Back to Dorset Index
E-Mail me!

Lat/Long 50.58.50N/02.21.25W . Grid ref ST752205. 184 feet ASL.

RUNWAYS: Tarmac: QDM : 029-209 1000x30 yds : 075-255(north) 1000x30 yds : 075-255(south) 1000x30 yds : 114-294 1200x30 yds : 160-340 1000x30 yds.

Henstridge runway layout as built in 1943.
Construction at Henstridge began in August 1941 but the airfield was not completed until 1943 when it was commissioned as HMS Dipper .
The airfield was unusual in that it was laid out with 5 runways rather than the more usual 3 that were seen in most wartime airfields.The northern of the parallel pair was equipped with a "dummy deck" laid out to resemble an aircraft carrier deck for the practise of deck landings.This dummy deck may still be seen today ,having been preserved by the current owners of the field.
Henstridge was used for training throughout the remainder of WW2 and,in 1946 ,became a satellite for Yeovilton until the Navy left for good in 1957.
Whilst the airfield was still in use by the Navy,the first civilian operators arrived in 1953.Air Whaling Ltd,later to become Bristow Helicopters Ltd operated helicopters for a few years before moving to Redhill by 1958.By the 60s the airfield was surplus to requirements and was sold off by the government.
Henstridge today,runway 07/25 is the northern of the two original E-W runways.(see also photo below)
After some years with little activity,the Popular Flying Association's Wessex Strut started to use Henstridge for Fly-ins during the 70s,an activity which continues today.The airfield,in a much reduced size is very active with light aircraft and helicopters.In the photo below,the active area is the top left hand section.The dummy deck can be clearly seen as the lighter section of the runway in the images below.
Henstridge from the air circa 1948.
Henstridge from the air circa 2005.
No.2 Naval Air Fighter School/761 Sq, Seafire 1B,arr1943.disbanded 3-46
Naval School of Army Co-operation.arr 43,dep 8-45
No.3 Naval Fighter Wing.Spitfire/Seafire.arr 3-44,dep by 6-44
767Sq,arr ?,dep 9-52
885Sq/3rd Naval Fighter Wing,Seafire F.III/L.III,arr 3-44 dep by 4-44
887 Sq/24th Naval Fighter Wing,Seafire IIC,arr 11-43,dep by 7-44(
894 Sq/24th Naval Fighter Wing,Seafire F.III,arr 11-43,dep by 4-44

Tipsy Pic1tipsy2

The pictures above of Tipsy B G-AFSC were provided by the aircraft's owner Ron Smith.The pictures were taken at Henstridge,the lower picture ,with Ron at the controls, was taken by his brother Jim.

Back to Main List