One of the many street names in Ernesettle that owes its name to a World War II airfield, Culdrose Close differs from most in that it is a Naval base rather than an Royal Air Force base. It was in 1942 that Admiralty surveyors first looked at a site south of Helston, in the south west tip of Cornwall, and originally a 750 acre-site was earmarked as an airfield with a life-expectancy of about ten years. There were three runways, about 1500 personnel, and a capability of accommodating three squadrons.
Commissioned in 1947 as HMS Seahawk, RNAS Culdrose is somewhere that all Fleet Air Arm personnel will spend time – working, training or serving – at some point in their careers.
It principal areas of concern today are; supporting Anti-Submarine Warfare and Airborne Early Warning helicopter squadrons; training air crew and other Naval aviation specialists; and providing 24-hour, 365 days a year military and civilian search and rescue service for the South West region.
The name Culdrose itself apparently comes from “kyl” or “kil”, “ros” – something like the “nook in the heath” or “the ridge with roughland”. “Ros” or “rose” being a very common Cornish place-name element describing a small range of topographical features – including; promontory, valleyside, coastal slope and roughland.