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After an original idea by Paul Freeman.
First published 7 Nov 2010. This collection of airfields is © 2010 - 2018 RonaldV

Whiddy Island




51°41'55"N 009°28'51"W

runway: n/a - water

Whiddy Island airfield (NAS Whiddy Island, also known as Bantry Bay Station) was an airfield in Cork County.
The airfield built from december 1917 and opened for operations on 25 September 1918.
The first servicemen had already arrived by March 1918 however.
The base consisted of hangars, slipway, weather and radio stations and a barracks.
The first two plane US Navy 'Curtis H12 Large America' arrived in September 1918 and went into patrol.
They were later joined by three other planes.
The base operated under wartime conditions for only 7 weeks, logging less than 70 hours of flight time.
It was used by flying boats which monitored the area south of Kinsale (where the RMS Lusitania had been torpedoed) for submarine activity.
The aircraft took off and landed in Bantry Bay and were pulled up a concrete ramp to the airfield for servicing and storage.
The airfield remained open for about two months after the war ended.
Practice of the day was to keep patrolling in case a U-boat commander had not learned of the end of the war.
The Naval Air Station was closed on 15 February 1919.

Hangars at NAS Whiddy in 1918 (Ralph I. Gifford collection, via Oregon State University Archives, on Flickr").

Airplane and pilot at Whiddy Island (Ralph I. Gifford collection, via Oregon State University Archives, on Flickr")

1918 overview of NAS Whiddy Island (Ralph I. Gifford collection, via Oregon State University Archives, on Flickr")

After the war the base was dismantled.
Some of the materials were auction off locally .
However, there are still some remains of the World War One United States Naval Air Station to be seen on Whiddy Island.
They are located on the eastern side of the island.
The only way they can be reached is by walking northwards along the shore from the ferry pier.
The platform and the slipway can be found on the east shore, halfway between the north and the center 19th Century central gun batteries.

Some present day photos can be found here.

Former NAS Whiddy Island in relation to two 19th century gun batteries (Google Earth)

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