Opened between South Wonston and Kings Worthy, near Winchester in 1918 as an RAF
base. Became HMS Kestrel in May 1939 when it transferred to the Admiralty. It achieved a certain wry fame during WWII when the pro-German broadcaster William Joyce (Lord Haw Haw) claimed it had been sunk by the Kreigsmarine ! Various training schools and ferry units were based during WWII. Between 1946 and 1947, based aircraft carried the fin code VM. In Jul 1952 it was renamed HMS Ariel, when the Air Engineering School moved in from Warrington. It was home to early rotary wing units but when the AES moved on to Lee-on-Solent
, the base transferred to the British Army in Dec 1960. The Army Pay Corps is still based here.