RAF Stormy Down



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RAF Stormy Down

It was an armament training school for the Royal Air Force
Armament training

Lancaster gunners

Gunnery techniques

After the RAF departed the French took the station over and later American forces were also stationed at 'Stormy'. Flying ceased in August 1944 due to the dangerous grass landing strip. However the airfield continued to be used for occasional private aircraft and a glider club for a number of years.

Stormy Down parented the RAF marine base at Porthcawl harbour. It ceased use as a flying station because the chalk was collapsing due to the rain. Once the RAF personnel left it became a French Air Force and Naval Aviation Initial Training school. The airfield continued in use by an Air Training Corps gliding school and then a gliding club. There was only one aircraft landing there after the field shut and the pilot was lucky to escape prosecution. The only American involvement was the garaging of two Piper Cub reconnaissance aircraft from Porthcawl.

Piper Cub
The following units were at Stormy down at some point:
* No. 2 Service Flying Training School
* No. 3 Service Flying Training School
* No. 7 Air Gunners School
* No. 7 Air Observers School
* No. 7 Bombing & Gunnery School
No. 7 Service Flying Training School

* No. 9 Armament Training Station
* No. 9 Service Flying Training School
* No. 14 Operational Training Unit RAF
* No. 23 (French) Initial Training Wing
* No. 32 (French) Personnel Reception Centre
* No. 68 Elementary Gliding School
* No. 68 Gliding School RAF
Coordinates 51°30′15″N 003°40′13″W
Coordinates: 51°30′15″N 003°40′13″W
Type: Royal Air Force station
Site information
Owner: Air Ministry
Operator: Royal Air Force
Site history
Built: 1939
In use: 1939-1947
Airfield information
97 metres (318 ft) AMSL
Runways:  Grass field

Land to build this airfield was requisitioned in 1937, and the initial facilities were completed by 1 June 1939. These new facilities include wooden buildings for accommodation, sick bay and workshops.

A VR type hangar and a few concrete buildings had been added by 1940. Between February and August 1944, the grass runway was levelled and new hard standing built. Pierced steel Sommerfield trackway was also installed to stabilise the runway's surface.  The airfield was originally named Porthcawl, but was renamed Stormy Down early in 1940. The base was initially destined to be 9 Armament Training Station, but was designated 7 Observers School in September 1940. The first unit to be based at Stormy Down was 7 Air Gunnery School (AGS) from November 1939 flying Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys and Fairey Battles.

Armstrong Whitworth Whitleys c.1940

Fairey Battles c.1940

By 1942, these aircraft had been replaced with Avro Ansons, Boulton Defiants and Westland Lysanders.

Two camouflaged Avro Ansons Mk.Is
Boulton Defiants

Westland Lysanders

In November 1943, a cine-gun flight was formed with Miles Martinets to assist student with the learning procedures for curve-of-pursuit attacks. Two Piper Cubs belonging to the US Army utilised the hangers at the end of 1943.

Piper Cub
In February 1944, 7 AGS moved to RAF Rhoose. In August 1944, when the airfield re-opened 7 AGS returned for a short period only to be disbanded on the 21 August. From 1st of September, 40 Initial Training Wing utilised the base for the training of French aircrews, but it was also stood down in November 1944. The airfield was officially close in July 1945.

In 2017 the site received a commemorative plaque in honour of those who lost their lives. view pictures Here

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42 Dunraven Place, Bridgend
Contact: Mike 07840 287 383
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