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.
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out of date.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
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
Assembly, equipping, and formation of mobile airfield units in the
UK, and their despatch to their operational locations.
16 February 1945
Paid Off :
10 April 1946
- Captain L. J. S. EDES 01 Nov 1944 to 10 April 1946
View Larger Map
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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