RAF Felixstowe

RAF Felixstowe Station Badge

RAF Felixstowe

Felixstowe started as a Royal Naval Air Service - Seaplane base in 1913. During the First World War aircraft from the base patrolled the sea, looking for German U-Boats. By the end of the war the base was one of the largest stations in the world.

Things changed on the 16th June 1924 when the base took on a new role as the Marine Aircraft Experimental Establishment (MAEE) doing research and testing.

 

The (MAEE) were trialling all UK seaplanes and flying boats and over the following years more than 250 types of seaplane and flying boat - military and civilian aircraft - and others were tested and designed at Felixstowe. (See below for links to the ‘Felixstowe Class on Seaplanes’ the Felixstowe F1 and F2 etc).Felixstowe F3

 

Many served at the base including some famous people including Flying Officer Frank Whittle, inventor of the Schneider Trophyjet engine, and Aircraftsman 1st Class TE Shaw, better known as Lawrence of Arabia. (See below for link).

The station's special ‘High-Speed Flight’ won the world famous Schneider Trophy for Britain three times in a row. Both the 1929 and 1931seaplanes were at Felixstowe for a time.

Changes came in 1936 when the base came under the control of the RAF Coastal Command. The base changed hands again in 1937 when the Fleet Air Arm was returned to Royal Navy control and the test and evaluation of carrier-borne aircraft ceased.

 

When WWII started, the (MAEE) section was moved to a safer location. Basing itself in Helensburgh, Scotland.

 

In 1940 the Royal Navy moved into the base and called it HMS Beehive. A Coastal Forces base from 1940 to 1945. The 8th MGB (Motor Gun Boat) Flotilla came back to the base in Sep 1942. Before that the Flotilla was based in Dartmouth. (See below for links to HMS Beehive).

 

After the war Aug 1945, the (MAEE) moved back to Felixstowe. However the flying stopped at the MAEE when it lost its connection with the RAF in 1953. A small Civilian section manned the unit until it too, closed in 1958.


RAF Felixstowe has connections to many distinguished units within the Royal Air Force. The base helped with the Air-Sea Rescue Role with Whirlwind Helicopters until the flying stopped at the base in May 1961.

 

MTB 2561  asrbadge  Whirlwind Mk 2

 

RAF Felixstowe finally closed in 1962, but the RAF still exists today, on the site of the old No.2 Guard room (unfortunately, the old guard room was knocked down due to an unsafe roof).

 

Yes – 356 (Felixstowe) Squadron – Air Training Corps, use to occupy the old No.2 Guard room. Now replaced with a new Squadron headquarters. Next door are still the old Married Quarters, used by the RAF and then the US Air Force when RAF Bentwaters and RAF Woodbridge were being used by the US.

 

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RAF Felixstowe - Station Commanders

 

Captain C. E. Risk, RM                                                                               1913-1914

Lieutenant C. E. H. Rathbone, RN                                                             1914-1915

Commander J. C. Porte, RN                                                                      1915-1918

Wing Commander C. E. Risk, RAF                                                             1918-1919

Wing Commander I. T. Courtney, RAF                                                     1919-1922

Flying Officer F. Wilton, DCM, RAF                                                           1922-1924

Wing Commander C. E. H. Rathbone, RAF                                               1924-1925

Wing Commander R. B. Maycock, OBE, RAF                                            1925-1928

Group Captain G. R. Bromet, DSO, OBE, RAF                                          1928-1931

Group Captain A. J. Milley, OBE, RAF                                                      1931-1936

Group Captain E. J. P. Burling, DSC, DFC, AFC, RAF                                1936-1939

Wing Commander D. G. Fleming, RAF                                                    1939-1940

Wing Commander W. B. Hellard, RAF                                                     1940-1942

Wing Commander N. Keeble, RAF                                                          1942-1943

Wing Commander L. G. Martin, DFC, RAF                                              1943-1945

Group Captain W. G. Abrams, RAF                                                          1945-1946

Group Captain W. P. Welch, DFC, RAF                                                    1946-1948

Group Captain C. A. Watt, RAF                                                               1948-1949

Wing Commander D. H. Thomas, DSO, DFM, RAF                                 1949-1951

Wing Commander C. V. Winn, DSO, OBE, DFC, RAF                              1951-1953

Wing Commander J. A. Chorlton, OBE, RAF                                          1953-1954

Wing Commander W. O. Jones, RAF                                                      1954-1956

Wing Commander R. P. Burton, MBE, RAF                                             1956-1957

Wing Commander J.T. O’Sullivan, OBE, RAF                                          1957-1960

Wing Commander C. F. Price, RAF                                                         1960-1961

Wing Commander C. H. Baker, RAF                                                       1961-1962

 

RAF Felixstowe Seaplane and MAEE Badge 

 

 

The Freedom of Entry

26th of September 1958

Urban District Council Of Felixstowe

 

WHEREAS

The Royal Air Force Felixstowe was established as a Royal Naval Air Service Station on August 5th, 1913, and as a Royal Air Force Station on 1st April, 1918, and is one of the oldest Stations in the County.

AND WHEREAS

The Urban District Council of Felixstowe are desirous of perpetrating the close bonds of friendship and mutual respect which have existed though the years between the local Authority and the people of Felixstowe and

ROYAL AIR FORCE FELIXSTOWE

AND

Wish to record pride in the achievements and the honourable record of the Station and to give expression as to the administration and high esteem in which the Station and Personnel serving there at have always been held and also to show appreciation of the great services which they have rendered to the Community over a long period and especially during the Flood Disaster of 1953.

NOW

Therefore the Council do herby confer upon the Commanding Officer and all ranks of the Royal Air Force for the time being and from time to time those stationed at Felixstowe

THE FREEDOM OF ENTRY

And thereby the privilege, honour and distinction henceforth and for ever of marching through the streets of Felixstowe on all ceremonial occasions with bayonets fixed, colours flying, drums beating and bands playing. Dated this Day the Twenty-Sixth of September, One Thousand, Nine-Hundred, and Fifty-Eight.

In Witness thereof The Common Seal of the Council has been hereunto affixed in the presence of :-

Stanley Bradbeer, Chairman of the Council; J.H. Boden, Vice-Chairman of the Council; R.Harvey, Clerk to the Council.

 

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RAF Ensign

Squadrons Formed at Felixstowe.

 

No. 230 Squadron

was formed at Felixstowe on 20 August 1918 by combining three locally based seaplane Flights and took up maritime reconnaissance flights over the North Sea. The Squadron did not disband after the Armistice, remaining at Felixstowe with F5 floatplanes until 1922 when it moved to Calshot, disbanding in April 1923.

Reformed at Pembroke Dock on 1 December 1934

http://www.raf.mod.uk/organisation/230squadron.cfm

 

No. 231 Squadron

was formed form Nos.329 and 330 Flights of the seaplane station at Felixstowe on 20 August 1918 and flew anti-submarine patrols for the remaining months of the war. On 7 July 1919 it was disbanded.

Reforming on 1st July 1940 – 15 Jan 1944, flying Lysanders and Mustangs. Then reforming again 8th Sep 1944 – 28th Mar 1946 flying in Canada as a Transport Squadron.

http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/231squadron.cfm

 

No. 232 Squadron

was formed on 20 August 1918 from Nos.333, 334 and 335 Flights of the seaplane station at Felixstowe and was engaged in anti-submarine and reconnaissance patrols until the Armistice. The squadron disbanded on 5 January 1919.

On 17 July 1940, B flight of No.3 Squadron at Sumburgh was redesignated No.232 Squadron.

http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/232squadron.cfm

 

No. 261 Squadron

was formed on 20 August 1918 at Felixstowe from Nos. 339, 340 and 341 Flights of the former RNAS station. Equipped with flying boats, the flights flew patrols over the North Sea until the end of the war, although the Squadron number does not appear to have been adopted. On 13 September 1919, it was officially disbanded.

Reforming on 2nd Aug 1940 – 21st May 1941 Flying in Malta. Reforming again 12th Jul 1941 – 25 Sep 1945 flying in Habbaniva/Cyprus and Far East.

http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/261squadron.cfm

 

No. 4 Group

Was originally formed in October 1918 at Felixstowe just before the end of World War I and disbanded a year later in 1919.

The Group was reformed on 1 April 1937 as part of RAF Bomber Command based at RAF Mildenhall, Suffolk

http://www.raf.mod.uk/history/bombercommandno4group.cfm

 

 

Squadrons Based at Felixstowe

 

RAF High Speed Flight (For the Schneider Trophy)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Speed_Flight_RAF

 

No.209 Squadron RAF 1st May 1935 – 22nd Sep 1937

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._209_Squadron_RAF

 

No.210 Squadron RAF 1st Mar 1931 – 15th Jun 1931

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No._210_Squadron_RAF

 

 

 

2Sqn RAF Regiment

 No. 2 Squadron RAF Regiment at RAF Felixstowe.

 

On 1 October 1960 the Squadron arrived in the United Kingdom for the first time during its 38 year history. II (Field) Squadron moved to RAF Felixstowe as part 33 Strategic Wing an element of the Global Strategic Reserve. In 1961 the Squadron deployed to carry out Internal Security operations at Bahrain in November 1961. This deployment was to last until February 1962.

 http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafregiment/squadrons/iisqnhistory.cfm

 

 

and more, See :

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RAF Felixstowe Squadrons

http://www.rafweb.org/Stations/Stations-F.htm#Felixstowe

 

RAF Felixstowe Pictures

http://www.flickr.com/photos/kindredspirituk/sets/72157614865727218/

 

Schneider Trophy

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schneider_Trophy

 

Supermarine S6 N247

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermarine_S.6B

 

T. E. Lawrence – Lawrence of Arabia (Film)

WWI British Army Officer involved in the Arab Revolt. Later during WWII joining the RAF.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T._E._Lawrence

 HMS Beehive Plaque

 

HMS Beehive

http://www.unithistories.com/units_british/RN_CoastalForces.html

 

Felixstowe Aircraft

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:Felixstowe_aircraft

 

Flying Boats at Felixstowe

http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1955/1955%20-%201723.html

 

Felixstowe Museum

http://felixstowemuseum.org/

 

Imperial War Museum - Pictures related to Felixstowe – Interesting Photos !!

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/search?query=Felixstowe

 

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Our Location

356 (Felixstowe) Squadron SHQ,
Carr Road,
Felixstowe,
IP11 3RX

Tel: 01394 673419 Mon/Wed Evenings

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