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How RNAS Llangefni helped patrol skies against the Germans.

WHEN war was declared the servicemen of Anglesey immediately answered the call and started to leave their bases for the front the following day.

WHEN war was declared the servicemen of Anglesey immediately answered the call and started to leave their bases for the front the following day.

There then followed local initiatives to encourage more men to volunteer for the forces and there was a keen uptake.

There then followed local initiatives to encourage more men to volunteer for the forces and there was a keen uptake.

The men who could not join up due to age or employed in war-related activities were given the chance to join the Special Constabulary of the Legion of Volunteers. The Legion soon became the Volunteer Regiment and over 1,200 men joined the Volunteer (Anglesey) battalion.

The men who could not join up due to age or employed in war-related activities were given the chance to join the Special Constabulary of the Legion of Volunteers. The Legion soon became the Volunteer Regiment and over 1,200 men joined the Volunteer (Anglesey) battalion.

Irish Sea ferries, called steamers in those days, were converted into armed vessels and went on to serve in different theatres during the war. Two, the Anglia and Hibernia, were lost during the conflict.

Irish Sea ferries, called steamers in those days, were converted into armed vessels and went on to serve in different theatres during the war. Two, the Anglia and Hibernia, were lost during the conflict.

Naval patrols were based at Holyhead but the increased threat posed by German submarines led to military officials creating an airship station at Mona deploying airships adapted for sea patrol.

Naval patrols were based at Holyhead but the increased threat posed by German submarines led to military officials creating an airship station at Mona deploying airships adapted for sea patrol.

The station was constructed during the summer of 1915. It necessitated hedges being removed; the construction of an airship shed 320 feet long and 120 feet wide, wooden and corrugated iron roofed workshops, gas production sheds and accommodation huts.

The station was constructed during the summer of 1915. It necessitated hedges being removed; the construction of an airship shed 320 feet long and 120 feet wide, wooden and corrugated iron roofed workshops, gas production sheds and accommodation huts.

Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Llangefni was commissioned on September 26 1915 as part of 14 Group when airship SS18 arrived from Kingsnorth.

Royal Naval Air Station (RNAS) Llangefni was commissioned on September 26 1915 as part of 14 Group when airship SS18 arrived from Kingsnorth.

This airship was subsequently joined by SS24, SSW25 and SS32. The airship patrolled an area extending from Anglesey to Morecambe Bay and Dublin, and also undertook experiments in the deployment of hydrophones.

from Anglesey to Morecambe Bay and Dublin, and also undertook experiments in the deployment of hydrophones.

In June 1917, the Llangefni airships were replaced with Mark IIs (SSP1, SSP5 and SSP6) and in November, two Airco DH 4 aircraft were also deployed. On 6 June 1918, eight Airco DH6s were deployed into two flights (521 and 522) from 255 Squadron and remained until 15 August.

In June 1917, the Llangefni airships were replaced with Mark IIs (SSP1, SSP5 and SSP6) and in November, two Airco DH 4 aircraft were also deployed. On 6 June 1918, eight Airco DH6s were deployed into two flights (521 and 522) from 255 Squadron and remained until 15 August.

As the end of the war approached RNAS Llangefni received six of the new SS Zero type airships (Z31, Z33-35, Z50-1, and Z72-3) equipped with Rolls Royce engines for speed and greater endurance and able to carry an increased bombing payload of three 100lbs bombs or one 230lbs bomb. On June 29, 1919, Z35 broke the endurance record for an airship through a flight which encompassed Scotland.

As the end of the war approached RNAS Llangefni received six of the new SS Zero type airships (Z31, Z33-35, Z50-1, and Z72-3) equipped with Rolls Royce engines for speed and greater endurance and able to carry an increased bombing payload of three 100lbs bombs or one 230lbs bomb. On June 29, 1919, Z35 broke the endurance record for an airship through a flight which encompassed Scotland.

At the end of the war, RNAS Llangefni was passed to the Government Disposal Board in 1920. It was bought by Anglesey County Council and the buildings used for awhile as an isolation hospital. The airship shed and associated buildings were demolished and sold.

At the end of the war, RNAS Llangefni was passed to the Government Disposal Board in 1920. It was bought by Anglesey County Council and the buildings used for awhile as an isolation hospital. The airship shed and associated buildings were demolished and sold.

The present day Mona The present day Mona airfield is built on the same site, and hence there is very little surviving evidence of the earlier airship station.

airfield is built on the same site, and hence there is very little surviving evidence of the earlier airship station.

The construction of the airfield was complete by the summer of 1942 and included the redevelopment of the former mooring area for airships from the First World War.

The construction of the airfield was complete by the summer of 1942 and included the redevelopment of the former mooring area for airships from the First World War.

Three T-type hangers were built on the old airship mooring areas and a further 17 blister type hangers around the perimeter track. The concrete runways were originally laid in 1943.

Three T-type hangers were built on the old airship mooring areas and a further 17 blister type hangers around the perimeter track. The concrete runways were originally laid in 1943.

It was controlled by RAF Training Command. The base was to be used for 6 Air Gunnery School (AGS) but this unit failed to form and 3 AGS was transferred to Mona in December with 48 Blackburn Bothas, eight Miles Martinets and six Fairy Battles which were used for target towing.

It was controlled by RAF Training Command. The base was to be used for 6 Air Gunnery School (AGS) but this unit failed to form and 3 AGS was transferred to Mona in December with 48 Blackburn Bothas, eight Miles Martinets and six Fairy Battles which were used for target towing.

These aircraft were replaced Avro Ansons before the unit returned to Castle Kennedy in October 1943.

These aircraft were replaced Avro Ansons before the unit returned to Castle Kennedy in October 1943.

In the spring of 1943, a Fight of Masters came to Mona from 5 Pilots Advanced Flying Unit In the spring of 1943, a Fight of Masters came to Mona from 5 Pilots Advanced Flying Unit (P AFU), Tern Hill, to train Turkish officers. 8 Observers Advanced Flying Unit (O AFU) equipped with Ansons arrived in November 1943 and stayed until disbanded in June 1945. Towards the end of the war, the number of staff was 1378 RAF and 408 WAAF (110 RAF and eight WAAF officers, 220 RAF and 10 WAAF NCOs, 1048 RAF and 390 WAAF of other ranks).

(P AFU), Tern Hill, to train Turkish officers. 8 Observers Advanced Flying Unit (O AFU) equipped with Ansons arrived in November 1943 and stayed until disbanded in June 1945. Towards the end of the war, the number of staff was 1378 RAF and 408 WAAF (110 RAF and eight WAAF officers, 220 RAF and 10 WAAF NCOs, 1048 RAF and 390 WAAF of other ranks).

At the end of the war, the airfield was placed on care and maintenance. It re-opened in July 1951 as a relief landing ground for Vampires from 202 Advanced Flying School (AFS) operating from RAF Valley.

At the end of the war, the airfield was placed on care and maintenance. It re-opened in July 1951 as a relief landing ground for Vampires from 202 Advanced Flying School (AFS) operating from RAF Valley.

The main runway was lengthened to 1828m (6000ft) in the 1950s for use by jet aircraft, and the two others withdrawn.

The main runway was lengthened to 1828m (6000ft) in the 1950s for use by jet aircraft, and the two others withdrawn.

The tower is the original building modified with a large picture window. All of the blister hangars have been removed, and only one of the hangars remains.

The tower is the original building modified with a large picture window. All of the blister hangars have been removed, and only one of the hangars remains.

This is now used to house light aircraft operated by the Mona Flying Club and private owners and occasionally RAF aircraft damaged in incidents on the airfield.

This is now used to house light aircraft operated by the Mona Flying Club and private owners and occasionally RAF aircraft damaged in incidents on the airfield.

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| RNAS Llangefni (RAF Mona) in 1918 (main) and senior staff (top) | RNAS Llangefni (RAF Mona) in 1918 (main) and senior staff (top)
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Title Annotation:Actualite
Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Date:Aug 5, 2014
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