North Weald Airfield Museum is a registered charity, No. 1081157.  Run and staffed by volunteers.
Battle of Britain
The Battle Of Britain 1940 The   Battle   for   Britain   began   during   the   spring   and   summer   of   1940   with   the   Luftwaffe   targeting   coastal   towns   and   shipping. The   North   Weald   squadrons   quickly   became   heavily   involved   in   fierce   encounters   with   the   Germans   and   many   good   men were   killed.   Everybody   at   the   airfield   felt   the   losses   intensely,   but   under   Beamish's   command   the   station   pulled   together   to   do whatever was necessary to give the pilots the best possible chance in combat. This,   and   similar   situations   like   it   at   other   fighter   stations,   was   one   of   the   reasons   why   the   Luftwaffe   turned   its   attention   to   the destruction of the RAF's airfields in the next phase of the battle. The   first   major   raids   on   RAF   North   Weald   took   place   on   the   afternoon   of   24   August,   when   more   than   200   bombs   fell   on   North Weald.   At   around   4.30pm   German   bombers   and   fighters,   harassed   by   the   defending   RAF   Hurricanes,   headed   for   the   airfield at   around   15,000   feet   and   proceeded   to   drop   bombs   "in   a   straight   line   through   the   western   part   of   the   village   across   the Epping to Ongar road" before hitting the airfield itself. The   Officers   Mess,   the   Officers   and   Airman's   Married   Quarters,   a   powerhouse   and   other   facilities   were   damaged.   Nine   young members   of   the   Essex   Regiment,   who   were   attached   to   the   airfield   for   ground   defence,   were   among   those   killed   that   day.   In North Weald High Road, the old Post Office, a cottage opposite the Kings Head and the Woolpack Pub were wrecked.
On 3 September, just as the fighters were taking off, the Luftwaffe again bombed North Weald. The damage was substantial with aircraft, hangars, living quarters, the operations room and other station buildings destroyed - leaving 5 people dead and 39 injured. The attacks exacerbated the exhaustion that all at the airfield felt, but Beamish was an inspiration throughout. Indeed, he flew regularly with No 46 Squadron and was awarded the DSO in recognition of his leadership skills .
Mid-September brought an opportunity for the station to catch its breath when the German attacks on airfields abated. But it was not long before the fighters were again in demand to combat German raids over London. Throughout this period, North Weald played a pivotal role in the struggle to keep the skies above the capital clear of enemy aircraft. Losses were heavy, but many in North Weald thought that at least the threat to the airfields had passed.. Sadly, they were wrong, for on 29 October, just a few days before the Battle of Britain ended, the station was bombed again,, killing six and wounding 42. This attack was an agonising end to a defensive battle that had seen North Weald and her resident squadrons emerge with a great deal of credit. Thirty-nine aircrew from North Weald and its satellite airfield at Stapleford Tawney were killed during the "Battle of Britain period" [officially 10 July - 31 October]. But thanks to them and their comrades, on the ground and in the air, the airfield was never put out of action.
North Weald Airfield Museum
Hurricane
The ‘Hurricane’ is an exciting quarterly e magazine with stories, information, pictures etc all relating to North Weald Airfield Museum plus other related stories. Below you can view the latest issue and past issues. If you would like to receive future issues, add your email to our distribution list and you will have the e magazine hot off the presses!
North Weald Airfield Museum is a registered charity, No. 1081157.
Run and staffed by volunteers.
North Weald Airfield Museum