RAF St Mawgan

RAF St Mawgan

RAF St Mawgan Airport codes|NQY|EGDG is a Royal Air Force station near Newquay in Cornwall.


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.

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. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cornwall/4443724.stm BBC NEWS | England | Cornwall | RAF base loses fighter decision ] ]

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 that year.

Current role

Infobox Airport
name = RAF St Mawgan
nativename = Newquay Cornwall International Airport
nativename-a =
nativename-r =

image-width =
caption =
type = Military/Civil
owner =
operator = Royal Air Force
city-served =
location = Newquay
elevation-f = 390
elevation-m = 119
coordinates = Coord|50|26|26|N|004|59|44|W|type:airport
website =
metric-elev =
metric-rwy =
r1-number = 12/30
r1-length-f = 9,006
r1-length-m = 2,745
r1-surface = Asphalt
stat-year =
stat1-header =
stat1-data =
stat2-header =
stat2-data =
footnotes =

Until May 2008, RAF St Mawgan was primarily used as a Search and Rescue training base and was home to 203(R) Squadron, equipped with Sea King helicopters. The SAR Force HQ was also based here. Both 203(R) Squadron and the SAR Force HQ recently moved to RAF Valley. The 'Survive, Evade, Resist, Extract Training Centre (SERE TC) - formally the 'School of Combat Survival and Rescue' - is still based here. St Mawgan remains a Military Emergency Diversion Airfield with its 2745m main runway, and commercial flights operate from the co-located Newquay Airport.

St Mawgan is also the home of the "Joint Maritime Facility", commissioned 18 August 1995, a command for undersea tracking operated by the Royal Navy and United States Navy. It is said that the word ‘Facility’ was used because the British and Americans could not agree on the spelling of Centre!

The future of RAF St Mawgan

Now that 203 Sqn has left the remaining units consist of JMF and SERE TC who will remain at RAF St Mawgan until at least 2010. The gate guard which is an Avro Shackleton aircraft will remain at RAF St Mawgan as long as there is a military presence.


*In 1976 the film "The Eagle Has Landed" was filmed on the camp.
*RAF St Mawgan has the widest military runway currently in use in the UK (300ft).
*Cornwall's Air Ambulance service is based here.


Further reading

* Keith A Saunders, "RAF St Mawgan", 1998, Britain in old photographs series, 126pp, Universal Books Ltd, Kent UK, ISBN 1-84013-195-0

External links

* [http://www.raf.mod.uk/structure/stations.cfm?selectStation=9E11DE52-C5EB-0A40-92CC1905490BC794 Official website]
* [http://www.military.com/InstallationGuides/InstallationDetails?lb_installation_code=6170 Joint Maritime Facility]
* [http://www.helis.com/database/go/uk_raf_st_mawgan.php RAF St Mawgan] section of helis.com Helicpoter History site
* [http://jim.ball.net/stmawgan/stmawgan1.htm St Mawgan Marines] Web Site devoted to US Marines stationed at RAF St Mawgan.
* [http://www.jarheadjournal.com/st-mawgan.php Website For St.Mawgan Marines] RAF St.Mawgan Marines Website.
* [http://st.mawgantower.mysite.orange.co.uk/ Website devoted to the tower and airfield history of St Mawgan.]
* [http://splashdown2.tripod.com/theroyalairforce/id5.html St. Mawgan 1960-63 Shackletons]

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