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RAF Henlow in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

The Wartime Memories Project

- RAF Henlow during the Second World War -

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RAF Henlow

   RAF Henlow is situated 5 miles north of Hitchin in Bedfordshire. It opened in May 1918 and during the second world war was homw to No. 13 Maintenance Unit who assembled Canadian built Hawker Hurricanes, which arrived in packing crates. The control tower was unique as it was constructed from Hawker Hurricane wooden spares crates, sadly it was demolished in 2006 after efforts to move it to a museum were unsuccessful. RAF Henlow is still active with RAF training units flying from the grass runways.

Squadrons stationed here during the Second World War.

  • No. 13 Maintenance Unit.


    If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have served at

RAF Henlow

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Did you know? We also have a section on The Great War. and a Timecapsule to preserve stories from other conflicts for future generations.

B Lesley Harding

Lesley Harding volunteered for the RAF soon after the war broke out in 1939. He did his Square Bashing etc at Uxbridge and when this was finished he was posted to Henlow to train as an Aircraft Electrician. When this training was finished he was posted to Bircham Newton in Norfolk to a Squadron of Blenheim Bombers.

Towards the end of 1940 the squadron moved to Limavaddy in Northern Ireland where it stayed until about May of 1941. Then without any Embarkation leave he was put on a convoy to Egypt via South Africa. Dad was possibly the worst sailor and suffered horribly from seasickness. The convoy put in at Capetown and stayed there for a few days to allow the troops to recover. When they set off again dad told me about the lady opera singer who used to stand on the dockside and sing to each convoy as they left the harbour. Hazel and I heard about this when we visited South Africa a couple of years ago.

Upon arrival in Egypt, Dad was posted to a Squadron of Wellington Bombers and moved up into the desert where the Eighth Army were fighting the Italian Army. Then the German Afrika Corps joined in the fighting and drove the British back to Torbruk. When the Eighth Army were strong enough they began to push the Germans back and a lot of the RAF Personnel, Dad included, were used as Army backup Troops. Then dad, and part of his Squadron, were posted to Malta. The Germans had cut Malta off from the Convoys supplying Food etc., living in starvation conditions. Then the Navy eventually managed to get though and things changed for the better. Dad went onto serve in Sicilly and Italy until the war ended. He finally arrived home about September 1945, and found his little brother serving in the Parachute Regiment.


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