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LLANGEFNI AIRSHIP STATION

Site Details


NPRN 407782

Map Reference SH47NW

Grid Reference SH41557605

Unitary (Local) Authority Isle of Anglesey

Old County Anglesey

Community Bodffordd

Type of Site AIRFIELD, AIRSHIP STATION

Broad Class DEFENCE

Period Modern

Site Description The present day Mona airfield is built on the same site, and hence there is very little surviving evidence of the earlier airship station. The station was constructed during the summer of 1915. It necessitated hedges being removed; the construction of an airship shed 36m (120ft) x 96.9m (318ft) long; the building of wooden and corrugated iron roofed workshops, gas production sheds and accommodation huts.

Event and Historical Information:
The development of Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Llangefni was an Admiralty initiative to provide a deterrent to enemy submarines operating in the Irish Sea through the deployment of airships adapted for sea patrol (a second station was established at Cheriton Carew, Milton, see NPRN 309962 ). Llangefni was commissioned on 26 September 1915 as part of 14 Group when airship SS18 arrived from Kingsnorth. The airship was joined by SS24, SS25 and SS32. The airship patrolled an area extending from Anglesey to Morecambe Bay and Dublin, and also undertook experiments in the deployment of hydrophones. In June 1917, the Llangefni airships were replaced with Mark IIs (SSP1, SSP5 and SSP6) and in November, two Airco DH 4 aircraft were also deployed. On 6 June 1918, eight Airco DH6s were deployed into two flights (521 and 522) from 255 Squadron and remained until 15 August. RNAS Llangefni received eight of the new SS Zero type airships (Z31, Z33-35, Z50-1, and Z72-3) equipped with Rolls Royce engines for speed and greater endurance and able to carry an increased bombing payload of three 100lbs bombs or one 230lbs bomb. On 29 June 1919, Z35 broke the endurance record for an airship through a flight which encompassed Scotland. At the end of the war, RNAS Llangefni was passed to the Government Disposal Board in 1920. It was bought by Anglesey County Council and the buildings used for awhile as a small local hospital. The airship shed and associated buildings were demolished and sold.

Sources include:
Defence of Britain Project
Phillips, Alan, 2006, Military Airfields Wales, pg 135-140

RCAHMW, May 2008.

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