Portreath

Airfield
Aerial photograph of Portreath airfield looking south, the main runway runs horizontally, 12 July 1946. Photograph taken by No. 541 Squadron, sortie number RAF/106G/UK/1663. English Heritage (RAF Photography).

Object Number - RAF_106G_UK_1663_RP_3051 - Aerial photograph of Portreath airfield looking south, the main runway runs horizontally, 12 July 1946. Photograph taken by No. 541 Squadron, sortie...

Built during 1940-41 as an RAF fighter station, Portreath was unusual in having straightaway four tarmac-surface hard runways, with double blast pens dispersed around the perimeter track. After wartime development, it eventually had four T2 and four blister hangars. Used by the RAF during 1941-45 as a fighter, ferry, maritime and ASR base, the station was allocated briefly to the Eighth Air Force as a potential fighter base during August-September 1942, but never had any resident groups or squadrons. However, many USAAF aircraft staged through Portreath en route to North Africa, or diverted to the station on return from operations over enemy-occupied Europe, so Detachment A of of the 519th Service Squadron, Eighth Air Force Service Command, was located there from October 1942 to administer American aircraft movements, working alongside the RAF Overseas Air Despatch Unit. Transient US aircraft types included B-17s, B-24s, C-47s, P-38s and P-39s. In May 1943, P-47s of the 78th Fighter Group, based at Duxford, used Portreath as a forward base to escort bombing raids against Brest and other French western ports. During 1944, USAAF use of the station was reduced to convenience and emergencies only, although it remained operational as a multi-role RAF station until the airfield closed in October 1945. The site was taken over by the Ministry of Supply in May 1950 for use as a sub-station of the Chemical Defence Establishment (CDE), named Nancekuke after the nearby village. The CDE moved out in 1978 and MoD took back the site for operation as a radar station. Re-opened as RAF Portreath in 1980, the station now operates as Remote Radar Head (RRH) Portreath.

Connections

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People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 31st Fighter Group 350th Fighter Group 309th Fighter Squadron 345th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-421583
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot/Squadron Operations Officer/Assistant Group Ops Officer
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 78th Fighter Group 83rd Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 19075736 / O-728959
  • Highest Rank: Second Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Fighter pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 306th Bomb Group The Reich Wreckers 367th Bomb Squadron
  • Highest Rank: Major
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 14th Fighter Group 83rd Fighter Squadron 48th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-394359
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: P-38 Lightning
  • Unit: 78th Fighter Group 83rd Fighter Squadron

Revisions

Date27 Sep 2014 18:02:17
ContributorAAM
Sources

Barry Anderson, Army Air Forces Stations (Alabama, 1985) / Chris Ashworth, Action Stations 5: Military Airfields of the South-West (Cambridge, 1982)

http://www.subbrit.org.uk/rsg/sites/p/portreath/index.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RRH_Portreath

Portreath: Gallery (4 items)