Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21

Thread: RNADC Kete / HMS Harrier, Pembrokeshire

  1. #1
    Senior Member mawganmad's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    In the control tower of my mind
    Posts
    2,813

    Default RNADC Kete / HMS Harrier, Pembrokeshire

    RNADC Kete / HMS Harrier, St Annes Head, Pembrokeshire.

    I'm just stumbling across the this place in assosciation with other research that I'm doing.

    The Royal Naval Air Direction Centre (RNADC) was a unit that trained ratings and Air Direction Officers in the task of controlling fighters from the ground and ships, ie the naval version of RAF controllers in sector operations rooms.

    Initially this was undertaken at Yeovilton during WWII but a purpose built unit was then established between 1945-48 at Kete, Pembrokeshire, and named HMS Harrier.
    This seems to either be actually built on, or very near to RNAS Dale / HMS Goldcrest, and aircraft from that station would have initially been used for the ground fighter direction controller training at Kete.
    From 1950 Airworks Ltd provided aircraft (Sea Hornets, Sea Mosquitos) and aircrew for the flying aspect of the training as the ADTU (Air Direction Training Unit) from RNAS Brawdy, before moving to RNAS St Davids, before gaining jets (such as Meteor T.7s, Sea Venoms, Vampires) and moving back to Brawdy in 1958.

    Kete closed in 1960 when the Air Direction School was moved back to RNAS Yeovilton, where it still exists as the Royal Navy School of Fighter Control.
    The Airworks Services operated ADTU followed them to Yeovilton in January 1961, and went on to merge with the Fleet Requirements Unit to become FRADU (briefly FRADTU, Fleet Requirements and Air Direction Training Unit) in late 1972, the unit still serves its original purpose, now being based at Culdrose with Hawks.

    I would love to know more about the actual Kete site, was it a part of Dale or was it on St Annes head itself? There are loop holed walls on the headland which suggests that there migh have been something there.

    Some links here, http://www.ndassoc.net/history/index...4a74b4419a6681, http://www.dale-coastlands-history.o...ryactivity.htm

  2. #2
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Peoples Republic of Kent
    Posts
    6,347

    Default Re: RNADC Kete / HMS Harrier, Pembrokeshire

    There is a good write up in the relevant Ivor Jones book. There was a large circle of grass where practice was carried out by directing WRENS on tricycles. If I remember I will see what I have when I get home tonight.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mawganmad's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    In the control tower of my mind
    Posts
    2,813

    Default Re: RNADC Kete / HMS Harrier, Pembrokeshire

    Thanks Peter, I must admit I don't have the W.Wales addition, was the RNADC site on Dale or remote from it?

    The tricycles were used as part of the direction training and had a metronome, radio receiver, and compass fitted to them, and represented controlled 'aircraft' on the ground, the WRENS operating them had a very restricted point of view - synthetic training at its best!
    I remember Michael Hordern on a programme about his Naval career which featured these, and there is one preserved at the FAA Museum.

    It should be mentioned that the Air Direction School/School of Fighter Control is more commonly known as 'D School'.

  4. #4
    SuperMod Carnaby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Bristol, UK
    Posts
    3,396

    Default Re: RNADC Kete / HMS Harrier, Pembrokeshire

    HMS Goldcrest II / Harrier was a mile to the south of Dale airfield. It was a large site split, with what appears to be accommodation to the north, and the instructional site to the south. All buildings and most concrete subsequently removed, probably in accordance with National Park policy

    WTP Link. Note it's incorrectly marked as 'airfields' !

    Get yourself a copy of Ivor's West book, James, its esential reading.

  5. #5
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Peoples Republic of Kent
    Posts
    6,347

    Default Re: RNADC Kete / HMS Harrier, Pembrokeshire

    Kete 1972.jpg

    This was Kete from a 1972 map. The big area in the middle was the circular field. It did look like an airfield from the air but a tad small
    Do get or take a look at Ivor's book or books they are well illustrated as well, especially with aerial photos. They also mention bombing ranges as well

  6. #6
    SuperMod Carnaby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Bristol, UK
    Posts
    3,396

    Default Re: RNADC Kete / HMS Harrier, Pembrokeshire

    Great plan. If only we could find building annotations for RN sites. However, just found some hopeful TNA documents for my next visit.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mawganmad's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    In the control tower of my mind
    Posts
    2,813

    Default Re: RNADC Kete / HMS Harrier, Pembrokeshire

    Thanks Peter & Graham for all the info and help, I wonder what the complex looked like when it wrapped up in 1960?
    Thinking it would require radar, radio comms, and a control room to deal with jet interception control.
    Unfortunately the pic of Kete in my first link won't enlarge.

  8. #8
    SuperMod Carnaby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Bristol, UK
    Posts
    3,396

    Default Re: RNADC Kete / HMS Harrier, Pembrokeshire

    I note that Dobinson locates the Chain Home Low Station Here - 802042

    OOps - just noticed I can't open PNK's map above any more ??
    Last edited by Carnaby; 31-01-2012 at 23:26. Reason: OOps added

  9. #9
    SuperMod Peter Kirk's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Peoples Republic of Kent
    Posts
    6,347

    Default Re: RNADC Kete / HMS Harrier, Pembrokeshire

    THe Old-maps website also has a larger scale version of that map.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    1,908

    Default Re: RNADC Kete / HMS Harrier, Pembrokeshire

    Nice HAA battery the other side of the road http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepat...z=19&oz=9&gt=1

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •