Hedon was used during 1916 for the defence of Hull. It was the responsibility of No 33 Squadron RFC which had Flights based on both banks of the Humber for this purpose. From March to October 1916, C Flight No 33 Squadron RFC used Hedon as a night landing ground.The airfield became prominent prior to the Great War due to the involvement of one Gustave Hamel, a German national, who became the first man to fly in Hull and later introduced an air postal service between Hendon and Windsor. KLM operated a service from Hedon to Amsterdam until 1935 and for a number of reasons the site was rejected by the RAF as an airfield during the Second World War. However, Hull Corporation were close to developing the airfield for commercial use until the mid 1960s, but were then attracted to the former RAF airfield at Kirmington and along with south bank councils, developed the former RAF Kirmington into Humberside Airport in the 1970s.
During the Great War, Hedon became a garrison town for the East Yorks Regiment and the old racecourse became a storage area for the regiment's artillery.The area also was planned,informally, by a local resident as the collecting ground for Holderness inhabitants fleeing their homes in the event of a German landing.