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Thread: Heathfield

  1. #11
    SuperMod P Bellamy's Avatar
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    Default Re: RAF Ayr / Heathfield / HMS Wagtail

    Ayr and Prestwick basic layouts, mid-WWII:

  2. #12
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2012

    Default Re: RAF Ayr / Heathfield / HMS Wagtail


    Apologies in advance if you know some of this information already. In case it's of interest, RAF Ayr was during early 1944 the home of a training unit with the designation '14 A.P.C'. APCs were Armament Practice Camps. My father (see Wikipedia entry on Keith Lawrence) had just done the Pilot Gunnery Instructor's training course at the Central Gunnery School at RAF Sutton Bridge, in November 1943. The Wikipedia article on RAF Sutton Bridge gives an indication of the type of training undertaken at Ayr. Basically, the Central Gunnery School 'trained the trainers', who were then posted out to APCs to teach freshly trained pilots deflection shooting. He was at 14 APC Ayr from 27 December 1943 until 5 May 1944, as a gunnery instructor. He told me that Squadrons flew into Ayr for a fortnight's intensive training in aerial gunnery, so there would have been a succession of visiting squadrons on the airfield. Pupil pilots at Ayr flew Spitfires, and the target towing tugs at Ayr were generally Miles Masters, although there is one entry in his logbook at this time to a Lysander, and one to a Martinet, and both of these types were also used for target towing. In addition, his logbook shows that on March 29 he flew a "Typhoon of 486 Squadron", so perhaps 486 was also based at the airfield at this time, or I suspect it more likely that it could have been one of the visiting squadrons. I've no idea how long before and after the dates of his posting to 14 A.P.C. the training unit had been at, and then continued to be, based at Ayr. I note that there is a reference to the APC in

    As I said, I hope this is of interest,

    Geoff L.

  3. #13
    Senior Member CornwallPhil's Avatar
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    Jul 2011

    Default Re: RAF Ayr / Heathfield / HMS Wagtail

    Thanks Geoff. Helps explain why Mathieson was in Ayr while based at a RAF station in Cornwall.

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