Latitude 04°02'24"S Longitude 39°35'24"E

FUNCTION Facilitates for disembarked units. Fleet Requirements Unit.
ADDRESS R.N. Air Section.

R.A.F. Station

Port Reitz,



East Africa

LOCALITY The airfield lies on a plateau at Ras Hodi, 3 miles W. of Mombasa Island, on the N. shore of Port Reitz, the inlet extending westward from that island.
Kilindini harbour and wharves lie 3 miles ESE.
R.N.A.S., Mackinnon Road, lies 40 miles WNW.
LANDMARKS Mombasa Island, Kilindini harbour and Port Reitz.
ROAD AND RAIL ACCESS Access by road to Kwa Jomvu, I j miles (R) N., and to Kilindini wharves
ACCESS 6~ miles (R). The road to Kilindini is suitable for the transport of aircraft.
Railway station at Kwa Jomvu, on the main Mombasa-Nairobi line ; a branch line runs N. from the NE. corner of the landing area to connect with the main line.
Kilindini harbour has 5 deep-water berths served by railway tracks. There are several 3- and 5-ton electric mobile cranes one 10-ton crane and a 6o-ton floating crane available.


CONTROL Control Building 350 yds. ESE. of main runway intersection.
ELEVATION 180' above M.S.L.
RUNWAYS /LANDING AREA Two, stone pitching with bitumen grout carpet, and with cleared and graded strips 8o yards wide on either side

09/27 QDM. 093°/273° .... 200 X 40  yds.

15/33 QDM. 153°/333° .... 1530 X 40  yds.


A third short runway, used for dispersal only

03/21 QDM. 053°/213° .... 800 X 40  yds.

TRACKS 40' tracks to Naval Air Section Squadron areas. 5o' tracks connecting runways with one another.
OBSTRUCTIONS Navigation -None.
Circuit - 4 W/T masts, 18o', distant about 2,SOO yds. ENE.
Approach - Trees, 8o' to N. and E., but runway approaches cleared
APPROACH No special approach sector recommended.
WIND INDICATOR One windsock, S. of landing strip junction.
HOMING - VISUAL By day -None

By night - Landmark beacon at airfield, flashing in red the letters "PR"


Beacon - M/F beacon


By night - Portable electric Glim lamps. Chance light. Gooseneck emergency flare paths.

COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT W/T station at airfield. 2 R/T channels maintained.


ACCOMMODATION Living quarters in camp on E.  of the airfield, (shred with R.A.F.).

Capacity Officers............................. 10
Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings................... 70
W.R.N.S. Officers.... ...................... None
W.R.N.S. Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings.... None

ARMOURIES One small Naval Air Section Armoury.
COMPASS BASE One, concrete, diameter 70' (shared with R.A.F.).
DISPERSAL Runway 03/21 is used for dispersal, also the area on the W. side of the sirfield, S. of runway 09/27.
HANGARS In two groups on the N. side of the airfield, for Naval Air Section use:
Number /Type Size Door Height Door Width
13 Mainhill  (Squadron) 60' x 180' 17'  55'
3 Mainhill (Storage) 60' x 84' 17' 55'
3 Pentad (Reserve Servicing) 185' x 110'  25' 100'
There are also two R.A.F. hangars on the SE. side of the airfield.
MEDICAL R.A.F. Sick quarters on SE. side of airfield, S. of Mombasa Road, accommodation for 30 Naval ratings only.

R.N. Hospital at Kilindini.

METEOROLOGICAL Air Ministry provide facilities; office in the control building.  There is a Naval Meteorological liaison officer.


Prevalent winds : Between N.E. and NW., December-March.
Between SE. and SW., April-November.
Rainy Seasons : April-June and November and December. Heavy
afternoon showers prevalent throughout the year.

Average Cloud Base :

June-September, above 500 feet.
September-January, above x,000 feet.
January-May, above 1,500 feet.

FUEL AND OIL  Aviation .............. facility shared with R.A.F.  3 underground storage tanks with a capacity of 11.300 gallons each. tank, and 3 with a capacity of 6,000 gallons each.
M/T......................Stored in original containers.
Oil ....................... Drum storage
TEST BASE Non a/c radar test base.
WORKSHOPS One A.R.S. hangar (Callander, 185' x 100'  25' x 100'), one Equipping and Erection hangar (Bellman, 187' x 80'), and workshops to two squadron scale.
BOMBING AND FIRING RANGES Use of R.A.F. range in Port Reitz, adjacent S. of the airfield


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




Seaplane Squadron

Equipped with Walrus

Detachment of 4 aircraft arrived from RNAS Kilindini 20.06 - 05.08.42 embarked from HMS ALBATROSS

796 Eastern Fleet Torpedo, Spotter and Reconnaissance Pool.

Formed here out of 818 NAS and equipped with Albacores and Swordfish.

Moved to RN Air Sect. Tanga 30.09.42.

800 Fleet Fighter Squadron

Personnel passed through in transit to UK from RNAS Tanga 08.07.42

803 Fleet Fighter Squadron equipped with 12 Fulmar IIs

Disembarked from HMS FORMIDABLE 10.05.42, re-embarked 25.05.42.

Disembarked from HMS FORMIDABLE 122.08.42, moved to RNAS Tanga 29.08.42.

Disembarked from HMS ILLUSTRIOUS 12.12.42, moved to RNAS Tanga 12.01.43.

806 Fleet Fighter Squadron equipped with 6 Fulmar II & 6 Martlet

Disembarked from HMS INDOMITABLE 23.05.42 'A' flight re-embarked INDOMITABLE 11.06.42.

Squadron moved to RNAS Tanga 20.06.42.

810 TBR squadron equipped with Swordfish

Detachment (3) disembarked from HMS ILLUSTRIOUS 26-29.05.42

Detachment (?) disembarked from HMS ILLUSTRIOUS 25.08.42 - 06.09.42.

814 TBR squadron equipped with Swordfish

Detachment (5) disembarked from HMS HERMES 09-14.10.41. Entire squadron disembarked 15.10.41.

Re-embarked HERMES 19.10.41.

824 TBR squadron equipped with Swordfish

Disembarked from HMS  EAGLE 26.04.41. Re-embarked EAGLE 28.04.41

827 TBR squadron equipped with Swordfish

Disembarked from HMS FORMIDABLE 20.04.42, re-embarked 26.05.42.

829 TBR squadron equipped with Swordfish

Daily detachments from RNAS Tanga, 18-29.08.42

851 TBR squadron equipped with Avenger & Wildcat

Detachment (10) disembarked from HMS SHAH 21.09 - 05.10.44

877 Fleet Fighter Squadron equipped with Hurricane IIb

Moved here from RNAS Tanga 06.07.43. Disbanded here 30.12.43.

880 Fleet Fighter Squadron equipped with Hurricane IIb

Disembarked from HMS INDOMITABLE 22.05.42  re-embarked INDOMITABLE 10.06.42.

Disembarked from HMS INDOMITABLE 16.06.42  re-embarked INDOMITABLE 09.07.42.

881 Fleet Fighter Squadron equipped with Fulmar IIs

Detachment (2) disembarked from HMS ILLUSTRIOUS 26-29.05.42

888 Fleet Fighter Squadron equipped with Martlets

Disembarked from HMS FORMIDABLE 10-29.05.42

Detachment from HMS FORMIDABLE  01`-15.07.42

Disembarked from HMS FORMIDABLE 11-24.08.42






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 © 2013 Tony Drury


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