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London Southend Airport

Hob Uid: 1410928
Location :
Essex, Southend-On-Sea
Rochford, Southend-On-Sea
Rochford, Southend-On-Sea
Grid Ref : TQ8680089200
Summary : A civil airport, which had phases of use as a military airfield in both World Wars. The site opened as a military airfield for the Royal Flying Corps in 1916. It was used during World War One for training airmen and to attempt to intercept German raids on London. In 1919 the airfield was decommissioned and the site reverted to farmland. It reopened in 1935 as a civil airport. In 1939 the airport was once more used as a military airfield, known as RAF Rochford, mainly for fighter units of various nationalities. It was used by 11 Group of the Royal Air Force during the Battle of Britain: this group was the most heavily engaged in that battle. The airfield was still grass surfaced, and was equipped with a mixture of Bellman and Blister aircraft hangars. The airfield was protected by three Pickett Hamilton forts, (a special type of retractable pillbox) one of which survived in 1989 In 1944 it was also for armament practice and as a barrage balloon centre. After World War Two, it was again a civil airport. In 1955-1956 two hard runways were added. In 1995 there was a major programme of refurbishment at the airport, som airport buildings were demolished, and others rennovated. In the early years of the 21st century there are plans to expand the airport.
More information : London Southend Airport, formerly Southend Municpal Airport , A civil airport, which had phases as a military airfield in both World Wars. The site opened as a military airfield for the Royal Flying Corps in 1916, after ad hoc use in 1915. It was used during World War One for training airmen and to attempt to intercept German raids on London. Units using the base in World War I included 37, 11 and 61 Squadrons RFC. In 1919 the airfield was decommissioned and the site reverted to farmland. It reopened in 1935 as a civil airport. In 1939 the airport was once more used as a military airfield, mainly for fighter or fighter bomber units, including 37 , 65, 603, 54, 611, 324, 350 Squadrons, 222 (Natal) Squadron, 402, 411 and 403 Royal Canadian Air Force, 350 (Belgian) Squadron, 453 Squadron Royal Australian Air Force, 121 Eagle Squadron (composed of American volunteers), 310 and 313 Czech Squadrons . The wartime airfield was known as RAF Southend. It was protected by three Pickett Hnmilton forts (retractactable pillboxes), one of which, along with an air raid shelter was rediscovered and found to be in working order in 1989. In 1944 the airfield was also used for armament practice. After World War Two, it was again a civil airport: the Southend Airport website details the fluctating fortunes of the civil airport and the airlines using it. In 1955-1956 two hard runways were added. In 1995 there was a major programme of refurbishment at the airport, som airport buildings were demolished, and others rennovated. In the early years of the 21st century there are plans to expand the airport. (1)

Southend WWII airfield, Essex, TQ 872 895. The WWII phase of the airfield was still grass surfaced, and equipped with Blister and Bellman type aircraft hangars. By December 1944 the airfield was apparantly designated as a barrage balloon centre. (2)

Southend Municipal Airport TQ 872 895 (NAT). (3)

Also known as RAF Rochford. For further details on this airfield please refer to the source: The Military Airfields of Britain; Northern Home Counties. (4)

RAF Rochford was used by RAF 11 Group during the Battle of Britain. The folowing units were stationed there during the battle:No 54 Squadron from 25 June 1940, No 264 Squadron from 27 August 1940, No 264 Squadron from 29 October 1940. (5)

Sources :
Source Number : 1
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : London Southend Airport Co Ltd. 2004. "London Southend Airport: History"; http://www.southendairport.net; accessed 31-MAY-2005.
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Source Number : 2
Source : Military airfields in the British Isles 1939-1945
Source details :
Page(s) : 179
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Source Number : 3
Source : Ordnance Survey Map (Scale / Date)
Source details : 1:10000, 1978
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Source Number : 4
Source : THE MILITARY HISTORY OF AIRFIELDS OF BRITAIN; NORTHERN HOME COUNTIES
Source details :
Page(s) : 256-259
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Source Number : 5
Source : World Wide Web page
Source details : Royal Air Force, Crown Copyright 2009. 'Battle of Britain: 11 Group'. <> [Accessed 09-JUL-2010]
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Monument Types:
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Reopened 1935
Monument End Date : 1935
Monument Start Date : 1935
Monument Type : Civil Airport
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Post War civil use
Monument End Date : 1946
Monument Start Date : 1946
Monument Type : Civil Airport
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Additions 1955-1956
Monument End Date : 1956
Monument Start Date : 1955
Monument Type : Runway
Evidence : Structure
Monument Period Name : 20th Century
Display Date : Refurbished 1995
Monument End Date : 1995
Monument Start Date : 1995
Monument Type : Civil Airport, Terminal Building
Evidence : Structure, Extant Building
Monument Period Name : First World War
Display Date : World War I from 1916
Monument End Date : 1918
Monument Start Date : 1916
Monument Type : Military Airfield
Evidence : Destroyed Monument
Monument Period Name : Second World War
Display Date : World War II
Monument End Date : 1945
Monument Start Date : 1939
Monument Type : Military Airfield, Bellman Aircraft Hangar, Blister Aircraft Hangar, Barrage Balloon Centre, Pickett Hamilton Fort, Air Raid Shelter
Evidence : Structure, Documentary Evidence

Components and Objects:
Related Records from other datasets:
External Cross Reference Source : National Monuments Record Number
External Cross Reference Number : TQ 88 NE 107
External Cross Reference Notes :

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