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Report - RNAS Stretton ( Warrington) December 2012.

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by Telf, Sep 11, 2013.

  1. Telf

    Telf 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

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    On a recent outing with the Kwan and Georgie, Kwan told me I should post all explores no matter if the location and pic's aren't great.
    So here goes,

    Visited with Rikxplorer and Andyschleckscat, This was my second ever explore, And yes I know the pic's are substandard but I was just starting out into the world of urban exploring.

    Some history:

    RNAS Stretton was originally planned as a Royal Air Force night fighter station to protect Liverpool and Manchester from Luftwaffe air raids during World War II. However changes in German tactics meant that the airfield was not required so it was transferred to the Admiralty on completion. Three runways and numerous hangars had been built.
    HMS Blackcap was commissioned on 1 June 1942 and forty-one Fleet Air Arm Squadrons were based here for varying periods with some aircraft being flown directly to and from aircraft carriers operating in the Irish Sea and other nearby waters.
    Fairey Aviation used two large A1 (aircraft production) hangars on the northeast edge of the airfield for the modification, repair and flight-testing of Barracudas, Fireflies and Fulmars before they were despatched to their operational squadrons. From 1944 HMS Blackcap was also used as an Aircraft Maintenance Yard, a large hangar complex being constructed to the northwest of the airfield for this activity.

    At the end of the war American Naval Aircraft were flown into Blackcap to be broken up for disposal. The Aircraft Maintenance Yard at Blackcap meant that the airfield continued to operate and, at its peak, handled one third of all Fleet Air Arm Aircraft and all its spare engines.
    In 1947 the Fleet Air Arm decided to form Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve Squadrons. The first to be based at Stretton was 1831 Naval Air Squadron, a fighter squadron, which was reformed here on 1 June 1947, equipped with Supermarine Seafire fighters and a single North American Harvard trainer.[1] It was joined on 18 August 1952 by 1841 Naval Air Squadron, an anti-submarine squadron. Together, these Squadrons comprised the Northern Air Division which was formed at Stretton on 1 June 1952 and disbanded on 10 March 1957 together with its constituent units.
    767 Naval Air Squadron who operated Supermarine Attackers was also based in Stretton. One notable incident included an Attacker FB Mk.1, WA535 which crashed on 5 February 1953 near Winwick, fatally killing the pilot Mr Roy Edwin Collingwood (aged 22). A second fatal accident took place on 10 November 1955 in an Attacker FB Mk2 WP281 172ST which crashed near RNAS Stretton while avoiding a collision with a Percival Sea Prince. The pilot was Lt Cmdr Charles James Lavender DSC (aged 34). He is commemorated in the churchyard at Appleton Thorn.
    The last squadron based at HMS Blackcap was 728B Naval Air Squadron, formed on 13 January 1958 to operate Fairey Firefly D.8 target drones. The squadron moved in February 1958 to HMS Falcon, Hal Far, Malta.[2]
    The airfield was closed on 4 November 1958.

    It was then used by Shell to test fuels and so on but can't find much info on this, the main buildings left are all Shells leftovers.

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    A bit of original runway, Shell had recovered most of it with tarmac.
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    Runway X possibly?
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    A view from the observation tower.
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    Inside the shell building which was totally trashed and consisted of a large workshop/garage a few offices and an observation tower.
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    The fat controller.
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    Inside a fridge trailer, Not sure why they needed this??
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    The entrance to one of two air raid shelters.
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    It was lovely to see this shelter in not too bad condition, the other shelter at the other side of the site was very trashed and fire damaged.
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    A wartime building on the other side of the site close to the M56.
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    And finally an under ground area capped off from the war time days.
    [​IMG]

    Thanks for looking, Telf.
     

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