Situated close to the South Coast, on flat land to the north of Chichester in West Sussex, lies Goodwood Aerodrome. This pleasant rural airfield was once home to squadrons of Hurricanes, Spitfires and later Typhoons. RAF Westhampnett was at the forefront of the Battle of Britain as a satellite to the Sector (or controlling) Station of RAF Tangmere, part of 11 Group, which bore the brunt of the struggle for Britain's survival in 1940. It became the base of Wing Commander Douglas Bader until he was shot down over France, as Fighter Command took the war to the enemy with operational sweeps over Occupied Europe. Those operations included the infamous Channel Dash which saw the escape of the German warships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau, and the Dieppe raid of 1942 which involved the largest aerial battle of the war up to that date. Westhampnett's squadrons also supported the D-Day landings and the subsequent Battle of Normandy. Packed with the largest collection of photographs of this airfield ever compiled, this illustrated publication provides a detailed history of the fighting as seen through the eyes of many of the pilots and ground crew.
RAF Westhampnett brings to life those exciting but dangerous days of the Second World War through the words and photographs of those who were there.
MARK HILLIER is a Chartered Surveyor who has a deep knowledge of the history of the RAF, with a particular focus on the Second World War. He is also a qualified pilot, having flown for more than twenty-two years, including many flights from the former RAF Westhampnett, now Goodwood Aerodrome. He has co-authored three successful books on aviation and written the biography of Wing Commander Thomas Murray.