On the 3rd June 1940 No. 16 (Army Co-operation) Squadron arrived with their Westland Lysanders but
they did not stay for long. Redhill remained inactive for much of the Battle
of Britain until the arrival of No.
600 Squadron with it's Blenheim
IVfs and the new radar equipped Beaufighter
600 Sqn. carried out night fighter patrols
until moving out in October 1940 to be replaced
by No. 219 Squadron with
it's Blenheims and Beaufighters where they
also flew many night fighter operations
until finally moving out by 10th December
A perimeter track was constructed
round the airfield (which remained grass-surfaced)
and from this led taxi-tracks to eight Blister
hangers and a dozen or so dispersal pens.
On 1st May 1941 Redhill became a satellite aerodrome for RAF Kenley and No
1 Squadron Hurricane's moved in.
No 1 Squadron had been employed as a specialist
night fighter unit and on the night of 10th
May they shot down no less than six enemy
aircraft! No. 1 Squadron stayed at RAF
Redhill until 1st June when they
were replaced by Hurricanes of No.
258 Squadron as part of the Kenley
From May 1941 to January
1944 numerous fighter Squadrons flew Rodeo
fighter sweeps over France from RAF
Redhill, all except six were equipped
with Spitfires (see movement table). Circus
operations covering Boston aircraft were
also flown from Redhill during this time. No. 485 Squadron during their stay at Redhill destroyed 14 enemy aircraft, plus 8 probable's&
nine damaged. On the 20th March 452 was
replaced by No. 457 Australian Squadron led by Sqn Ldr. M. Brothers DFC.
On 13th may 602 Squadron led by Sqn. Ldr. B.E. Finucane moved in together with 457 Sqn. to form
the Redhill wing. Later
that month Canadian 402 Squadron moved in to replace 457. 602 moved to Peterhead
and was replaced by No. 611 Squadron with their Mk IX Spitfires and flew many
Rhubarb operations against railways and
other communication systems. Later No.
350 Belgium Squadron moved to Redhill
flying convoy patrols. The airfield was
used as an advanced air base for the attack
on Dieppe in August 1942 and for this purpose,
housed Nos 350 Squadron, 611 Squadron,
303 Squadron, 310 Squadron and 312 Squadrons. During the
Dieppe raid 24 enemy aircraft had been destroyed
by the Redhill Squadrons! By this time over 800 personnel were at Redhill
and the huge piles of bicycles outside mess
halls were common sights. The squadrons
left Redhill on the 18th September and airfield
was used as an unofficial emergency landing
ground with two B-17's and a B-24 landing
on 23rd short of fuel.
After departure of the
fighter Squadrons, Redhill housed No.
83 Group Support Unit and various
second-line squadrons. In October No.
231, 400 and 414 Squadrons with
their Mustang I's part of 39 Reconnaissance
Wing 2nd TAF. In line with the
policy of the 2nd TAF, No. 83 Support Group
was formed at Redhill from 1st March, Nos
405 and 410 Aircraft Repair
Flights arriving from Detling to
join with Nos 403 and 409 already at the
airfield. They were soon joined by No,
3207 Servicing Commando pre pairing
new aircraft, mainly Typhoons for squadron
service. The airfield now became an important
platform for build up of supplies and equipment
for the preparation of D-Day. Prior to D-Day
over two hundred fighter aircraft were based at Redhill to support
the invasion forces. With the threat of
the V1 ever closer Redhill became No.
24 Balloon Centre and landings
were forbidden. The Avro Ansons of No.
1310 Flight were here for a short
time during 1944. No 116 Calibration
Squadron to Redhill from Gatwick
on September 5th 1944. The unit was equipped
with De Thailand Tiger Moths, Airspeed Oxfords
and Hawker Hurricanes and its main task
was calibration of radar used by Anti Aircraft
units and checks of predictor equipment.
In December the airfield became the base
for the Canadian Casualty Evacuation
Unit whose Dakotas flew in day
and night with wounded being transported
to Smallfields Hospital, they moved out
in the New Year. On January 20th 1945 it
was joined by No. 287 Squadron (also from Gatwick), this was an anti-aircraft
co-operation squadron flying Airspeed Oxfords,
Spitfires and Typhoon aircraft. On the 15th
January 1945 Redhill became a satellite
for Biggin Hill and in February Nos 166 and 287 were the last squadrons to occupy the airfield.
At the end of WW2 Redhill
was used for the storage of unused bombs,
which were finally cleared by the end of
1946. On April 1st 1948, No. 15
Reserve Flying School was formed
at Redhill. Tiger Moths were used as basic
trainers for pilots and Ansons for Navigational
training. The RFS also used a few Oxfords
and towards the end of its service life,
it received De Havilland Chipmonks. The
increasing complex of modern aircraft resulted
in closure of the Reserve Training Programme
in 1954 and No. 15 RFS was dis-banded on
June 20th 1954.
Today Redhill is a busy
airfield with light aircraft and helicopters
flying in the now peaceful skies.