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The Mobile Naval Airfields Organisation (MNAO) transferred from RNAS Ludham in Norfolk to Middle Wallop in Hampshire in February 1945, the station being transferred from No.7 0 Grp. RAF to Admiralty control ton the 16th and, commissioned as H.M.S. FLYCATCHER.


The MNAO took a little time to settle in to its new home before work commenced on assembling MONAB VI, however men ear marked for this unit began to arrive within the week; Its assembly period officially began on March 1st. The unit was allocated six weeks to complete its assembly and be ready for despatch overseas, however , this was to prove insufficient time as most of the problems encountered by the units assembling at Ludham persisted. The main problem areas being; stores were received late, were either of the wrong type, or, were out of date. Also motor vehicles were slow in arriving and personnel drafted as drivers for them had little or no experience of heavy plant.


MONAB VII began assembling March 18th 1945; this was to be a second Receipt and Despatch Unit, it differed slightly from MONAB II in that it was assembled as a standard 'type A' MONAB with aircraft erection, modification, equipping and storage elements added. MONAB VI commissioned April 1st 1945 as HMS NABSTOCK, and sailed for Australia y on April 22nd.

 

MONAB VIII began to assemble from May 1st 1945, and was designated a Fighter support MONAB, essentially no different from a standard 'type A' MONAB except its scale of issue excluded tools and spares for non fighter a/c types MONAB VII Commissioned June 1st 1945 as HMS NABREEKIE and sailed for Australia on June 21st.


MONAB VIII took the unprecedented step of a trial run camp between 8 - 11 June to prepare the advance party for the tasks and previously reported problems they would face in setting up the unit at its operational base. This trial camp took place at Cranford, not far from Middle Wallop, and involved 12 Officers and 110 ratings, whilst there they erected Best Burkle Tents, Dorland Hangers and other equipment which required assembly before use. The unit commissioned July 1st 1945 as HMS NABCATCHER. MONAB VIII together with M.S.R. 9 sailed for Australia, on July 7th..


The personnel for MONAB IX began to assemble in early July; like M.O.N.A.B. VIII this was tasked to support Fighters c only. It is not known if this unit undertook a trial installation. The heavy equipment of MONAB IX together with MS. 10 sailed for Australia on July 2oth. MONAB X began assembling on July 23rd 1945 and MONAB IX Commissioned on August 1st 1945 as HMS NABROCK.


The surrender of Japan on August 15th brought a halt to operations at Middle Wallop whist the Admiralty reviewed the programme of formations and despatches. Officers and men of Mobile units on the station were sent on short home leave whilst these decisions were made. The departure of MONAB IX was delayed by 10 days, personnel and remaining stores & equipment sailed for Australia August 31st. The personnel for MONAB XI had begun to arrive during August but assembly was put on hold after V.J. day. Eventually the decision was taken to cancel all mobile units that had not yet begun assembling so MONABs XI -XV and a proposed second TAMY were all cancelled. MONAB X was commissioned on September 1st 1945 as HMS NABHURST, but was no longer need for service overseas and was paid off on October 12th 1945 at Middle Wallop. The unit's equipment together with M.R. 4 was retained on Care & Maintenance basis for future use.

 

Unlike at Ludham, the Admiralty decided to operate Middle Wallop as an operational airfield, the RN Air Section at Christchurch moved to take up residence here on February 22nd 1945, and No. 700 squadron Maintenance Test Pilots School moved here from RNAS Worthy Down  on November 23rd 1945.

 

700 squadron ran 10 week courses for pilots who had to complete training in a range of aircraft including examples of all current frontline aircraft in the Fleet Air Arm's inventory.  The Maintenance Test Pilots school moved to RNAS Yeovilton on April 1st 1946 when middle Wallop closed. The station was also used for the storage of reserve aircraft, and acted as the receiving depot for around 50 Mosquito B 25s transferred from the RAF to the RN between May and August 1945.

 

H.M.S. Flycatcher paid off on April 10th 1946 and Middle Wallop closed as a naval sir station and was returned to the control of RAF Fighter Command.  The Mobile Naval Airfields Organisation moved form Middle Wallop in 1946, it was eventually  installed  at R.N.A.S Lossiemouth, HMS Fulmar, sometime around July when this station was transferred from RAF to RN control.

 

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R.N.A.S. MIDDLE WALLOP

 

 

 

 

Function :
Assembly, equipping, and formation of mobile airfield units in the UK, and their despatch to their operational locations.

 

Commissioned :
 16 February 1945
 

Paid Off :
10 April 1946

 

 

  • Captain L. J. S. EDES 01 Nov 1944 to 10 April 1946

 

 

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See the history of the Mobile Naval Airfields Organisation for a detailed account of operations at Ludham.

 

 

The commissioning ceremony for MONAB VII at RNAS Middle Wallop.

 

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