Hunsdon Airfield


Hunsdon Airfield

Hunsdon Airfield is a largely defunct airfield near Hunsdon, Hertfordshire (just north of Harlow, Essex), England. The airfield was operational between 1941 and 1945.

History

RAF Hunsdon, as Hunsdon Airfield was once known, become operational in 1941. The first unit to arrive at the Airfield (in May 1941) was No. 85 Squadron RAF, flying Hurricane Mk1s. In June No. 1451 Flight was formed. This experimental unit flew Havocs with searchlights fitted in the nose of the aircraft. This experiment was not successful and the unit was reformed as No. 530 Squadron RAF in September 1942. Numerous Squadrons and Wings used the airfield during its operational life. Hunsdon is most closely associated, however, with the de Havilland Mosquito aircraft, which first arrived in 1943. On February 18th 1944, Mk 4s' from No. 21 Squadron RAF, No. 464 Squadron RAAF, and No. 487 Squadron RNZAF which formed No 140 Wing (Wing Commander P.E. Pickard DSO DFC) carried out Operation Jericho, otherwise known as the Amiens Prison Raid.

The airfield was closed in 1945.

Today

Today only a few original buildings remain of the former RAF Hunsdon. One such building is the Hunsdon Underground Battle Headquarters, which was designed to provide emergency organisation of airfield defenses should the airfield come under attack. Other remaining buildings include the airfield's three defensive pillboxes, a brick slit trench used as a defence position, a complete "Mushroom" defence position, and Number 3 dispersed site air raid shelter. The last remaining blister hangar at Hunsdon was demolished in the mid-2000s.

Now closed, the original runways and perimeter track are now considerably reduced in size and used mainly by agricultural vehicles. [http://www.hunsdonmicrolightclub.info/ Hunsdon Microlight Club] uses three grass runways situated in the north east corner of the airfield.

On May 22, 2005, a [http://hunsdonmemorial.tripod.com/ memorial] was unveiled and dedicated to the groundcrew, aircrew and support staff who were based at RAF Hunsdon from 1941-45.

External links

* [http://www.hunsdonmicrolightclub.info/ Hunsdon Microlight Club]
* [http://merlinsroared.tripod.com/ Wartime Airfields near Harlow]
* [http://hunsdonmemorial.tripod.com/ RAF Hunsdon Memorial]


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