St Merryn Airfield what a History!!

About Us

Operated as a private unlicenced airfield. Strictly PPR. Anyone wishing to visit us must first email on even if you have been to St Merryn Airfield before, all flights must be logged by email.

Many thanks.








History of St Merryn Airfield

St Merryn Airfield has been consistently used for aviation for nearly 100 years. It was established prior to World War I as a private aerodrome, became a civil aerodrome in the 1920’s before being commandeered by the Admiralty in the mid-1930’s. It is historically important to the Royal Naval Fleet Air Arm as it was the first Fleet Air Arm aerodrome to be constructed.

Being close to the Western Approaches, the Airfield was constructed in 1939 as a model training facility. In Autumn 1940 and Spring 1941 the airfield received the attentions of the Luftwaffe who on several occasions bombed the station to disrupt training activities, by 1943 it was recognised as the leading Royal Navy aviation finishing school for aircraft carrier-borne pilots, engineers and ancillary personnel prior to aircraft carriers departing for the war in the South Pacific during the latter part of the Second World War. Many types of aircraft flew from the airfield these included, Seafires, Corsairs, Barracudas, Albacores, Proctors, Masters, Sea Gladiators, Defiants, Sea Huricanes, Martinets, Lysanders, Fulmars, Swordfish, and Hellcats.

After WW11, the Royal Navy continued developing the Airfield and it became the primary carrier-borne training facility for the Korean War. The Royal Navy ended flying at St Merryn in 1959 and the Airfield was decommissioned in the 1960’s. Mr WR “Bob” Partridge (deceased) acquired the larger part of the facility in 1967. Private flying resumed shortly after.  

As one of the most complete World War II airfields in the United Kingdom still in operation, the Airfield is considered to be a well marked and well known historical ex-Royal Naval Air Station with a long history of private flying.  

Bob Partridge established the Airfield as a major UK Gyrocopter training facility/club in the 1970s.  He also provided facilities for the rebuild of several vintage and classic aircraft including the celebrated WW2 "Grace" Spitfire, one of the only 2-seater Spitfires in the world still flying.

Bob Partridge passed away in 2012 at the age of 89. As one of the oldest licenced private pilots, Bob was flying light aircraft and gyrocopters until he was 88 years of age.







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