Built on a peninsula and with several of the runway approaches over cliffs, Dale opened in June 1942 as a satellite for the nearby RAF Talbenny. The frontline No 304 (Polish) Squadron immediately moved in and the squadron’s Vickers Wellington aircraft carried out missions including convoy protection, anti-submarine patrols and bombing raids in Occupied France.
In April 1943 the Coastal Command Development Unit (CCDU) took control of the airfield. This unit carried out important work evaluating new equipment as well as teaching and developing new tactics. The unit therefore operated a very diverse range of aircraft types.
September 1943 saw the airfield transfer from the RAF to the Royal Navy and Dale was used by various Royal Navy training units until its closure to flying in 1948. The Admiralty made several improvements to Dale such as a new concrete apron, the building of a new control tower, concrete huts and at least two naval Mainhill hangars to supplement the existing T2 and Blister hangars. Under Navy control, the airfield was known as HMS Goldcrest and a number of different units operated from the airfield. These included No 794 Squadron (also referred to as the Naval Air Firing Unit), carrying out target-towing duties, and a twin-engine conversion unit providing training for larger aircraft in the Fleet Air Arm such as Bristol Beaufighters. A Fighter Direction School and a Night Fighter School were also established at Dale and operated briefly in the last few years of the airfield’s active life. Also heavily associated with Dale was the ground station of Kete to the south. This was an Aircraft Direction Centre, carrying out radar training, which opened late in World War Two and co-operated with Dale, using it as its flying base. After World War Two there was naval equipment storage here under the control of a major depot at Milford Haven until the early 1960s.
The dispersal points, hangars, workshops and accommodation blocks were to the northeast of the runways. The airfield is now primarily farmland, although the runways and hard standings are still visible. A number of the buildings still stand and a hut group is now listed. The Pembrokeshire Coast Path uses the southern and western sections of the perimeter track.