History of RAF St Mawgan
Originally opened as a civilian airfield in 1933, it was requisitioned at the outbreak of World War II and named RAF Trebelzue, initially as a satellite of nearby RAF St Eval but was expanded with twin concrete runways. In February 1943 it was re-named RAF St. Mawgan. In June 1943, the United States Army Air Forces took over and carried out a number of major improvements, including a new control tower and a further extension of the main runway. The base was put under maintenance on 1 July 1947.
1950s - 1990s
In 1951 it reopened as a Coastal Command base used for maritime reconnaissance, flying Avro Lancaster and Avro Shackleton aircraft. In 1956 with 220 and 228 Long Range Reconnaissance Squadrons. These Squadrons were later renumbered 201 and 206 and joined by 42 Sqn. It also became the Headquarters of 22 (helicopter) Sqn. In 1965 201 and 206 Sqn moved to Kinloss and in came the Maritime Operational Training Unit. 7 Sqn Canberras operated here as target tugs from 1970 until 1982, with 22 Sqn moving out in 1974. 42 Sqn and 236 OCU moved to RAF Kinloss in 1992 taking away its fixed wing station based aircraft, the Nimrods which had been at the base since 1969.
In 2005, RAF St Mawgan was one of the bases shortlisted to house the new Joint Combat Aircraft (JCA) in 2013, but in November 2005 it was announced by Armed Forces Minister Adam Ingram, that it would be going to RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland. See news article 'a bleak future in Cornwall'.
In November 2006, No. 1 Squadron RAF Regiment moved to RAF Honington and the 2625 Royal Auxiliary Air Force (RAuxAF) squadron disbanded. Helicopter maintenance (HMF) also ceased here in late 2006.
Until May 2008, RAF St Mawgan was primarily used as a Search and Rescue training base, and was the home to 203 ( R ) Squadron, equipped with Sea King helicopters. The SAR Force HQ was also based here until,along with 203 ( R ) Sqn were relocated to RAF Valley.
All Military flying ceased in December 2008 Military and the Airfield was handed over to Civilian control through Cornwall council- and become Newquay Airport.
In December 2008,RAF St Mawgan became the home of the The Defence Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Extraction (SERE) Training Organisation (DSTO) a Tri-Service organisation formed by the co-location of the Royal Navy and RAF survival schools and the Resistance Training Wing.
The Joint Maritime Facility was disestablished in 2009, and its work relocated to Dam Neck, Virginia.
In March 2009, RAF St Mawgan became part of the Royal Air Force No 22 ( Training ) Group, and now provides parenting to the following units :
- RAF Portreath- a remote radar site and the most southerly RAF station in the UK
- RMB Chivenor- home of 'A' Flight of 22 Squadron Search and Rescue
From April 2010, Defence Training Estates started to use the spare barrack buildings, and plan over the year to accommodate up to 90,000 defence personnel and cadets while they conduct various training both at RAF St Mawgan and throughout Cornwall.
In addition RAF St Mawgan provides support to:
- A range of Air Cadet Organisations from Devon and Somerset, Plymouth and Cornwall.
- Military wings of hospitals
- Host additional training including adventure training.
SERE Related Links
Related Links about RAF History
Defence SERE Training Org
A Tri-Service Org based at this StationLearn more