of 6-inch broken stone on a consolidated earth foundation; all types, all weather.


06/24 QDM. 056°-236° .... 1600 x 50 yds.

 

TRACKS

40' taxi tracks run along either side of the runway, and connect to hangars, hard standings and workshops.

 

OBSTRUCTIONS

Navigation

None.

Circuit

W/T masts, 260', distant 1800 yds. NE. from the NE. end of the runway. Towers and tall buildings of the town.

Approach

Town buildings, height not known, lie within 220-300 yds. from the ends of the runway, but do not interfere with normal approach.

 

APPROACH

Safe approach sector - mean QDM. 056° - 236°

 

WIND INDICATOR

One windsock, opposite control building.

   
   

HOMING - VISUAL

By day

None.

By night

Landmark beacon on airfield flashing letters "CO" in red.

 

HOMING--RADIO

D/F

H/F

Beacons

YG

 

APPROACH - VISUAL

By day

None.

By night

Portable lighting only. Illuminated "T" by signals area.

 

APPROACH - RADIO

Mobile 2573.

 

COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT

M/F & H/F

8 transmitters, 12 receivers.

VH/F

None.

 

GROUND RADAR

Fighter Direction using G.C.I. and Interrogator, and Fighter Direction using low and medium power Radar set with Interrogator.

   

 

   

ACCOMMODATION

Living accommodation in buildings on W. side of the airfield.

 

Capacity:

Officers:

229

Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings:

1528

W.R.N.S. Officers:

44

W.R.N.S.  Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings;

125

 

ARMOURIES

To accommodate 6 squadrons.

 

COMPASS BASE

Two, diameters 90' and 100' respectively.

 

DISPERSAL

9 aircraft standings.

3 aprons, dimensions approximately 200 s 35 yds., 160 x 50 yds., and 150 x 35 yds.

 

HANGARS

25 covered pens and small hangars (75' x 50') dispersed around the airfield.

 

MEDICAL

Sick bay on airfield, W. of Torrington Place. Sick Quarters on N. Boundary of airfield, N. of Grogory's road.

 

METEOROLOGICAL

Office in Control Building Full service by Naval personnel available.

 

FUEL AND OIL

Aviation:

Three installations with capacity

12.000 gallons (91 Octane)

22.000 gallons (100 Octane)

Further tanks being installed will bring capacity to 68.000 gallons.

M/T:

2.000 gallons

Oil :

No bulk storage.

   

TEST BASE

One aircraft radar base and one polar diagram base available.

 

TEST BUTT

Available, suitable for cannon.

 

WORKSHOPS

One A.R.S. hangar (250' x 95'), one E.R.S. (55' x 90'), two Equipping and Erecting hangars (250' x 95') and workshops to 6 squadron scale. Replacement engines held.

Five cranes available, maximum lift 5 tons. Heavier lifts, up to 16 tons, on application to N.A.E.U. Colombo.

 

VISITORS

Visiting aircraft apron on N. side of runway opposite control building.

 

BOMBING AND FIRING RANGES

 

Air to ground

Use of Puttalam range.

Air to air

Negombo (R.A.F.) and Kalutara.

Dive bombing

Conagala Rock and Puttalam.

Low dive booming

Conagala Rock and Puttalam.

R.P. Range

Puttalam.

A/S Bombing

Conagala Rock and Maggona (R.N.A.S. Katukurunda).

   
   

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

 

742

 

755

 

756

 

797

 

800

 

803

 

804

 

807

 

808

 

814

 

832

 

845

 

848

 

851

 

888

 

889

 

898

 

1830


1834

 

1836

 

1837

 

1838

 

1839

 

1841

 

1842

 

1843

 

1844

 

 

 

PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

 

Click here for a list of Primary sources


 

Additional sources:

Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders:

2314/43 Transfer from RAF and commissioning

Admiralty Fleet Orders:

7231.45 Paying Off

 

Photographs from the collection of the late Leslie Howlett, kindly supplied by his daughter Mrs. Kay Morgan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


View Larger Map

 

 

Click to see gallery of images relating to the Naval Aircraft Embarkation Unit, part of HMS Berhunda

 

 

 


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