Latitude 08°32'24"N Longitude 81°10'55"E

 

Includes R.N. Air Section China Bay and R.N.A.M.Y. Clappenburg Bay

 

ACQUISITION R.A.F. Station China Bay opened 01.08.1938 with lodger facility for RN Air Section. from August 1940. Station transferred to Admiralty 15.11.1944.

 

COMMISSIONED 01.08.1940 on Books of 'LANKA'

01..071943 on Books of 'HIGHFLYER'

01.01.1944 as 'BAMBARA'

 

CLOSED  

 

PAID OFF 31.12.1847 to C & M

Returned to R.A.F. 05.1950

   
C.O./O.I.C.  
   
FUNCTION R.N. Aircraft Maintenance Yard.

Accommodation for disembarked squadrons.

Reserve aircraft storage.

Torpedo facilities.

Fleet Requirements Unit (733 Squadron)

No. 4 M.A.T.M.U.

Seaplane facilities.

 

ADDRESS R.N. Air Section

R.A.F. Station China Bay

Trincomalee

Ceylon

 

R.N. Air Station,
Trincomalee,
Ceylon
R.N. Aircraft Maintenance Yard, Clappenburg Bay,

Trincomalee

LOCALITY

The R.N. Air Station is situated on the W. side of Trincomalee harbour, on the neck of the peninsula which separates the harbour from Tambalagam bay on the W.
Trincomalee, on the E. side of the harbour, lies 3 miles NE.

 

LANDMARKS Trincomalee harbour and the town of Trincomalee with the Naval base adjacent S.
The peninsula, on which the airfield is situated, separating Trincomalee harbour from Tambalagam bay.
Great Sober Island, at the entrance to the inner harbour, lying ½ mile E. of the airfield.

 

ROAD AND RAIL ACCESS Main road and rail communication with China Bay and Trincomalee.
The distance by road to Trincomalee is 10 miles (R).
Railway stations at China Bay, distant ½ mile (R), and at Trincomalee, both on the Colombo-Trincomalee broad gauge line.
At Clappenburg Bay, a pier with 15' of water alongside, fitted with a 10 ton crane, is available.
   
   
CONTROL Control Building on SE. side of landing area

 

ELEVATION  10' above M.S.L.
RUNWAYS One, tar macadam, with a sub-base of 6-inch broken stone on consolidated earth foundation.


06/24 QDM. 062° -242° .... 2,400 x 50 yds. 

 

TRACKS 80' taxiways connect the end of the runways and give access to dispersal areas, hangars and Aircraft Maintenance Yard.

 

MOORINGS "Short" type rubber buoys in Malay Cove.

 

SLIPWAYS Two slipways each connected to a Bellman hangar, on the S. side of Malay Cove. The easterly slipway is suitable for small marine craft only, but the westerly one is capable of working large flying boats.

 

OBSTRUCTIONS Navigation Hill (493), distant 3 miles NW.
Circuit Hills: (3541, 2200 yds. NNW. ; (234'), on Great
Sober Island, 2100 yds. E. ; and (362'), 1800 yds. SE.
Approach W/T masts, zoo', moo yds. NW. of " 06 " end of runway. W/T masts (alt. 150') and (230'), 600 yds. SE. and 1400 yds. ESE. respectively of the "24" end of the runway.

 

APPROACH Normal approach is either from the NE. or SW.
In both cases the approach, over water, can be made low.

 

WIND INDICATOR Two windsocks, one on S. side of airfield, one on hangar on S. side of Malay Cove. the eastern approach to the runway.
   
   
HOMING - VISUAL By day None.
By night None.
HOMING--RADIO D/F H/F and VH/F
Beacons 251 MS, YG & YJ.
APPROACH - VISUAL By day None.
By night  
APPROACH - RADIO R.A.F. ASV. beacon H.T.
COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT M/F & H/F 8 transmitters, 8 receivers.
VH/F  3 transmitters,  3 receivers.

 

CALL SIGNS R/T TRINCO
W/T MHV
Identity letters TM
   
GROUND RADAR Fighter direction using G.C.I. and Interrogator.

   
   
ACCOMMODATION Camps at Natchykanda promontory, TambalagamBay, at Clappenburg Bay and in Headquarters buildings.
There is also accommodation for W.R.N.S.


Capacity

Officers: 390
Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings: 3, 900
W.R.N.S. Officers: 12
W.R.N.S.  Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings; 100

 

ARMOURIES Stocks to provision 8 squadrons of all types, except A/C fitted with R.P.

 

COMPASS BASE One, diameter 80'.

 

DISPERSAL Dispersal areas, on SE. and NW. sides of airfield, are at present being re-sited and re-modelled to suit R.N. needs [R.A.F. layout]. Existing facilities, 20 heavy A/c standings. Parking area for 200 single engined A/c.

 

HANGARS Two Bellmans, at the head of the two seaplane slipways on the S. side of Malay Cove. One large hangar on SE side of the airfield.

 

Number /Type Size Door Height Door Width
2 Bellman .. 175' X 95' 25′ 87' 9"
I Type "C" .. 300' X 150' 35′ 150'
 
MEDICAL Main Sick Quarters at Clappenburg bay and in Headquarters buildings.
Limited accommodation at Natchykanda Camp.

 

METEOROLOGICAL Full service by Naval personnel.

 

Weather conditions are governed primarily by the monsoons.
December to March (NE. Monsoon). Flying conditions in the vicinity of
the airfield are to a large extent governed by the strength of the monsoon ; when ‘it is strong, skies are generally overcast, cloud base is low, and rain is often heavy and persistent—especially in December and January ; when it is weak clear or partly cloudy skies are common. Cloud amount averages about 6/10 in December and January and 3/10-4/10 in February and March ; there is little diurnal variation. Rain falls on 12-16 days per month in the first two months decreasing to 3-4 days per month in February and March.
April to May. Conditions are generally good apart from thundery squalls which are common in May and sometimes reach gale force. Cloud cover is similar to that during the latter half of the NE. Monsoon season, hut with a considerable increase in amount during the afternoon and evening.
June to September (SW. Monsoon). Flying conditions near the airfield are generally good in June and July ; there is little rain, and cloud amount averages 5/10 in the forenoon increasing considerably in the afternoon and evening. In. August and September showers and thunderstorms occur on 4-7 days per month.
October to November. Conditions are often unfavourable. Thundery squalls are common in October and rain, sometimes heavy and persistent, falls on 13-17 days in each of these months. Cloud amount, which is a maximum in the afternoon and evening averages about 6/10.
Visibility in all seasons is good except when reduced by heavy rain, and sometimes in the early morning from November to January when light mists may occur.

 

FUEL AND OIL Aviation - 90,00o gallons in two installations.
Three further installations with a total capacity 72,000 gallons are projected.
Installation with capacity of 18,000 gallons at the A/C Maintenance Yard.
M/T - 9,500 gallons (including A/c. Maintenance Yard).
Oil - 8,000 gallons. In addition 4,000 gallons at A/c Maintenance Yard.

 

TEST BASE A/c Radar base projected.

 

TEST BUTT Test butts for M.G. and for cannon available.

 

WORKSHOPS A double Class "B" Aircraft Repair Yard with Torpedo Workshops (later reclassified as an Aircraft Maintenance Yard) situated on the W. shore of Clappenburg Bay, about one mile SE. of the Control Building and connected to the airfield by taxi-tracks. There are 6 hangars in the Yard, types and sizes not known.

 

VISITORS Visiting A/c. park subject to change.

 

EXPLOSIVES  
BOMBING AND FIRING RANGES

 

 

Air to air

One.
Air to ground One.
Dive bombing One.
Practice bombing One.
  Above are all at R.A.F. range Nileveli

R.P. range

One. (R.A.F.)
   
Note: Seaplane hangars and facilities in Malay Cove are in use by R.A.F.
   
   


Information taken from CB 4368 B. Admiralty Handbook of Naval Air Stations Aug. 45 and B.R. 1807 Dec 48.

 

 

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

 
733

 

 
788

 

 
791

 

 
800

 

 
802

 

 
803  
804  
806  
807  
808  
8-9  
810  
811  
812  
814  
817  
818  
822  
824  
828  
830  
831  
832  
834  
837  
845  
847  
851  
854  
879  
8880  
888  
896  
898  
1700  
1830  
1831  
1833  
1839  
1844  
1851  

 

 

PAGE UNDER CONSTRUCTION

 

 

Click here for a list of Primary sources


Additional sources:

 

Admiralty Fleet Orders:

 

Confidential Admiralty Fleet Orders:

C.A.F.O. 2575/43.—R.N. Air Section, R.A.F. Station, China Bay - R.N.Aircraft
Repair Yard, Clappenburg Bay.

C.A.F.O. 238/44. --R.N. Air Section, R.A.F. Station, China Bay— R.N. Aircraft
Repair Yard, Clappenburg Bay--Commissioning

C.A.F.O. 2450/44.—R.N. Air Station, Trincomalee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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 © 2013 Tony Drury www.royalnavyresearcharchive.org.uk


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