RAF Bramcote

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RAF Bramcote
Air Force Ensign of the United Kingdom.svg
Airport type Military
Operator Royal Air Force (RAF)
Location Bramcote
Built 1939
In use 1940-1946 RAF use
1946-1959 RN use
Elevation AMSL 354 ft / 113 m
Coordinates 52°29′23″N 001°23′57″W / 52.48972°N 1.39917°W / 52.48972; -1.39917Coordinates: 52°29′23″N 001°23′57″W / 52.48972°N 1.39917°W / 52.48972; -1.39917
RAF Bramcote is located in Warwickshire
RAF Bramcote
RAF Bramcote
Location in Warwickshire
Direction Length Surface
ft m
00/00 0 0 Concrete
00/00 0 0 Concrete
00/00 0 0 Concrete

RAF Bramcote is a Royal Air Force station located 4 miles (6.4 km) south-east of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, England during the Second World War. It later became HMS Gamecock and then Gamecock Barracks. [1]

Royal Air Force operations[edit]

The airfield was built by John Laing & Son in the late 1930s.[2] The first unit to use the airfield was No. 215 Squadron RAF who joined on 10 September 1939 with the Vickers Wellington and the Avro Anson before leaving on 8 April 1940.[3]

The next unit to use the station was No. 18 (Polish) Operational Training Unit (OTU) flying the Vickers Wellington which arrived from RAF Hucknall during June 1940. The unit used RAF Bitteswell and RAF Nuneaton as satellites between February 1942 and February 1943. However soon after this the OTU moved to RAF Finningley during March 1943.[1]

During the Battle of Britain No. 300 Polish Bomber Squadron was formed at the airfield on 1 July 1940 with the Fairey Battle I before moving to RAF Swinderby on 22 August 1940 accompanied by No. 301 Polish Bomber Squadron which formed 21 days later and left for Swinderby 6 days later on the 28th.[4]

These squadrons were replaced by No. 304 Polish Bomber Squadron and No. 305 Polish Bomber Squadron which formed at the airfield during August 1940 flying Battle I's and switched to Vickers Wellington IC's during November 1940 before moving to RAF Syerston on 2 December 1940.[5][6]

No. 151 Squadron RAF moved in on 28 November 1940 with the Hawker Hurricane with a detachment going to RAF Wittering. On 22 December 1940 the unit moved to Wittering to equip with the Boulton Paul Defiant I.[7]

Sometime in 1941 No.1513 BAT Flight arrived using Airspeed Oxfords but after five years the unit moved out.[1]

During April 1943 No. 105 (Transport) Operational Training Unit formed at the airfield flying Vickers Wellingtons these were supplmented with Douglas Dakotas in March 1945. Between November 1944 and July 1945 Bitteswell was used as a satellite providing some relief for the busy station before the unit was renamed 1381 (T) Conversion Unit in August 1945 and moved out to RAF Desborough.[1]

The gap was somewhat filled by 1510 BAT Flight using the Oxford who arrived during July 1946. However, after four months the flight moved out. With the airfield being transferred to the Royal Navy being renamed HMS Gamecock.[1]

Royal Navy operations[edit]

Supermarine Seafire F.47s of 1833 Squadron RNVR based at Bramcote in 1953.

RNAS Bramcote was given the ships name HMS Gamecock following RN normal practice and it was used by flying units of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve between August 1947 and October 1957. The first unit to be based was 1833 Squadron equipped with Supermarine Seafire fighters. Initially the Seafire F15 and F.17 were used, but from June 1952, the unit became the only RNVR squadron to be equipped with the Seafire FR.47, fitted with contra-rotating propellers. These were replaced by the Hawker Sea Fury FB.11 in February 1954. The jet-powered Supermarine Attacker was received in October 1955, and because these required better runway facilities, the squadron then moved to nearby RAF Honiley.[8]

The Midland Air Division was formed on 1 July 1953 to control Bramcote-based squadrons. 1844 Squadron formed at Bramcote on 15 February 1954, being equipped with Fairey Firefly AS.6 anti-submarine aircraft. Grumman Avenger AS.5 aircraft replaced the Fireflies in March 1956. Both squadrons ceased to exist on 10 March 1957 when all of the United Kingdom's reserve flying units were disbanded as an economy measure.[8]

In 1959 the airfield was transferred to the British Army as Gamecock Barracks.[9]

Units and aircraft[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "RAF Bramcote - RN HMS Gamecock - airfield". Control Towers. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Ritchie, p. 91
  3. ^ a b Halley 1988, p. 218.
  4. ^ a b c Jefford 1988, p. 84.
  5. ^ a b Halley 1988, p. 358.
  6. ^ a b Halley 1988, p. 359.
  7. ^ a b Jefford 1988, p. 62.
  8. ^ a b Sturtivant 1994, p. 00.
  9. ^ "The Junior Leaders Regiment RA". G Carline. Retrieved 6 May 2012. 
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Bramcote". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 


  • Jefford, C.G, MBE,BA,RAF (Retd). RAF Squadrons, a Comprehensive Record of the Movement and Equipment of all RAF Squadrons and their Antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury, Shropshire, UK: Airlife Publishing, 1988. ISBN 1-84037-141-2.
  • Sturtivant, R. The Squadrons of the Fleet Air Arm. Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd, 2001. ISBN 0-85130-223-8.
  • Halley, J.J. The Squadrons of the Royal Air Force & Commonwealth, 1981-1988. Tonbridge, Kent, UK: Air-Britain (Historians) Ltd., 1988. ISBN 0-85130-164-9.
  • Ritchie, Berry (1997). The Good Builder: The John Laing Story. James & James. 

External links[edit]