05 August 2009

North Weald Airfield Museum is all about the service personnel and civilians who have lived, worked, flown, fought and died here since the airfield opened in 1916.

The museum sets out to tell the story of a famous airfield that has protected London during two world wars.  The story is told in displays, with photographs, artefacts and personal memories.

</p><p>The NWAMA Collection is housed in the former RAF North Weald Station Office. The extensive collection of photographs and artefacts is displayed in theme rooms that tell the story of the airfield and its people from 1916 to the present day.  It is without doubt one of the best documented former RAF stations. There is access to an extensively researched history of the airfield.

The Battle of Britain Room commemorates this historic event in a manner that recognises the debt owed by us all. 39 aircrew were killed flying from RAF North Weald and many more were died on the ground as a result of the hundreds of bombs that were dropped on the airfield and the local community.

In 1941, before America entered the war, two American “Eagle” Squadrons, 71 and 121, were stationed here. These were followed in 1942 by 331 and 332 Squadrons of the Royal Norwegian Air Force who stayed for more than two years.

After WW2 the station was home to the renowned 72 Squadron, 604 County of Middlesex Squadron, 601 City of London Squadron and the famous Treble One (Black Arrows) Squadron.

Continuing the story through the Cold War period, the advent of the new jet age is documented, as are the “North Weald Air Shows”. The RAF left North Weald in 1958, but North Weald is still an active airfield, used by a wide variety of aircraft.

A unique Obelisk erected in 1952 by the people of Norway, to show their gratitude to the people of North Weald, is now incorporated in the RAF North Weald Memorial. The Obelisk commemorates the Norwegian airmen who were based at the airfield during the Second World War and the Memorial commemorates all those who served. The museum tells the story.

North Weald Parish Church stands in open countryside near one corner of the airfield. It is a moving experience to visit the graveyard. Here are graves of some of the airmen, and other service personnel, killed in enemy attacks on the airfield or after having taken off from North Weald. The first airman killed during WWII took off in a Hurricane from North Weald, three days after the outbreak of war and was shot down in the Battle of Barking Creek. His is the first grave in the rows of WWII graves. Peter Robinson whose family story is on this web site is buried here, second from the left in the second row of WWII graves.

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