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CROYDON AIRPORT

ALTERNATIVE NAME:  NATIONAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY NO1, WADDON NATIONAL AIRCRAFT FACTORY, RAF CROYDON, BEDDINGTON AERODROME
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An airfield and airport site that had both military and civil phases. It opened in 1916 and closed in 1955. Originally known as Beddington Aerodrome, the site was opened as a Home Defence base by the Royal Flying Corps and as a "National Aircraft Factory" during the First World War. It is said to have been the world's first international airport and was used for extensive passenger traffic in the 1920s and 1930s, serving as the main airport for the London area. During World War Two it was requisitioned by the Royal Air Force to be used as a satellite airfield of Kenley, used by fighter aircraft of the heavily engaged 11 group. In 1940, during the Battle of Britain it was bombed by German aircraft who had mistaken Croydon for its parent base. A memorial erected in 1992 commemorates the use of the site during the Battle of Britain. Later in the war the transport Command operated Dakota aircraft from the airfield. The flying field only had grass landing surfaces (with 22 hard standings) and was provided with four blister aircraft hangars. After the war the airfield reverted to use as passenger airport but closed in 1955. Part of the site was built on by 1985 for the Roundshaw Estate. The airport terminal (known as Airport House, see record 1199233), a terminal lodge (see record 1199246) and a police post from the original airport are extant.

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