Horsham St. Faith is a village near Norwich in Norfolk, England. It takes its name from the River Hor, which runs through it on its way from Horsford to Horstead; and a Benedictine priory, founded in honour of St. Faith that, until the dissolution of the monasteries, stood there. It is near Norwich International Airport, which began in 1939 as RAF Horsham St. Faith.
RAF Horsham St Faith was a Royal Air Force station near Norwich, Norfolk, England from 1939 to 1963. It was then developed as Norwich International Airport.
The airfield was first developed in 1939 and officially opened on 1 June 1940 as a bomber station. It had been built pre-war and had five C-type hangars, permanent brick and tiled buildings with central-heating and a high standard of domestic accommodation.
The first aircraft there were Bristol Blenheims dispersed from No. 21 Squadron RAF at RAF Watton in 1939 but the first operational aircraft there were fighters: Supermarine Spitfires of No. 19 and No. 66 squadrons from RAF Duxford.
Boulton Paul Defiants of A Flight No. 264 Squadron RAF began sorties on 12 May 1940.
The first operational bomber units were No. 139 Squadron RAF and No. 114 Squadron RAF of No. 2 Group of Bomber Command with the Blenheim IV. No. 114 then moved onto RAF Oulton which was a new satellite station for Horsham
Two of the early visitors to the new airfield were the Right Honourable Neville Chamberlain and General Sir Alan Brooke.
In August 1941, an aircraft from No. 18 Squadron RAF flying from Horsham St. Faith en route to attack a power station at Gosnay, dropped a box by parachute over the south-west corner of the airfield at St. Omer-Longeunesse, containing a pair of legs for Wing Commander Douglas Bader who had been shot down over France and had lost his artificial limbs in the process.
In December 1941 No. 105 Squadron RAF arrived from RAF Swanton Morley to begin training on the new de Havilland Mosquito fast bomber and from June 1942, the squadron carried out photographic and bombing missions over Germany.