RNAS Pulham

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RNAS Pulham
R-33 at mast 1921.JPG
Looking North east at the R-33 at its mooring mast at RNAS Pulham circa 1921. Shed 2 is on the left and shed 1 is on the right. The hydrogen storage tanks can be seen behind.
IATA: noneICAO: none
Summary
Airport type Military: Airship station
Operator Royal Navy, RAF
Location Pulham St Mary
In use 1915 - 1948
Elevation AMSL 138 ft / 42 m
Coordinates 52°24′26″N 1°13′45″E / 52.40722°N 1.22917°E / 52.40722; 1.22917Coordinates: 52°24′26″N 1°13′45″E / 52.40722°N 1.22917°E / 52.40722; 1.22917
Map
RNAS Pulham is located in Norfolk
RNAS Pulham
RNAS Pulham
Location in Norfolk

RNAS Pulham (later RAF Pulham) was an Royal Navy Air Service (RNAS) airship station, near Pulham St Mary 18 mi (29 km) south of Norwich, UK. Though land was purchased by the Royal Navy in 1912 the site was not operational until 1915. From 1918 to 1958, the unit was a Royal Air Force establishment.

History[edit]

Pulham was one of the main British airship stations, with more than 3,000 men on the base at the end of the First World War. Initially it was used for airships that operated patrols over the North Sea (such as the Coastal and SS types) until their areas were taken over by seaplanes.

The R34 landed at RNAS Pulham to complete the first two-way flown crossing of the Atlantic in July 1919.

The R34 over RNAS Pulham

After the loss of the R101 in 1930 and the end of British airships the station was moved on to a care and maintenance basis only.[1]

In its heyday Pulham had its own hydrogen plant, one small and two large airship sheds (one was later moved to Cardington base in 1930, the other was scrapped in 1948) and a permanent mooring mast.[2]

During World War II, Pulham Air Station was used as an aircraft salvage yard for the eastern England, with several huge dumps of scrapped aircraft. The resultant contamination of the land is visible even today. The RAF used Pulham for storage and Maintenance Unit work until closure in 1958.

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