Imperial Airways - Croydon Airport in the Second World War - Page 2 On Thursday 15th August, around 7pm a number of twin-engined aircraft were spotted by an erk from 111 Sqd. These turned out to be from a special unit - Erprobungsgruppe 210 - which was formed for attacks on the British Isles, and which bombed the airfield for between 5 and 10 minutes. Nine Hurricanes from No. 111 Sqd were scrambled 30 minutes before the attack, and were therefore able to interrupt the bombers before they had a chance to line up their targets. This interruption meant that the bombers dropped the majority of their loads outside the aerodrome causing casualties amongst the civilian population. Six Bf 110s and one Bf 109 were shot down that day, which was a costly exercise for the Luftwaffe, especially due to the fact that the target the bombers were aiming for was Kenley. During the bombing Croydon had received a lot of damage - large potholes over the airfield, a direct hit on the armoury, and 'C' hangar used by Rollason Aircraft Services was hit with incendiary bombs and the training aircraft inside were all destroyed. The Rollason factory and workshop was also badly hit which caused many civilian casualties. 'D' hangar was raked by cannon fire and received blast damage, 'A' hangar was only affected with minor damage, but the officers' mess was reduced to rubble when hit by a bomb blast close by. Five airmen from 111 Sqd and one airmen from Station Headquarters died in the attack. But it was the civilian population that bore the brunt of the bombs dropping outside the aerodrome, with a total of 62 civilians dead. Four airmen from 111 Sqd, one officer from No. 1 (RCAF) Sqd, two civilian telephone operators and 185 civilians were injured. No. 111 Sqd was diverted to Hawkinge whilst repairs to Croydon were underway, but it only took two days to fill in the craters on the airfield. History Section - Croydon Airport As a fighter station, Croydon played a front-line role in the Battle of Britain, and was also regularly visited by high-ranking dignitaries. On 15 August 1940, it became a target during the first major raid of the war on the London area: the neighbouring factories of British NSF, Bourjois and Redwing were severely damaged, and six airmen and over sixty civilians were killed. BBC - WW2 People's War - The Bombing of Croydon Airport In 1940 when Roy was 10 years old he lived in Mitchum not far from Croydon Airport. He was out playing on the street with some friends at about 5.30 in the afternoon. Suddenly out of the clouds and behind the sun the boys saw about a dozen German planes. Then the boys saw bombs drop from the planes. The bombs hit Croydon Airport which was at that time a fighter drome. Unfortunately, the bombs also hit an adjacent parachute factory where a lot of local women were working. Does anyone know which of the three was the parachute factory, and what war work the other two were doing?