Brian Moseley, Plymouth
Webpage created: June 11, 2020
Webpage updated: June 11, 2020




In addition to the airship base, Royal Naval Air Service, Laira, a seaplane base was established at the Cattewater, to the east of Plymouth, in September 1913 and several trial flights were made from it.

Plans to create a Royal Naval Air Service station on the Cattewater were made in 1916 and in February 1917 RNAS Cattewater was commissioned.  Two hangers were erected and a railway track was laid along the length of the Mount Batten Breakwater to enable a mobile steam crane to move about lifting seaplanes into and out of the water.

The first aircraft to be stationed there were fourteen Short Brothers 184, of which numbers N1142, N1601, N1624, N1796, N2836, and N2959 were recorded by Dennis Teague, and a Curtiss H8 "Large America" flying boat.

On April 1st 1918 the Royal Naval Air Service was merged with the Royal Flying Corps to become the Royal Air Force and the Station was re-commissioned as Royal Air Force Cattewater.