RAF Hinaidi

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Royal Air Force Station Hinaidi was a British Royal Air Force station near Baghdad in the Kingdom of Iraq. It was established as the main British base in Iraq after World War I, initially under British Army command until the Royal Air Force took over in 1922. There were extensive barracks, recreational facilities, a large hospital, Air Headquarters, communication facilities, maintenance units, aeroplane squadron hangars, RAF Armoured Car Company lines and a Civil Cantonment. Many British personnel still lie buried in the RAF Cemetery (the Peace Cemetery, now derelict) at Hinaidi. The register of those buried is held by the RAF Habbaniya Association.

In Clause 1 of the "Annexure to Treaty of Alliance" section of the Anglo-Iraqi Treaty of 1930, maintaining a force at Hinaidi was indicated to be permitted for a period of "five years after the entry into force of this Treaty." This time was provided "in order to enable His Majesty the King of 'Iraq to organise the necessary forces to replace them."

RAF Dhibban (renamed RAF Habbaniya in 1938) was built to replace Hinaidi and the RAF began to move there in 1936, and Hinaidi was handed over to the Iraqi Government in 1938.[1]

By April 1941, during the 1941 Iraqi coup d'état, the base had been vacated by the British and was renamed "Rashid Airfield" by the Iraqis.[2] The name was in honor of Rashid Ali, former Iraqi Prime Minister and the leader of the coup. During the Anglo-Iraqi War in May 1941, the base was used by the Royal Iraqi Air Force in the fighting against the RAF.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The National Archives UK AIR 28/330 et al
  2. ^ Lyman, p. 27

References[edit]

  • Lyman, Robert (2006). Iraq 1941: The Battles for Basra, Habbaniya, Fallujah and Baghdad. Campaign. Oxford, New York: Osprey Publishing. p. 96. ISBN 1-84176-991-6.