RAF Fairlop was first used during the First World War as a Royal Naval Air Station Training School.
A small flying club used the site between the wars and there were plans to build a commercial airport, but these were later abandoned.
With WW2 a year old, construction of the concrete runways in the familiar “A” pattern started in September 1940 and were completed August 1941.
The Airfield became operational in September 1941 with the arrival of 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron, flying Spitfires, previously stationed at RAF Hornchurch.
In June 1944 RAF Fairlop became home to No. 24 Balloon Centre with four squadrons forming part of the balloon barrage around London. The balloons were manned by members of the WAAF. No 24 Balloon Centre was disbanded in February 1945 and the airfield closed in August 1946.