What was the purpose of this WWII boat-looking bus?

enter image description here

Description says:

Royal Navy officers 'aboard' 'HMS SPURIOUS MARK II' - a bus converted to resemble the island of an aircraft carrier. The bus is being driven along a runway or taxi way at Royal Naval Air Station East Haven at Carnoustie, Scotland.

I would like to write a Wikipedia article about it, so references are very appreciated :-)

  • A little on the name "Spurious MkII". The original "HMS Spurious" was in fact the HMS Furious aircraft carrier, so the Brits had a little fun with naming this bus. May 7, 2016 at 13:09

3 Answers 3


Probably for "Field Carrier Landing Practice". Here is a modern example Of course it's a "probably", I can't find a decent source for this in particular.

I imagine they would have stored chocks, arrestor wires in there but I can't find a source. Another image link ,Different Picture

  • many or most military bases have wires and/or nets for emergency use. I've seen those in place on many bases during airshows. And I've seen them on pictures of naval airfields for operational use/training. Of course apart from qualification and familiarisation training a regular landing would be preferred as it places far less stress on the airframe.
    – jwenting
    Mar 18, 2013 at 11:48

HMS Spurious was a 1930's Albion Bus that, as your quote says, was converted to resemble the island of an aircraft carrier. It was used by the Deck Landing Control Officers school based at RNAS East Haven.

Extract from The British Fleet Air Arm in World War II By Mark Barber

Extract from The British Fleet Air Arm in World War II By Mark Barber. The book, at least in its google books form, does not directly mention HMS Spurious but does provide information on RNAS East Haven.

I believe that RNAS East Haven was also known as/commissioned as HMS Peewit.


The RN had double-decker buses for training in anti-submarine tactics, they went around smaller bases to train crews.

A couple of books have some photographs of a RN 'Radar Bus' going ashore from a Landing Craft at Beaumaris, it was also a double-decker so would not have been able to get over Menai Bridge. It was presumably going to train crews at Holyhead.

I wonder how many other modified buses they used for training purposes?

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