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Historic England Research Records

St Eval Airfield

Hob Uid: 1411212
Location :
Cornwall
Cornwall
St. Eval, Mawgan-In-Pydar
Grid Ref : SW8740068600
Summary : A former World War Two military airfield, opened in 1939, closed in 1959. Work on the airfield began in 1938: the site had been chosen because of its suitability for Coastal Command. The main duties of the the airfield were reconnaisance and anti-shipping and anti-submarine duties. It came under heavy enemy attack because of this. During the Battle of Britain in 1940 the airfield was used by squadrons of 10 Group Fighter Command. In 1942 the airfield was also used for the Allied invasion of North Africa. For a short period the airfield was used by American Army Air force personnel and was designated as such as USAAF Station 129. The wartime airfield consisted of three concrete runways with a range of aircraft hangars, including Type C, Type T2, Bellman and Blister designs. There was accommodation for over 1300 Royal Air Force personnel, some of this was permanent. It was provided with airfield defences, including an unusual pair of pillboxes (please see records 1411274 and 1411277 for further details). World War Two installations superimposed on Prehistoric barrows away to the south-west at Denzell Downs may possibly also relate to the airfield defences (please see records 429196, 429199 and 429202). An aircraft crash associated with the wartime airfield is recorded as record 1366706. After the war the base was mainly used to fly Shackelton aircraft until its closure in 1959.
More information : St Eval Airfield, Cornwall, SW 875 685. Opened 1939, closed 1959. The wartime airfield consisted of three concrete runways with a range of aircraft hangars, including Type C, Type T2, Bellman and Blister designs. There was accommodation for 1302 Royal Air Force personnel, some of this was permanent. It was was used by 19 Group, Coastal Command as an operational airfield.(1)

St Eval was speficically chosen because of its advantageous position for coastal Command's purposes. Work began on the airfield in 1938. It was opened in 1939. A plan of the site included in source 2 shows that the aircraft hangars were located on the east side of the flying field, with technical, administrative and barrack buildings to the east of these. Married quarters were dispersed futher to the east across a road bisecting the site. The airfield's main wartime duties were reconnaisance and anti-shipping or anti-submarine warfare. A major action involving St.Eval was against the German vessel The Gneisenau. It was also used as a base for the preparation of the Allied invasion of North Africa in 1942. After the war the base was mainly used to fly Shackelton aircraft until its closure in 1959. (2)

St. Eval was briefly used by American personnel and thus was designated as USAAF Station 129. (3)

St. Eval Airfield (disused) SW 875 685 (NAT). (4)

RAF St. Eval was used by 10 Group Royal Air Force Fighter Command during the Battle of Britain. The following squadrons were based there during the Battle: No. 222 Squadron from 18th June 1940, No. 236 Squadron from 8th August 1940, No. 238 Squadron from 14th August 1940, No. 222 Squadron from 11 September 1940. (5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : Military airfields in the British Isles 1939-1945
Source details :
Page(s) : 182
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Source Number : 2
Source : Action stations, 5 : military airfields of the south-west
Source details :
Page(s) : 163-170
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Source Number : 3
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Airfield Research Group. 2003. "Airfield Research Group: USAAF Station Numbers"; http://www.airfield-researchgroup.co.uk; accessed 08-JUN-2005.
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Source Number : 4
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:10000, 1974
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Figs. :
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Source Number : 5
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Royal AIr Force, Crown Copyright 2005. 'Battle of Britain: 1940' <> [Accessed 03-AUG-2010]
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : Mid 20th Century
Display Date : Closed 1959
Monument End Date : 1959
Monument Start Date : 1959
Monument Type : Military Airfield
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : World War II
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1939
Monument Type : Airfield, Military Airfield, Aircraft Hangar (Type C), Bellman Aircraft Hangar, Aircraft Hangar (Type T2), Blister Aircraft Hangar
Evidence : Structure

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : DoB Non Anti Invasion Database UID
External Cross Reference Number : 537
External Cross Reference Notes :
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : SW 86 NE 57
External Cross Reference Notes :

Related Warden Records :
Associated Monuments : 429202
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 429196
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 429199
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1414737
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1465206
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1465209
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : BD563
Relationship type : General association
Associated Monuments : 1411274
Relationship type :
Associated Monuments : 1411277
Relationship type :

Related Activities :
Associated Activities : THE DEFENCE OF BRITAIN PROJECT
Activity type : MEASURED SURVEY
Start Date : 1995-04-01
End Date : 2002-03-01
Associated Activities : NHPP: WORLD WAR II TEMPORARY AIRFIELDS
Activity type : THEMATIC SURVEY
Start Date : 2012-01-01
End Date : 2012-12-31