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Site Details

© Copyright and database right 2020. All rights reserved. Ordnance Survey licence number 0100022206

NPRN 300021

Map Reference SM70NE

Grid Reference SM795065

Unitary (Local) Authority Pembrokeshire

Old County Pembrokeshire

Community Dale

Type of Site AIRFIELD

Broad Class DEFENCE

Period Modern

Site Description The airfield opened in June 1942 and was a Satellite Landing Ground (SLG) for Talbenny. Dispsersal points, hangars, workshops and accommodation blocks were to the northwest of the runways. In September 1943, when the Admiralty took over Dale, several developments were made including a new concrete apron; the building of a standard Royal Navy pattern four-story control tower; Britsh Concrete Federation (BCF) concrete huts replaced wooden ones and two naval Mainhill hangars were built to supplement the airfield T2s and blister hangars. The perimeter track and some of its dispersal pads are still visible, but overgrown. Several Maycrete, Nissen and BCF huts are extant and are used by local farmers and companies. One of the RAF officers' accommodation blocks (SM795065) retains wartime cartoons of aircraft drawn directly on the painted brick walls. These were drawn by Sub Lieutenant 'Dax' Dashfield who served at RNAS dale [Pembrokeshire Life July 2013]. The station's Battle Headquarters also remains, although a control tower has been demolished.

Event and Historical Information
The first squadron to use Dale were the 304 Squadron with their Vickers/Warwick Wellingtons who arrived on 15 June 1942 in support of the Wellingtons of 311 Squadron already based at Talbenny. At the end of March 1943, 304 Squadron was transferred to Docking in Norfolk. Coastal Command Development Unit from Tain began to operate from Dale in April 1943. Over the summer, whilst a Drem airfield lighting system was installed at Talbenny, Dale became the base for 303 Ferry Training Unit (FTU). On 5 September 1943, Dale became the base for 794 Squadron of the Royal Navy Fleet Arm Air. 794 Squadron were a target towing units utilising Boulton Paul Defiants, Fairey Fulmars, and Miles Masters and Martinets. 794 Squadron moved to Henstridge on 22 November 1943, and were replaced by 762 Squadron on 1 April 1944. The unit operated Bristol Blenheims and Beaufighters, and later Wellingtons and De Havilland Mosquitoes. The unit moved to Ford on 8 December 1945. In the summer of 1945, the fighter direction school Squadron 790 operated from Dale working with the ground training school at Kete. A nightfighter school was established on 1 February 1946 with Fairey Fireflies and Avro Ansons. The school was disbanded on 1 October 1946 to join with 790 Squadron. When 790 Squadron were re-assigned to Culrose on 13 December 1947, Dale closed as an airfield.

Sources include:
Defence of Britain Project
Jones, I, 2007 Airfields and Landing Places of Wales: West, pg126-135
Lloyd, T, 2004, Pembrokeshire (Pevsner Buildings of Wales Series), pg 182
Phillips, Alan, 2006, Military Airfields Wales, pg64-70
Smith, David J, 1982 Action Stations 3: Military Airfields of Wales and the North West, pg72-3

RCAHMW, June 2008.

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Archive Records