the airship sheds were still incomplete, and inducements
were being made to the contractor to try and complete the
contract as quickly as possible. One of the main difficulties
the contractor was having was that he was struggling finding
skilled local labour. Its also forgotten that throughout
the First World War, most construction work was forbidden
on Sundays for religious reasons.
Coastal Shed was completed in June 1916, with the exception
of concreting its floor. A minor setback occurred
on 5th August when an explosion in the gas generator house.
It was powerful enough to lift the heavy generator more
than 2ft off the ground. The roof rafter fractured and pipe
work was ruptured. The casualty list was three workers were
seriously injured, and seven other men received minor injuries.
It took another month for the main structural damage to
be repaired and a new plant was in the process of being
Pembroke airship crews saw action with the endangerment
and bombing of submarines which were spotted out to sea.
1918, disaster struck with the crew of Submarine Scout Zero
S.S.Z 17 were undertaking works on the main car of the ship.
The ship suddenly burst in to flame, and unable to extinguish
the fire, and with fear of hydrogen a=gas explosion, they
fled the building. The Ships envelope caught alight and
burst in to flames, and 10 minutes later the 100lb bombs
attached to the car of the ship also exploded. Fortunately
the damage was localised to the concrete trench in which
the ship was sitting. The fire caught hold of the wooden
framework of the shied, and was not extinguished until 9:00pm
that evening. Almost half the shed was destroyed, which
caused a problem for housing the other ships as well.
were tendered to local firms to repair the damage, with
a stipulation that it had to be completed within 3 months.
A temporary mooring out site was used to protect the ships
which could not be housed elsewhere. RNAS Pembroke was seen
as crucial to be able provide shipping protection and so
it was essential to have it back fully operational as quickly
as it could.
the Armistice in November of 1918, airships flew on patrol
and also mine sweeping exercises from Pembroke until January
1919. The Station was decommissioned in the same month.
Many of the buildings were demolished as with other RNAS
stations, and the land was sold off in lots. Most of the
original buildings were cleared away to make way for the
new RAF aerodrome of Carew Cheriton. The site remained strategically
important as during World War II RAF aircraft flew from
the RAF base to perform the same action as had been done
by t he SS and Coastal Class ships in the First World War,
by protecting the convoys of the western approaches.