June 1942 Dale was a No. 19 Group Satellite Landing Ground (SLG)
for RAF Talbenny. It was put to operational use the same
month when 304 (Polish) Squadron Wellingtons moved in. They
operated from Dale until the end of March 1943 when they
relocated to RAF Docking in East Anglia, They were replaced
by the Coastal Command Development Unit which transferred
from RAF Tain, Dale was also a temporary home for 303 Ferry
Training Unit which operated from here while the Drem
lighting system was installed at their home station,
RN use of the airfield
In September 1943 RAF Dale was transferred to the Admiralty
in exchange for the airfield at Angle
which had been on loan to the Admiralty since the beginning
of May 1943 as HMS GOLDCREST. The commission transferred to
Dale on September 5th, the RAF Coastal Command Development
Unit relocated to Angle. The first
squadron to arrive was 794 Naval Air Firing Unit which moved
its Defiant and Martinet Target Tug, Masters, and Sea
Hurricane here from Angle five days later.
only saw operational flying for the next two months, 794
squadron was relocated to R.N.A.S. Henstridge on November
22nd, when a building programme began to develop Dale into a
full Naval Air Station capable of supporting up to 6
squadrons; dispersals, concrete aprons, hangars, and
workshops were to be installed and a standard RN pattern
four-story control tower.
By February 1944 Dale was ready to accept squadrons and 897
and 809Seafire squadrons disembarked from the escort carrier
STALKER on February 16th and 19th respectively; 897
departed for R.N.A.S. Lee-on-Solent a week later, 809
remained until March 20th before it moved to RAF Long Kesh,
Northern Ireland. Later in March 1944 Dale's resident
squadron arrived to take up residence when 762 Twin Engine
Conversion Unit moved here from R.N.A.S. Lee-on-Solent on
the 31st. This squadron operated a collection of large
aircraft, including Operated Beaufort (I & T.II),
Beaufighter II, Blenheim IV, Oxford, and Wellington XI.
start of September 1944 748 squadron began operating as No.
10 Naval operational Training Unit (OTU) flying Corsair,
Firefly, Hellcat, Seafire, and Wildcat fighters, and some
Harvard, trainers having relocated here from R.N.A.S.
Yeovilton. In the middle of November 1770 squadron arrived,
a front-line Firefly unit completing it's working-up, they
flew in from R.N.A.S. Ayr on the 16th and embarked in the
Fleet Carrier HMS INDEFATIGABLE on the 21st for service in
the Far East.
Autumn of 1944 work had begum on a new purpose built Fighter
Direction School located ½ mile down the coast at Kete. A
Fighter Direction School had been operating at R.N.A.S.
Yeovilton since 1942 but demand for Air Direction Officers
could not be met by the existing school.
training role continues at Dale throughout the first half of
1945 but changes came in August when No.10 OUT was relocated
to R.N.A.S. St. Merryn on the 4th to make room for arrival
of No. 790 Squadron, Fighter Direction Training Unit, moved
here from R.N.A.S. Zeals on August 30th to begin live
interception flights for the trainee Fighter Direction
Officers at the mealy opened R.N. Air Direction School. This
squadron operated a variety of aircraft types including
Anson, Dominie, Firefly I, Mosquito FB.6 & B.25, Sea
Mosquito TR.3, Oxford, Seafire (various Mks), and Wildcats.
start of December 1945 762 squadron's twin engine conversion
course moved to R.N.A.S. Halesworth,
departing on the 3rd , leaving the , Fighter Direction
Training Unit as the only flying unit at Dale. On New Year's
Day 1946 R.A.F. Brawdy was
transferred to the Admiralty on loan as a satellite for
R.N.A.S. Dale and commissioned as GOLDCREST II. two weeks
later no. 784 Night Fighter Training Squadron moved into
Brawdy, transferring from R.N.A.S.
Drem. The squadron disbanded here on September 10th 1956.
squadron was next to arrive at Dale, this squadron was
formed here on September 16th for the Royal Netherlands
Navy, equipped with Firefly Is. The squadron spent the next
five months working up at Dale before embarking in HrMs Karl
Doorman on February 22nd 1947.
Reduced to Care & Maintenance and eventual closure
Dale closed to flying on December 13th 1947 when 790
squadron relocated to R.N.A.S. Culdrose. The Fighter
Direction Centre was commissioned as an independent command,
H.M.S. HARRIER, on February 1st 1948. Both Dale and it's
satellite, Brawdy were reduced to
Care & Maintenance Status on March 31st 1948. H.M.S.
GOLDCREST was paid off on October 31st 1948.t
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