FSX – Royal Naval Air Station Henstridge (HMS Dipper) Somerset, England, Royal Naval Air Station Henstridge or RNAS Henstridge (HMS Dipper) is a former Fleet Air Arm base located 7 miles (11 km) west of Shaftesbury, Dorset (Now Somerset) and 12.4 miles (20.0 km) east of Yeovil, Somerset in South West England. The main part of the land (355 acres) was purchased in August 1941, after which building of the airfield and the marsh lane accommodation site commenced, it was commissioned on April 1, 1943 as HMS Dipper, principally as number 2 naval fighter school, on the 11th September 1942, another 18 acres was acquired at the adjoining gibbs marsh area for an aircraft repair and maintenance site. The design and lay-out of the airfield was quite unique, having 5 runways, 2 of these being east west lay-out (07-25) both 1000 yards long, the northern runway incorporated a dummy deck landing strip, complete with under-ground arresting gear with four above ground arrestor wires, which was a duplicate of that installed on HMS Implacable for training of aircraft carrier landings, these mainly being carried out with the Seafire, a naval version of the spitfire with folding wings. The site also had its own cinema and stage hall.
By Terry Boissel