Latitude 51°39'39"N  Longitude 0°24'25"W

ACQUISITION Requisitioned buildings.


OPENED May 1942 accounts 'on books of DAEDAL US'


COMMISSIONED 01 January 1944 as independent command HMS TURNSTONE


PAID OFF 18 August 1945


CLOSED 18 August 1945


O.I.C. / COMMANDING OFFICER Tempy. Com. (A) R.N.V.R.  w. H. Dolphin (ad) 22 May 42

Lieut.-Com A. H. F. Norman (rei) 1 Jan 44.

Function Training of Air Fitters candidates in basic workshop practices.


ADDRESS R.N. Aircraft Training Establishment,

Hempstead Road,





LOCALITY Government Training Centre, Southwold Road , Watford






Not known




Officers: 7
Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings: Unknown.
W.R.N.S. Officers: None.
W.R.N.S.  Chiefs, P.O.s and ratings; None.



The R.N. Aircraft Training Establishment, Watford, came into being on Tuesday, June 9th 1942, tinder the administration of the Rear Admiral, Naval Air Stations with its accounts carried on the “books of H.M.S. DAEDALUS”. The establishment comprised of two separate sites that were known as "Watford I" & "Watford II" [not ship's names, just a means of identifying each site]. Its task was the training of Air Fitter candidates in basic workshop practices.

“Watford I”
the Government Training Centre, Southwold Road [under the control of the Ministry of Labour] was be responsible for the training of Naval trainees. Instruction was undertaken by the Ministry of Labour instructors under the supervision of Naval administrative staff.

“Watford II”
West Herts college, Hempstead Road was taken over by the Admiralty for the accommodation of Air Fitters undergoing preliminary technical training before they proceed to the R.A.F. School a t Hednesford. Those selected for Air Fitter training had first completed initial training at HMS GOSLING. Trainees spent four months at Watford learning workshop skills, including use of basic tools, workshop equipment and metal working skills


On New Year's Day 1944 R.N.A.T.E. Watford, and a second site, R.N. Training Centre, Fulham, which was also operating tinder the administration of the Rear Admiral, Naval Air Stations were commissioned as an independent command bearing the ship's name HMS TURNSTONE. Accounts continued to be carried by H.M.S. DAEDALUS.


R.N. Training Centre, Fulham was closed on June 23rd 1944, R.N.A.T.E. Watford closed on August 18th 1945and HMS TURNSTONE was paid off on this date.




Click here for a list of Primary sources

Additional sources:


Admiralty Fleet Orders:

A.F.O. 2724/42 Opening of R.N. Aircraft Training Establishment, Watford

A.F.O. 234/43 R.N. Aircraft Training Establishment, Watford—Administration

A.F.O. 131/44 R.N. Aircraft Training Establishments, Watford and Fulham - Commissioning as Independent Command

A.F.O. 514/44 H.M.S. “Turnstone”—Date of Commissioning

A.F.O. 5017/45 H.M.S. “Turnstone”—Closing Down









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 © 2013 Tony Drury


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