Once a dream of an airport to serve London – Gravesend Airport was also at the cutting-edge of aircraft design and development. The likes of Amy Johnson, Jean Batten, Alex Henshaw and many other famous aviators of the time were frequent visitors.
Racing ‘planes were built and prepared at Gravesend and world record flights started and ended on the airfield’s grass runways; overlooked by the art-deco style, landmark control tower.
During the wartime period, RAF Gravesend was home to more than 40 fighter and fighter-bomber squadrons. Initially a satellite station of RAF Biggin Hill, but later an airbase in its own right, it played an important role in the defence of the UK and later in the advance into Europe. In excess of 100 aircrew were lost on operations from the base – but until recently, little mention was made of RAF Gravesend in the history books.
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