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RAF Stations in Cornwall

As a county Cornwall has not had a large RAF presence. There are currently 2 active and 4 former RAF stations.

Active RAF Stations

The currently active RAF stations are:
  • RAF St Mawgan
  • RRH Portreath 

RAF St Mawgan

Open - 1940

RAF St Mawgan Mug

(RAF St Mawgan Station Mug)

Originally a civilian airfield it was requisitioned in 1940 and named RAF Trebelzue. Initially the plan was for the station to be a satellite airfield for RAF St Eval. However during the second world war two runways were added and in February 1943 it was renamed RAF St Mawgan.

In 2008 the airfield element of the station returned back to civilian use and became Newquay Airport.

RRH Portreath

Open - 1941

Handley Page Halifax of 295 Squadron getting airborne from Portreath

(Handley Page Halifax of 295 Squadron getting airborne from RAF Portreath)

Remote Radar Head Portreath was previously known as RAF Portreath. During the second world war it was used as stop over point for American and Canadian units transiting across the Atlantic. From 1950 until 1980 it was used by the Chemical Defence Establishment producing chemical agents such as Sarin and Vx. The current role of the station is as an air defence radar station.

Closed RAF Stations

Former RAF Stations:
  • RAF Cleave
  • RAF Davidstow Moor
  • RAF Perranporth
  • RAF St Eval

RAF Cleave

Open - 1939
Closed - 1945
Remains of an RAF Cleave gun emplacement

(Remains of an RAF Cleave gun emplacement)

Located near he village of Kilkhampton RAF Cleave was used a place to storage of target aircraft for nearby firing ranges. Part of the old airfield is now used as a GCHQ satellite ground station.

RAF Davidstow Moor

Open - 1942
Closed - 1945
Bristol Beaufighter Mk X. 404 Squadron at RAF Davidstow Moor on 21 August 1944

(Bristol Beaufighter Mk X. 404 Squadron at RAF Davidstow Moor on 21 August 1944)

The three runaway airfield located near Camelford was used by Coastal Command during the second world war. The airfield is currently used as a flying club

RAF Perranporth

Open - 1941
Closed - 1945

Another second world war airfield near the town of Perranporth was built as a base for the Spitfire. It is now used as a civilian airfield.

RAF St Eval

Open - 1939
Closed - 1959
RAF St Eval airfield on 18 July 1942

(RAF St Eval airfield on 18 July 1942)

Near Padstow RAF St Eval was built as a base for anti-submarine and anti-shipping patrol off the south west coast of England. The site was compulsory purchased and completely demolished the village of St Eval. The station was very active during the Battle of Britain with both Spitfires and Hurricanes based there. Currently it is a transmitter station for the Defence High Frequency Communications Service.

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1 comment

  • What about RAF Trerew, where they have just demolished the main building?

    ALAN CRABBE

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