Digby - RCAF Digby
Updated: 2 Jan 08
CHAPTER 3 - THE WAR YEARS
e. 1945 - RAF Digby prepares for peace
By the beginning of 1945 the war was obviously drawing to a close, and activities on the Station reflect this. Bad weather restricted flying to routine calibration duties by aircraft of No 527 Squadron (now amalgamated with No 528 to form one Squadron). The Station diary records that dances were held and classes were started to help people prepare for peacetime. Lincoln Technical College was the centre for education for peace, a connection with Lincoln Technical College which the Station still has.
An election was held on the Station - but with a difference. This was election for Canadians — the Provincial Elections f or Alberta, and Canadians at Digby who hailed from Alberta were allowed to cast a vote on the Station.
Sports started again — at ice hockey the Station was runner—up in the Canadian overseas championships. In a more exotic sport, curling, the Station team reached the second round in the British Open Championship
In April, Group Captain Bristow assumed command of the Station, and later in May a new establishment made the Station RAF Digby again. However, the Station’s connection is shown forever in its Station Crest. The Maple Leaf which is the central motif of the badge is a perpetual reminder of the time when Digby was a Canadian Air Force Station. (See Appendix 7). All Canadians were to be posted away and most went shortly afterwards. Flying was by Nos 527 and 116 Squadrons only, on calibration duties. Finally, on 22 July 1945 the Station left Fighter Command and was handed over to Technical Training Command.
During the time in Fighter Command the Station saw many types of aircraft, many different squadrons, and many famous people. Some squadrons were here for long periods, others merely used the airfield as a relief. A list of aircraft and squadrons known to have been at Digby during the war and some of its better known residents and visitors are shown at Appendix 8.
In addition to its flying duties, Digby had been a sector station, responsible for Northern England with the Sector Operations Room located in Blankney Hall. Part of this hall was seriously damaged by fire, but fortunately the Operations Room was still able to carry out its duties from Blankney.
Bishop Kenneth Healey, of Long Sutton, was Vicar of Digby (and Bloxholm
and Ashby-de-la-Launde) during the first 3 ½ years
of the war, and. recalls some those times. “In spite of all the
enemy bombing of Lincolnshire, the damage that I remember to have been
done at RAF Digby was on 2 or 3 daylight raids, in low cloud conditions.
A high proportion of the bombs dropped failed to explode: I remember
the policeman calling at my Vicarage (Ashby-de—la—Launde)
to consult my large scale Ordnance Map to get a correct siting on one
such very large unexploded bomb for his report. “
Digby Oral Histories:
- A History
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