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Yeovilton from the air

On this day 18 June 1940

Published: 18 Jun 2013

On this day 18 June 1940 Royal Naval Air Station Yeovilton commissioned as HMS HERON

It officially opened 1 June 1940, but there was some temporary earlier use by units from RNAS Ford. It commissioned as HMS HERON 18 June 1940 initially as the home of No1. Naval Air Fighter School and later the Aircraft Direction Centre.

It became the base for small ships flights which moved from Portland in 1999, a duty now carried out by 815NAS.

16 June 1962 RNAS Yeovilton was awarded the Freedom of the Borough of Yeovil.

Today, RNAS Yeovilton is one of the Navy’s two principal air bases, and one of the busiest military airfields in the UK. It is home to the Lynx Wildcat Maritime Force and the Commando Helicopter Force, with more than 100 aircraft operating on front-line squadrons and training units, plus the legendary vintage aircraft of the RN Historic Flight. It is also home of the Fleet Air Arm Memorial Church, which houses the Fleet Air Arm Memorial Roll of Honour.

The base is located near Yeovil in Somerset and covers around 1,400 acres with the main airfield in Yeovilton itself and the satellite at Ilton (Merryfield). Some 4,300 personnel, Service and civilian, including MOD employees and permanent contractors are employed on the base. In addition to the squadrons, the air station is home to the Navy’s Fighter Controller School, the School of Aircraft Control, and the Helicopter Underwater Escape Trainer. RNAS Yeovilton also hosts the world famous Fleet Air Arm Museum.


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