united kingdom Air/Sea Warfare Development Unit

Royal Air Force


1945 to 1970    

In part to study the use of helicopters in Air Sea warfare roles, the ASWDU was formed on 14 Jan 1945 at Thorney Island, with the Hoverfly (and various fixed wing types) from the Coastal Command Development Unit. There was a resurgence of interest in early 1952 when the unit reformed at St Mawgan with the Sycamore, before its rotary wing element was incorporated into 22 Squadron in 1955, back at Thorney Island. (The remaining fixed wing unit disbanded on 1 Apr 1970 at Ballykelly).

1955-1956, I was a ground crew wireless fitter posted to ASWADU at St Mawgan. We had a Sycamore copter . Pilot was Sq. Ldr Powell. Did some "bather rescue" trials at Watergate Bay. Main purpose for ASWADU then was keeping our four Shackletons serviceable K, B, A, and D. CO was Wing Cdr Le Band, and Ground Crew Flight Sergeant Powell . Adjutant, Fl Lt Jimmy Wishart. Admin Serg eant, Voller. WJ Whitaker 2730873
1952-54, I was stationed at this unit and was the first to try to be winched by the sycamore first at the end of the runway later taken to sea to be rescued from a dinghy. I was a engine mech doing my national service. I remember the sycamores in 1953 were fitted with sonar to detect submarines and the later Shackleton Mk 2 aircraft arrived with the dustbin underneath. My name is M Hawkins Sac 3137130

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1952/55Newquay Cornwall Airport (RAF St Mawgan)EGHQ
1945/48Thorney IslandEGYT

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