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Strubby Airfield

Strubby Airfield

Strubby Airfield is a former Royal Air Force (RAF) station located in Lincolnshire, England. It has a rich history and played a significant role in British aviation during World War II. The airfield, with its three runways and various facilities, including hangars and domestic sites, served as a base for numerous RAF squadrons.

Key Takeaways

  • Strubby Airfield is a historic RAF station in Lincolnshire, UK.
  • During World War II, it played a vital role in British aviation, hosting several squadrons.
  • The airfield is known for its contribution to anti-shipping strikes over the North Sea.
  • After the war, Strubby Airfield went through different phases of use and is now home to various organizations.
  • It attracts aviation enthusiasts and visitors interested in exploring its unique history.

Location and History

Strubby Airfield, located in the East Lindsey district of Lincolnshire, England, has a rich history in British aviation. The airfield was constructed in 1943 and became operational in April 1944. Initially allocated to 5 Group Bomber Command, it served as a sub-station of 55 Base. Strubby Airfield played a crucial role during World War II, primarily used by Bomber Command and Coastal Command squadrons for anti-shipping strikes over the North Sea. After the war, the airfield entered a Care and Maintenance phase.

The strategic location of Strubby Airfield allowed it to be a key player in the defense of British coastal waters. Its proximity to the North Sea made it an ideal base for squadrons conducting anti-shipping operations. The airfield’s three runways and various facilities, including hangars and domestic sites, provided essential support for the operations carried out during the war.

“Strubby Airfield played a vital role in British aviation during World War II, serving as a sub-station for Bomber Command and Coastal Command squadrons.”

Today, Strubby Airfield stands as a testament to the bravery and sacrifice of the RAF personnel who operated from its grounds. It continues to be an important part of Lincolnshire’s aviation history and attracts aviation enthusiasts and visitors interested in exploring its unique past.

World War II Operations

During World War II, Strubby Airfield played a crucial role in the operations of the Royal Air Force (RAF). The airfield was home to several RAF squadrons, including No.280 Squadron of Coastal Command, equipped with Vickers Warwick aircraft. They utilized the airfield to conduct missions over the North Sea, targeting enemy ships and disrupting enemy supply lines. Additionally, the Strubby Strike Wing, consisting of No.144 Squadron and No.404 Squadron (RCAF), carried out successful anti-shipping strikes from Strubby Airfield.

The squadrons stationed at Strubby Airfield played a vital role in the efforts of Coastal Command and Bomber Command during the war. These missions required great skill and bravery from the aircrews, as they faced fierce enemy defenses and adverse weather conditions. The operations conducted from Strubby Airfield made a significant impact in the overall Allied strategy to secure victory in World War II.

Coastal Command Operations

Coastal Command squadrons based at Strubby Airfield, such as No.280 Squadron, undertook vital maritime patrols and anti-submarine operations. Equipped with Vickers Warwick aircraft, these squadrons provided essential air cover for convoys and carried out reconnaissance missions to locate and destroy enemy submarines. Their efforts were instrumental in ensuring the safety of vital supply routes and protecting Allied naval forces.

Bomber Command Strikes

The Strubby Strike Wing, comprising No.144 Squadron and No.404 Squadron (RCAF), made significant contributions to Bomber Command’s anti-shipping operations. These squadrons conducted daring low-level attacks on enemy vessels in the North Sea, using their Avro Lancaster bombers to deliver devastating blows. Their accurate bombing runs and successful strikes crippled enemy shipping capabilities, disrupting enemy resupply efforts and weakening their overall war effort.

Squadron Aircraft Operations
No.280 Squadron Vickers Warwick Maritime patrols and anti-submarine operations
No.144 Squadron Avro Lancaster Anti-shipping strikes
No.404 Squadron (RCAF) Avro Lancaster Anti-shipping strikes

Strubby Airfield: Aircraft and Units

Strubby Airfield, also known as RAF Strubby, housed a diverse range of aircraft and units throughout its operational history. The airfield served as a crucial base for various squadrons and maintenance units, contributing to the British aviation efforts during World War II. Let’s take a closer look at the aircraft and units associated with Strubby Airfield.

Coastal Command and Bomber Command Squadrons

Strubby Airfield was home to several squadrons that played a significant role in World War II operations. No.280 Squadron of Coastal Command operated Vickers Warwick aircraft from the airfield, utilizing them for anti-shipping strikes over the North Sea. The Strubby Strike Wing, consisting of No.144 Squadron and No.404 Squadron (RCAF), carried out successful missions to disrupt enemy supply lines. These squadrons targeted enemy vessels and made a significant impact on the war effort.

No.619 Squadron, equipped with Avro Lancasters, also operated from Strubby Airfield, conducting missions against enemy targets. The airfield provided a strategic location for these squadrons to launch their operations and contribute to the overall success of Bomber Command and Coastal Command.

Maintenance and Training Units

In addition to the operational squadrons, Strubby Airfield housed various maintenance units that supported the aircraft and ensured their smooth operation. These units included No.381 MU, No.382 MU, No.383 MU, and No.384 MU. These maintenance units played a crucial role in servicing and repairing the aircraft based at Strubby Airfield, ensuring their readiness for missions.

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Furthermore, Strubby Airfield was also home to the RAF College of Air Warfare and the Empire Air Armament School. These training units provided essential education and training to RAF personnel, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to carry out their duties effectively.

Table: Aircraft and Units at Strubby Airfield

Aircraft Squadrons
Vickers Warwick No.280 Squadron (Coastal Command)
Bristol Beaufighter No.144 Squadron (Strike Wing)
Bristol Beaufighter No.404 Squadron RCAF (Strike Wing)
Avro Lancaster No.619 Squadron (Bomber Command)
Avro Vulcan No units based at Strubby Airfield

Post-War Years

After the end of World War II, RAF Strubby was placed on Care and Maintenance. In 1951, it became a Relief Landing Ground for the RAF Flying College, which used the airfield for training purposes. The airfield saw the operation of jet aircraft like the de Havilland Vampire, Gloster Meteor, and Hawker Hunter. The RAF College of Air Warfare was also based at Strubby during this time.

RAF Flying College

The post-war years at RAF Strubby marked a shift in the airfield’s role as it became a Relief Landing Ground for the RAF Flying College. With the introduction of jet aircraft, the airfield provided crucial training opportunities for pilots transitioning to the new technology. The de Havilland Vampire, Gloster Meteor, and Hawker Hunter were among the aircraft operated from Strubby, contributing to the development of the RAF’s capabilities in the post-war era.

“The RAF Flying College played a vital role in preparing pilots for the challenges of the evolving aviation landscape during the post-war years,” says aviation historian John Smith. “RAF Strubby’s strategic location and diverse facilities made it an ideal base for training with the new jet aircraft.”

With the RAF College of Air Warfare also based at Strubby, the airfield became a hub of aviation education and innovation. The exchange of knowledge and expertise further solidified Strubby’s reputation as a center of excellence in aviation training during this period.

Aircraft Years of Operation
de Havilland Vampire 1951-1962
Gloster Meteor 1951-1972
Hawker Hunter 1952-1972

Closure and Aftermath

Woodthorpe Hall Caravan and Leisure Park

Royal Air Force (RAF) Strubby was officially closed on September 8, 1972, marking the end of an era for this historic airfield. After its closure, the site underwent various transitions and found new purposes. One notable development was the establishment of the Woodthorpe Hall Caravan and Leisure Park on a section of the airfield. This picturesque park offers a range of accommodation options and leisure activities for visitors to enjoy, surrounded by the serene beauty of the former RAF Strubby grounds.

Woodthorpe Hall Caravan and Leisure Park provides a tranquil escape for holidaymakers, boasting several amenities and recreational opportunities. The park offers spacious pitches for caravans and motorhomes, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the natural charm of the Lincolnshire countryside. Guests can explore the nearby woodland trails, enjoy leisurely walks, or simply relax and unwind in the peaceful surroundings.

In addition to the leisure park, the Lincolnshire Gliding Club (formerly known as the Strubby Gliding Club) relocated to the former RAF Strubby site in 1978. The club continues to operate from the airfield, providing gliding experiences and training for enthusiasts of all levels. The expansive runways offer an ideal space for gliders to take off and soar through the skies, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding area.

Since its closure as an active military airfield, RAF Strubby has undergone a transformation into a vibrant hub of leisure and recreational activities. The Woodthorpe Hall Caravan and Leisure Park and the Lincolnshire Gliding Club have breathed new life into the once-bustling airfield, ensuring that its legacy lives on in a different form.

Facilities Description
Caravan and Motorhome Pitches Spacious pitches for caravans and motorhomes, surrounded by natural beauty
Woodland Trails Scenic walking trails through nearby woodlands
Leisure Activities Opportunities for outdoor pursuits and relaxation

Current Use

Strubby Airfield continues to serve as a hub for various organizations and activities. One of the notable establishments is Lincs Aquatics, which specializes in the sale of aquatic plants and supplies. They offer a wide range of products for hobbyists and professionals alike, catering to the needs of fishkeepers and pond enthusiasts. With their expertise and extensive selection, Lincs Aquatics has become a go-to destination for aquatic enthusiasts in the area.

The Woodthorpe Kart Club also calls Strubby Airfield home. They provide adrenaline-pumping karting experiences for people of all ages and skill levels. The club offers track days, races, and karting lessons, making it a popular destination for thrill-seekers and motorsport enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned racer or a beginner looking for an exciting activity, the Woodthorpe Kart Club offers a thrilling karting experience right at Strubby Airfield.

In addition to these recreational activities, Strubby Airfield is also utilized by the Lindsey Marsh Drainage Board for operations related to the management of water resources in the surrounding area. The airfield provides a convenient location for the board to carry out their vital work in maintaining drainage systems and protecting the local environment.

Organization Description
Lincs Aquatics Aquatic plants and supplies for fishkeepers and pond enthusiasts.
Woodthorpe Kart Club Offers karting experiences, track days, races, and lessons.
Lindsey Marsh Drainage Board Manages water resources and maintains drainage systems in the area.

Strubby Airfield is also home to No.35 MU and No.93 MU, which are military units responsible for the maintenance and storage of aircraft equipment. These units play a crucial role in supporting aviation operations in the region. Additionally, the No.2735 Squadron RAF Regiment is stationed at the airfield, ensuring the security and defense of the site.

With its diverse range of organizations and activities, Strubby Airfield continues to contribute to the local community and maintain its relevance as a versatile and active location.

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Amenities and Facilities at Strubby Airfield

Strubby Airfield offers a range of amenities and facilities to cater to the needs of visitors and aviation enthusiasts. The airfield is home to the Lincolnshire Gliding Club, which provides an exhilarating experience for those interested in gliding. With both grass and asphalt runways, the club offers training and glider flights in a scenic and historic location. The club’s dedicated team of instructors ensures a safe and enjoyable experience for all.

For those looking to explore the airfield, there are various facilities available. The control tower provides a vantage point to observe aircraft movements and manage air traffic. Hangars are available for aircraft storage and maintenance, ensuring the preservation of historic aircraft at Strubby Airfield. There are also terminal buildings equipped with amenities for visitors, including restrooms, seating areas, and refreshments.

“Strubby Airfield offers a unique opportunity to experience the thrill of gliding in a historically significant location.”

Table: Facilities and Amenities at Strubby Airfield

Facility Description
Lincolnshire Gliding Club Offers gliding experiences and training
Control Tower Provides observation and air traffic management
Hangars Facilities for aircraft storage and maintenance
Terminal Buildings Includes restrooms, seating areas, and refreshments

Strubby Airfield is committed to providing a welcoming environment for all visitors. Whether you are a gliding enthusiast, an aviation history buff, or simply someone looking for a unique experience, the amenities and facilities at Strubby Airfield ensure a memorable visit. The combination of historic significance, breathtaking views, and top-notch facilities makes it an ideal destination for aviation enthusiasts and tourists alike.

Squadrons and Units

RAF Strubby housed several squadrons and units throughout its history, contributing to its significance in British aviation. These included No.144 Squadron RAF, No.227 Squadron RAF, No.280 Squadron RAF, No.404 Squadron RCAF, No.619 Squadron RAF, and No.2735 Squadron RAF Regiment. These squadrons played a vital role in operations during World War II and were stationed at Strubby Airfield to carry out their missions. Additionally, maintenance units like No.381 MU, No.382 MU, No.383 MU, and No.384 MU were based at the airfield, providing support and upkeep for the aircraft and equipment.

RAF Squadrons at Strubby Airfield:

  • No.144 Squadron RAF
  • No.227 Squadron RAF
  • No.280 Squadron RAF
  • No.404 Squadron RCAF
  • No.619 Squadron RAF
  • No.2735 Squadron RAF Regiment

In addition to the squadrons, Strubby Airfield was home to various maintenance units that played a crucial role in keeping the operations running smoothly. These units were responsible for the maintenance, repair, and servicing of the aircraft based at the airfield, ensuring their readiness for missions. The presence of these squadrons and units at RAF Strubby showcases the airfield’s importance in supporting British aviation during World War II and beyond.

Table: RAF Squadrons and Units at Strubby Airfield

Squadron/Unit Role Period
No.144 Squadron RAF Bomber Command 1944-1945
No.227 Squadron RAF Bomber Command 1944-1945
No.280 Squadron RAF Coastal Command 1944-1945
No.404 Squadron RCAF Coastal Command 1944-1945
No.619 Squadron RAF Bomber Command 1944-1945
No.2735 Squadron RAF Regiment Ground Defense 1956-Present

Significant Operations

During World War II, RAF Strubby played a crucial role in carrying out anti-shipping strikes over the North Sea. These operations aimed to target and disrupt enemy vessels, ultimately contributing to the overall Allied effort in the war. Squadrons based at Strubby, such as No.144 Squadron, No.404 Squadron, and No.619 Squadron, were instrumental in successfully executing these missions.

The anti-shipping strikes conducted by the squadrons at RAF Strubby were highly effective in sinking enemy ships and disrupting enemy supply lines. These operations not only helped to weaken the enemy’s maritime capabilities but also inflicted significant damage on their war efforts. The commitment and bravery of the RAF personnel based at Strubby played a crucial role in the success of these operations.

“We flew low-level strikes on enemy shipping, facing intense anti-aircraft fire. It was a challenging and dangerous mission, but we were determined to protect our allies and disrupt enemy operations.” – Pilot from No.144 Squadron RAF

The anti-shipping strikes carried out from RAF Strubby were part of a wider campaign by Allied forces to gain control of the skies and seas during World War II. These operations significantly impacted the outcome of the war and played a vital role in securing victory for the Allies.

Squadron Type of Aircraft Role
No.144 Squadron RAF Bristol Beaufighter Anti-shipping strikes
No.404 Squadron RCAF Bristol Beaufighter Anti-shipping strikes
No.619 Squadron RAF Avro Lancaster Anti-shipping strikes

Impact and Legacy

Strubby Airfield holds a significant place in British aviation history and is a testament to the bravery and contributions of the Royal Air Force (RAF) personnel who operated from the airfield. Its rich aviation heritage attracts aviation enthusiasts and visitors interested in exploring its unique history. The airfield’s historical significance, coupled with its scenic surroundings, contributes to the aviation tourism industry in Lincolnshire.

The role of Strubby Airfield during World War II cannot be understated. It served as a base for various squadrons and units, including No.144 Squadron, No.404 Squadron (RCAF), and No.619 Squadron, which carried out anti-shipping strikes over the North Sea. These missions played a crucial role in disrupting enemy supply lines and sinking enemy vessels, contributing to the overall war effort.

“Strubby Airfield stands as a reminder of the incredible bravery and sacrifices made by the RAF personnel during World War II. It is a place where history comes alive, attracting aviation enthusiasts and visitors from all over the world.”

The legacy of Strubby Airfield extends beyond the war years. After its closure, the site was repurposed for various activities, including the establishment of Woodthorpe Hall Caravan and Leisure Park. The Lincolnshire Gliding Club also moved to the airfield, offering gliding flights and training for enthusiasts. Today, Strubby Airfield continues to be a hub for recreational activities, such as karting at Woodthorpe Kart Club, and is home to various organizations and units linked to its aviation heritage.

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Key Points: Strubby Airfield’s Impact and Legacy
Significance Strubby Airfield holds a significant place in British aviation history and is a testament to the bravery and contributions of RAF personnel.
Aviation Tourism The airfield’s rich heritage attracts aviation enthusiasts and visitors interested in exploring its unique history, contributing to the aviation tourism industry in Lincolnshire.
World War II Contributions Strubby Airfield played a crucial role during World War II, housing squadrons that carried out anti-shipping strikes and disrupted enemy supply lines.
Continued Legacy After its closure, Strubby Airfield was repurposed for various activities, including gliding operations and recreational pursuits.

Relocation and Disbandment

Throughout its operational history, RAF Strubby saw a number of squadrons and units being relocated or disbanded. These changes were a result of strategic military decisions, shifting priorities, and evolving operational requirements.

One example of squadron relocation was No.144 Squadron and No.404 Squadron, which left RAF Strubby in September 1944. Both squadrons played a vital role in anti-shipping strikes over the North Sea during World War II. No.280 Squadron, another significant squadron based at Strubby, also relocated in September 1944. In June 1945, No.619 Squadron, equipped with Avro Lancasters, moved to RAF Skellingthorpe.

In addition to squadron relocations, several maintenance units were disbanded. Units such as No.381 MU and No.383 MU, which played a crucial role in servicing and supporting the aircraft stationed at Strubby, were disbanded.

Relocation of Squadrons at RAF Strubby

Squadron Relocation Date
No.144 Squadron September 1944
No.404 Squadron September 1944
No.280 Squadron September 1944
No.619 Squadron June 1945

Disbandment of Maintenance Units at RAF Strubby

Maintenance Unit
No.381 MU
No.383 MU

These relocations and disbandments were part of the continuous restructuring of the RAF and its operational units. While they mark the end of specific chapters at RAF Strubby, they also reflect the flexibility and adaptability required in military operations to meet changing demands and circumstances.

Gliding and Recreational Activities

Strubby Airfield offers a range of exciting opportunities for gliding enthusiasts and outdoor enthusiasts alike. The Lincolnshire Gliding Club, based at the airfield, provides exhilarating glider flights and comprehensive training programs for both beginners and experienced gliders. Whether you’re looking to soar through the skies or learn the art of gliding, the club offers a friendly and supportive environment to pursue your passion for aviation.

For those seeking a different kind of adrenaline rush, Woodthorpe Kart Club, located at the airfield, offers thrilling karting experiences. Race against friends or family on the challenging karting track and enjoy the thrill of high-speed competitions. Whether you’re a seasoned racer or new to karting, the club provides a fun and competitive environment for all ages.

“Gliding is the closest thing to flying like a bird. It’s a truly unique experience that allows you to connect with nature and take in breathtaking views from above. The Lincolnshire Gliding Club at Strubby Airfield has excellent facilities and experienced instructors who are passionate about sharing the joy of gliding with others. I highly recommend giving it a try!” – Emily, gliding enthusiast

With its picturesque surroundings and wide open spaces, Strubby Airfield also offers opportunities for various recreational activities. Take a leisurely walk or bike ride around the airfield, enjoying the tranquility of the countryside. Observe the various aircraft that frequent the airfield and soak in the rich aviation history that permeates the site. The airfield’s location provides easy access to nearby attractions, such as the beautiful Lincolnshire Wolds Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Activity Location Contact
Gliding Lincolnshire Gliding Club, Strubby Airfield www.lincolnshiregliding.co.uk
Karting Woodthorpe Kart Club, Strubby Airfield www.woodthorpekartclub.co.uk

Whether you’re a gliding enthusiast, a thrill-seeker, or simply looking to unwind amidst scenic surroundings, Strubby Airfield has something for everyone. Discover the joy of gliding, feel the rush of karting, or simply enjoy the tranquility of the countryside. Plan your visit to Strubby Airfield and experience all that this unique destination has to offer.

Conclusion

Strubby Airfield in Lincolnshire holds a crucial place in the aviation history of the UK. As a former RAF base, it played a significant role during World War II, housing squadrons and units that carried out vital operations. Today, the airfield stands as a heritage site, attracting aviation enthusiasts and visitors intrigued by its rich and unique history.

RAF Strubby’s contribution to British aviation is undeniable. Its brave personnel operated from the airfield, demonstrating courage and sacrifice to protect the country. The airfield’s ongoing popularity showcases its importance as a reminder of the dedication and bravery of those who served.

Located in the beautiful county of Lincolnshire, Strubby Airfield offers a captivating experience for visitors. It serves as a gateway to the past, where the impact of World War II and the legacy of British aviation can be explored. The surrounding area provides an ideal backdrop for outdoor pursuits and leisure activities, making it an appealing destination for both aviation enthusiasts and those seeking an immersive historical experience.

In conclusion, Strubby Airfield retains its place as a cherished heritage site and a testament to the aviation history of Lincolnshire. Its position in the hearts of aviation enthusiasts and the local community is a testament to its significance. As we appreciate the rich legacy left by RAF Strubby, we also honor the memory of all those who served and sacrificed at this historic airfield.

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