Unit History: RNAS 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. 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 a Hawker Hunter FGA.9 (XE624). This airframe was subsequently sold to a private collector, Steve Petch, who is in the process of creating a website for the aircraft.
By the late 80’s 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.
The US Navy at Brawdy
In April 1974 a United States Navy SOSUS station, known as NAVFAC Brawdy, was built adjacent to the RAF base. In 1995 the Joint Maritime Facility at St. Mawgan in Cornwall replaced NAVFAC Brawdy and the facility was deactivated on 1 October 1995.
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