RAF Brawdy

RAF Brawdy was a Royal Air Force station in South West Wales near to St David's.

The Pembrokeshire base was officially opened on 2 February 1944 as a satellite station for the nearby RAF St. David's. On 1 January 1946 the station was handed over to the Fleet Air Arm of the Royal Navy and was initially used as a Relief Landing Ground for RNAS Dale. It was commissioned as HMS Goldcrest on 4 September 1952. In March 1953 the first Hawker Sea Hawk entered service with 806 NAS at RNAS Brawdy. From 1963 till 1971 Fairey Gannet and Hawker Hunter were based at Brawdy in 849 NAS and 738/739 NAS respectively. The Gannets were primarily used in Airborne Early Warning (AEW) and the Hunters for advanced flying training including low-level Navigation, ground attack and air-to-air weapons training.The Royal Navy left in 1971 and the base was allocated to the Department of the Environment.

In February 1974 the Royal Air Force returned with D Flight of 22 Squadron taking up residence with their Whirlwind HAR.10 search and rescue helicopters. In September of the same year 229 Operational Conversion Unit (later the Tactical Weapons Unit) joined D Flight having been forced to relocate after the closure of RAF Chivenor.

The base was home to Hawker Hunter aircraft of the TWU, and the gate guardian at the base was initially a Supermarine Spitfire, this was replaced in the early 80s by Hawker Hunter FGA.9 (XE624). This airframe was subsequently sold to Steve Petch, a private collector.

By the late 1980s it operated BAe Hawk T.1A (234 and 79 Squadron) and Sea King (202 Squadron, B Flight) aircraft. The RAF withdrew in 1992 and the base, now known as Cawdor Barracks, is currently occupied by the Royal Signals, being the main electronic warfare base of the British Army.

Read more about RAF Brawdy:  The US Navy At Brawdy, Cawdor Barracks

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