London Air Defence Area

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The London Air Defence Area (LADA) was the name given to the organisation created to defend London from the increasing threat from German airships during World War I. Formed in September 1915, it was commanded initially by Admiral Sir Percy Scott,[1] a controversial figure, responsible for major advances in naval gunnery techniques, but also accused of insubordination and profiting from his inventions.[2]


At the end of the war, the following airfields came under the direct control of LADA:

Station Branch Grid
Squadrons Current Use External Link
Stow Maries RFC TQ83189955 9/1916 1919 B Flt, 37 Sqn Agriculture. Most buildings still present. Stow Maries Airfield[permanent dead link]
Goldhanger RNAS[3] / RFC TL90450885 C Flt, 37 Sqn
Hainault Farm RFC TQ46759105 10/1914 44 Sqn Agriculture / light industry. Hangars still present. Hainault Farm Airfield
Bekesbourne TR20055545 Housing / agriculture
Mattishall TG06801155 Agriculture Mattishall Airfield
Tydd St Mary TF458192 8/1917 5/1919 B Flt, 51 Sqn Agriculture
Marham Royal Air Force flying station
Rochford A Flt, 37 Sqn
Suttons Farm RFC Hornchurch Country Park and housing estate
Biggin Hill London Biggin Hill Airport


  1. ^ Peter G Cooksley, Aviation Enthusiasts' Guide To London & The South-East, PSL, 1982, ISBN 0-85059-533-9
  2. ^ Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
  3. ^ Until March 1916 Goldhanger was a RNAS night-landing ground (National Archives: AIR 1/146/15/55)
  • Christopher Cole and E.F. Cheeseman, The Air Defence of Britain, 1914-1918, 1984, Hungry Minds Inc, ISBN 978-0-370-30538-7
  • Peter G Cooksley, Aviation Enthusiasts' Guide To London & The South-East, PSL, 1982, ISBN 0-85059-533-9

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