RAF Thorney Island airfield

AddressThorney Island, Emsworth, West Sussex PO10, UK
CountyEast & West Sussex
Location typeAirfield
Site Ownership and Access InformationToday the site is owned by the Ministry of Defence and is an Army base. Public access only to the footpath that runs around the edge of the island: no public access to the airfield.
Contact detailsMinistry of Defence

Check details before visiting

Thorney Island is nearly 7 miles west of Chichester. In early 1944 the airfield at RAF Thorney Island was the base for Hawker Typhoon fighter-bomber aircraft of 164, 183, 198 and 609 Squadrons RAF – though many other squadrons also used the base during the Second World War. The Typhoon squadrons were tasked with attacking radar stations on French coast in the weeks prior to the landings, thus helping to ‘blind’ the German defenders as the Allied fleet approached the beaches.

From D-Day onwards, Typhoon squadrons from Thorney Island performed ground attack roles. Twelve days after D-Day, several of these squadrons left Thorney Island for newly-created airfields in Normandy. During the Battle of Normandy (the nearly three months of fighting that followed D-Day), Typhoons became famous for using their rockets to attack German tank forces, often with deadly results.

View on the D-Day On Your Doorstep map