|IATA: none – ICAO: none|
|Operator||Royal Air Force (RAF)|
|In use||1940-1946 RAF use |
1946-1959 RN use
1959-Present British Army use
|Elevation AMSL||354 ft / 113 m|
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. 
Royal Air Force operations[edit | edit source]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
[edit | edit source]
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.
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.
Gamecock Barracks[edit | edit source]
In 1959 the airfield was transferred to the British Army as Gamecock Barracks. The Barracks were home to the Junior Leaders' Regiment Royal Artillery, between the 1960s and the 1990s. This was an Army training establishment for the future NCO's of the Royal Artillery. It was one of many different types of Junior establishments for "Boy Soldiers" serving from the age of 15 to 17 years (until the school leaving age was raised to 16). After completing their military and trade training, which initially took 2 years, but was latterly reduced to 12 months, they would muster to their designated Regular Army Artillery Regiments.
Units and aircraft[edit | edit source]
- No. 151 Squadron RAF (1940) Hawker Hurricane I then Boulton Paul Defiant.
- No. 215 Squadron RAF (1939) Vickers Wellington I.
- No. 300 (Polish) Squadron RAF (1940) Fairey Battle.
- No. 301 (Polish) Squadron RAF (1940) Fairey Battle.
- No. 304 (Polish) Squadron RAF (1940) Fairey Battle then Vickers Wellington IC.
- No. 305 (Polish) Squadron RAF (1940) Fairey Battle then Vickers Wellington IC.
- No. 18 Operational Training Unit RAF (1940–1943) Vickers Wellington.
- No. 105 Operational Training Unit RAF (1943–1945) Vickers Wellington then Douglas Dakota.
- No. 1513 BAT Flight.
- No. 1833 Squadron RNVR
- No. 1844 Squadron RNVR
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
Citations[edit | edit source]
- "RAF Bramcote - RN HMS Gamecock - airfield". Control Towers. http://www.controltowers.co.uk/B/Bramcote.htm. Retrieved 2 May 2012.
- Halley 1988, p. 218.
- Jefford 1988, p. 84.
- Halley 1988, p. 358.
- Halley 1988, p. 359.
- Jefford 1988, p. 62.
- Sturtivant 1994, p. 00.
- "The Junior Leaders Regiment RA". G Carline. http://homepage.ntlworld.com/g.carline1/juniorleaders.html. Retrieved 6 May 2012.
- "Gamecock Barracks". Ministry of Defence. http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/WhatWeDo/DefenceEstateandEnvironment/MODFilmLocations/WestMidlands/GamecockBarracks.htm. Retrieved 30 April 2012.
Bibliography[edit | edit source]
- 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.
[edit | edit source]
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