Updated: 1 Oct 13
Airfield code :: MY
ICAO Code :: MWXA
Squadrons based here:
No 1 Air Armament School :: 1938 -
No 2 Air Armament School :: ??
Empire Central Armament School :: Spring 1943
2782 Defence Sqn :: 1941 -
RAF Manby was opened in 1938 as home to the Empire Air Armament School. Many bomb disposal techniques were invented at Manby, often a trial by fire.
By June 1940, RAF Manby housed the Joint Services Bomb Disposal School. Royal Engineers and Royal Navy demolition parties being trained alongside their RAF counterparts. In August 1940, the bomb disposal workload, generated by ever-increasing enemy activity, led to the establishment of 25 mobile BD squads, increased in manpower strength from three to 25 personnel each.
Iris Burgess was a WAAF stationed at Manby during World War II and has written at length about life on the camp during her service including daily activity supporting 1 Air Armament School.
RAF Strubby came under RAF Manby RAF Flying College from VJ Day until closure in 1972. The nucleus of the staff of the Empire Central Flying School was transferred to RAF Manby to open the Flying College in 1946. Manby later became the home of the College of Air Warfare, part of which was the School of Refresher Flying.
A metal screen 800yds long by 50ft high was erected at RAF Manby to test landings in cross-winds.
As a member of the crash crew in 1951/52 at RAF Strubby, Les Featherstone attended a Vampire crash into a farm yard. The pilot was Wing Commander Steventon. He bailed out, but his parachute did not open, and he crashed through the farmhouse roof. The farm was local between Strubby and Mablethorpe.
In Oct 1954 a Canberra bomber belonging to the RAF Flying College, Manby, makes the first jet flight over the North Pole.
Steve Ripley grew up at Manby where his father was the Met Officer from before 1951 until at least 1974. He has kindly written some recollections for the site.
In 1963 the Navigation Wing of the Central Navigation and Control School moved to RAF Manby from RAF Shawbury, leaving Shawbury the task of all aspects of ATC training as the Central Air Traffic Control School.
The base closed in 1974. Today the site is used for Agriculture, the hangers are used as a grain store, with other buildings being used for industry. It is also home to Manby and District Model Aero Club.
Chris Benyon wrote to the site to enquire about some Luftwaffe aircraft he recalls seeing there after the war:
This does sound very similar to the RAFWaffe (1426 EAC Flt) that toured RAF stations for three years during the war - can anyone provide any information to link them?
RAF Manby on ControlTowers.co.uk
Buy an aerial photo of RAF Manby on GetMapping.com
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