Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Killingholme U.S. Naval Air Station


A Curtiss H-16 patrol seaplane on a reconnaissance flight
 from U.S. Naval Air Station, Killingholme,

Killingholme seaplane base (RNAS Killingholme, also briefly known as RNAS Immingham) was an airfield on the Humber Estuary, 230 kilometers north of London.  The station's original missions were patrol duties to protect the local oil installations and nearby ports and to repel zeppelin attacks. It also served as a seaplane training center and had a limited amount of shore based aircraft.

US Naval Air Station, Killingholme

Although it was not ideally located due to the strong tides in the Humber estuary, there were over 900 men and sometimes in excess of 100 aircraft at the base. This made Killingholme one of the leading seaplane bases, and to accommodate the aircraft it featured a massive platform.

Base Commander, Lt. Commander Kenneth Whiting

From March 1918 Killingholme was to operate as a USN Seaplane Station. On 20 July 1918 it was handed over to the command of the United States Navy under Lieutenant Commander Kenneth Whiting. American naval aviators flew British Short sea-planes on maritime patrol from the station. They were also equipped with the Curtiss H-16, a twin-engine tractor biplane seaplane. 

American Sailor Servicing an Aircraft's Lewis Gun

Duties for the Americans included convoy protection in the North Sea, deterring German sweepers from disturbing mine fields in the approaches to the British coast, anti-submarine warfare, and long-range reconnaissance.  The U.S. station was disestablished in January 1919 and turned back over to the British Royal Air Force.

Sources: Naval History and Heritage Command; Abandoned, Forgotten & Little Known Airfields in Europe

1 comment:

  1. Chuchhill was an early aviator. Hitler used aircraft to fly to events, something unheard of until he did such.