Unit History: RAF Hendon

RAF Hendon
Hendon Aerodrome was an aerodrome in Hendon, north London, England and between 1908 and 1968 was an important centre for aviation.
 
It was situated in Colindale, seven miles (11.3 km) north west of Charing Cross. It nearly became "the Charing Cross of the UK’s international air routes", but for the actions of RAF after the First World War. It was famous as a place of pioneering experiments which included the first airmail, the first parachute descent from a powered aircraft, the first night flights, and the first aerial defence of a city.
Hendon Aerodrome was under pressure even before the war, with the possibility that RAF Hendon would become a target for enemy bombing raids. After the war the base was increasingly unsuitable, particularly because the runways were too short, and the close proximity of suburban houses made matters worse. The RAF argued the military importance of the complex into the 1950s in case future developments in aviation technology might render the base suitable again, but eventually Hendon Borough Council and the London County Council were able to argue that houses were needed more than the aerodrome. The last flying unit, the Metropolitan Communications Squadron, left Hendon in 1957. Late in 1968 a Blackburn Beverley, flown in to be an exhibit at the new RAF Museum, was the last aircraft to land in Hendon. The RAF base finally closed altogether in 1987. The area of the aerodrome is now the site of the Grahame Park Housing Estate, and Hendon Police College. The RAF Museum now situated on the site.

Search for a name in our archive

Please enter a surname
3
Small Medium Large Landscape Portrait