HAPPY BIRTHDAY HMS HERON
HMS HERON also know as Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Yeovilton is 75 Years Old, officially commissioned on 18 June 1940.
RNAS Yeovilton marks 75 years of continuous existence. The site was initially identified Harald Penrose,Westland’s Chief Test Pilot who saw it as a prime candidate for a new factory in 1938. AgustaWestland celebrates 100 years of aircraft manufacture this year, which began with a contract to build Short seaplanes for the Royal Naval Air Service and the company has had very close links with Yeovilton ever since it was built.
Unfortunately forWestland’s, the Church Commissioners refused to sell to them and when war withGermanybecame inevitable the land was compulsorily purchased and building began of the first custom built naval air station since the end of the First World War.
One of the attractions of Yeovilton was that it was well away from the south east ofEnglandand less likely to be subjected to bombing by the Luftwaffe. When RNAS Ford nearChichesterwas severely bombed in May 1940, No.1 Observer’s School took up temporary residence before the station was officially commissioned as HMS Heron on June 18 1940, under Captain H.S. Murray Smith.
This Year RNAS Yeovilton International Air Day on 11 July 2015 will carry Yeovilton 75 as its theme and will demonstrate the outstanding capability past and present of the Royal Navy alongside the Army, Royal Air Force and International Air Forces, an action packed Air Day not to be missed.
After 75 years of unstinting and unfailing contribution to defence HMS Heron continues to cement its position as one of the busiest military airfields inEuropea very Happy Birthday to You!