Latitude 05°5'32"S Longitude 39°04'18"E

   

OPENED

May 1942?

 

COMMISSIONED

as independent command 01 October 1942

 

PAID OFF

31 May1944 to Care & Maintenance On books of H.M.S. 'TANA'

 

CLOSED

 
   

FUNCTION

Accommodation for disembarked Squadrons, small A/C erection facilities. Torpedo facilities.

 

ADDRESS

R.N. Air Station.

Tanga,
Tanganyika,

East Africa

 

LOCALITY

The airfield lies in flat country covered with coconut trees, 13/4 miles SW. of the coastal town of Tanga, and on the SE. side of the road and railway running WSW. from that town.
Mombasa lies 72 miles NNE. and Dar-Es-Salaam 105 miles S. by E.

 

LANDMARKS

Ras Kasone, the S. entrance point of Tanga bay, with the small island of Tanga lying one mile W.
Tanga bay, with the town of Tanga on its S. shore.
The road and railway, running WSW. from Tanga, forming the airfield's N. boundary.

The landing strips are clearly visible from the air.

 

ROAD AND RAIL ACCESS

Access to Tanga by road and rail. Tanga is distant 1oo miles (R) from
Kilindini harbour, Mombasa, and the road is impassable to lorries during the rainy season.
By rail the distance is 300 miles (R), and the authorities are reluctant to book traffic through except as a last resort, as the journey involves a change of rolling stock.
The airfield has its own rail siding.
By sea, the distance is only 8o miles, and opportunities to send cargo occur every 2 or 3 weeks.
Kilindini harbour is equipped with deep water berths, and several 3-ton and 5-ton electric mobile cranes. A I0-ton crane and a 6o-ton floating crane are also available.

   

CONTROL

Control Building on N. side of strip 07,1'25, near its centre.

 

ELEVATION

115 above M.S.L.

 

RUNWAYS /LANDING AREA

Three intersecting landing strips hard, grass-covered soil, u/s on 3 to 6 days a year during heavy rains. Slight downward slope towards the S.


01/19 QDM. 008°/188° .... 1.150 X 200  yds.

07/25 QDM. 066°/246° .... 1660 X 200  yds.

14/32 QDM. 140°/320° .... 1600 X 195  yds.

 

TRACKS

30' surfaced track connecting the eastern end of the strips.
The continuation on the western side was not completed and consists of a cleared surface only.
25' surfaced tracks lead to the hangar areas.

 

OBSTRUCTIONS

None. Coconut trees surrounded the airfield, but flying gaps have been cut in the approaches to the landing strips.
Width of landing strips is restricted by coconut trees bordering their sides.

 

APPROACH

No special approach sector recommended.

 

WIND INDICATOR

Two windsocks, one in the corner of the central triangular area caused by the strip intersections.

   
   

HOMING - VISUAL

None

 

HOMING--RADIO

None

 

APPROACH - VISUAL

By day - None 

By night - None

 

APPROACH - RADIO

None.

 

COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT

details mot known, but one channel exists to R.N.A.S. Nairobi, Port Reitz and Mackinnon Road..

 

GROUND RADAR

None.

 

   

ACCOMMODATION

Living quarters in camp N.  of railway, wooden hutting with concrete floors and thatch roofs.

 

Capacity:

Officers:

197

Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings:

924

W.R.N.S. Officers:

None.

W.R.N.S.  Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings:

None.

Native Police:

250

E.A.M.L.S.

(East African Military Labour Service)

1000

 

ARMOURIES

One.

 

COMPASS BASE

One,  diameter 70'

 

DISPERSAL

One apron, 167 x 20 yds., on E. side of the S. end of strip 01/19, and a torpedo arming point, 135 x 32 yds., on the N. side strip 07/25, close W. of  the strip intersection.

Arming point apron, 140 x 80 yds.,  in front of explosives area near S. end of strip 14/32.

 

HANGARS

On  N. & W. sides of the airfield:

 

Number /Type

Size

Door Height

Door Width

13 Mainhill

60' x 80' 

17'

55'

                

MEDICAL

Sick bay and First Aid post near control building.

Sick Quarters in camp. One 16 bed officers ward and two wards with 60 and 30 beds, respectively.

 

METEOROLOGICAL

Office adjacent E. of Control Building. Full service by Naval personnel when station in operation.

Prevalent winds: NE. from November to ?March and SE. from April to October.
Rainy seasons: April to June and November and December. Weather is suitable for flying all the year round.

 

FUEL AND OIL

Aviation:

2 installations of 18.000 gallons capacity each, and one of 11,500 gallons capacity.

M/T:

One storage tank of 2.000 gallons capacity.

Oil :

Drum storage

 

TEST BASE

Non a/c radar test base.

 

TEST BUTT

Test butt and 25 yard range; suitable for M.G. and cannon.

 

WORKSHOPS

One A.R.S. hangar (Bellman, 200' x 95'), one Equipping and Erection hangar (Bellman, 187' x 110'); E.R.S. (Mainhill hangar)  and workshops to two squadron scale.

 

BOMBING AND FIRING RANGES

 

Air to ground:

3 targets on Rocky Island lying off the W. tip of Yanbe Island, distant 4 miles E.

   
   

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

 

788

Fleet Requirements Unit

Moved here from RN Air Sect China Bay 20.05.42.
This was the remnants of the Eastern Fleet TBR Pool, relocated here to regroup, re-equip and to reform as an FRU. Moved to Mombasa/Kilindini [RAF ?], 24.06.42.

 


795

Eastern Fleet Fighter Pool

Formed here 24.06.42 as the Eastern Fleet Fighter Pool. Moved to RNAS Mackinnon Road 19.09.42.

 Initial equipment being Martlets & Fulmars.


796

Eastern Fleet TBR Pool.

Moved here from RN Air Sect. Port Reitz 30.09.42  Disbanded here 28.03.44.

Equipped with Albacore, Swordfish & Walrus.


800

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Disembarked from HMS INDOMITABLE 22.05.42.
Moved to RNAS Port Reitz 08.07.42, en route to the UK.

16 ? Fulmar I. Re-equipped with Sea Hurricane Ibs.


803

Fleet Fighter Squadron

Moved here from RNAS Port Reitz 29.08.42  Embarked HMS ILLUSTRIOUS 07.12.42.
Moved here from RNAS Port Reitz 14.01.43, Absorbed 806 Squadron 18.01.43, a/c increasing to 18 ?  Squadron disbanded here 12.08.43.

Initially equipped with 12 Fulmar II.


806

 'A' Flt disembarked from HMS INDOMITABLE 20.06.42.6Re-embarked 08.07.42.

Equipped with Martlet II.
Moved here from RNAS Port Reitz 20.06.42   Squadron disbanded into 803 Squadron 18.01.43.

Equipped with Fulmar II.


810

Disembarked from HMS ILLUSTRIOUS 18.08.42. Re-embarked  29.08.42.
Disembarked from ILLUSTRIOUS  21.10.42. Re-embarked 08.12.42.

Equipped with Swordfish II.


829

Disembarked from HMS ILLUSTRIOUS 18.08.42 [Operated daily detachments to RNAS Port Reitz]. Re-embarked 29.08.42.

Equipped with Swordfish II.


877

 Formed here 01.04.43 as a Fleet Fighter Unit for local defence duties.
Moved to RNAS Port Reitz 06.07.43.

Initial equipment 9 RAF Hurricane IIbs.


 

 

PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

 

Click here for a list of Primary sources


 

Additional sources:

Meredith, A. (2011) "The Pilot and the Commando: The Interlinked Lives of Two Young Christians in the Second World War", Milton Keynes, Authorhouse

 

Pountney, C. (1986) "Uncle's War in the Fleet Air Arm", Penzance, United Writers Publications Ltd

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


View Larger Map

 

Tanzanian locals pose in front of a swordfish, probably from 796 squadron.  at RNAS Tanga, c.1943

Image courtesy David Bilcliffe.

 

Tanzanian locals dance in front of a swordfish, probably from 796 squadron.  at RNAS Tanga, c.1943

Image courtesy David Bilcliffe.

 

 

 


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