RAF Martlesham Heath

RAF Martlesham Heath in Suffolk was the most northerly of the 11 Group airfields during the Battle of Britain, used as a satellite station for North Weald and Debden. It had begun life as an experimental airfield in 1917, when the RFC and then the RAF tested new aircraft.

As WW2 broke out Blenheims from 604 squadron were based here, to be joined by Hurricanes towards the end of 1939. Boulton Paul Defiants of 264 squadron were also based here.

The airfield was attacked on 10th July and 15th August 1940, causing little damage as most of the aircraft were airborne. Initially the runway was grass covered, and at one time during the Battle Robert Stanford Tuck and Douglas Bader were based here, as was Peter Townsend and 85 Squadron for a short time. In 1943 it was handed over to the United States Air Force. Squadrons based here during the Battle included 25, 17, 85 and 257.