You are here: Home : Search : Search Results : Detailed Result
  |   Print  

RAF HORNCHURCH

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  HORNCHURCH AIRFIELD
DESCRIPTION + /

A former military airfield which saw service in both World Wars. It was established at (and named after) Sutton's Farm in 1915 as a Home Defence station against German Zepplin and Gotha bomber raids on London. Aircraft from Sutton's farm were the first to shoot down a Zepplin over England. Part of Number 39 Squadron and later 46 and 78 Squadrons were stationed at the airfield during World War One. Most of the wooden World War One airfield buildings were demolished in 1919 when the land returned to its peacetime owner. In 1922 the military began moves to restablish a presence. The base was not reopened until 1928; it lay to the west of the original site. It was renamed RAF Hornchurch and was equipped with a range of permanent technical and domestic buildings. In 1936 a type C aircraft hangar was added. Following the Munich crisis the three squadrons at Hornchurch were equipped with Spitfires. In 1940 during the Dunkirk evacuation and the Battle of Britain the airfield played a major role as a Sector Airfield of the hard pressed 11 Group of Fighter Command. During the battle the airfield was used by 65, 74, 54,41, 266, 600, 264 and 604 Squadrons. The airfield was bombed on 20 occasions. The base's Spitfires were protected in "E" shaped dispersed blast pens. After the closure of the airfield in 1962 much of the airfield was used for gravel extraction. The officers' mess survives: please see record 1010751 for further details. Some pillboxes, further rare Tett turrets and a blast pen have also been identified, along with anti aircraft gun emplacements and a range finder. A number of finds relating to the Second World War use of the site including spent munitions, items of kit, ceramics and part of an aircraft cockpit instrumentation have also been found. Part of the former airfield is now Hornchurch Country Park.

DETAIL + / -
MORE INFORMATION & SOURCES
+ / -
RELATED MONUMENTS + / -
MONUMENT TYPES + / -
COMMENTS + / -
Please help us keep our information accurate let us know if you see any errors on this page.

Further information about monuments may be obtained by contacting Archive Services, through the English Heritage website.