|RAF Market Stainton|
Updated: 7 Oct 2013
Opened: Jan 1943
Forward Ammunition Depot: Jun 1943
Access: Public road through village, public footpath.
Units base here:
93 MSU :: Jan 1943 - Jun 1943
233 MU :: Jun 1943 - 1948
RAF Market Stainton opened in Jan 1943 as an advanced sub-site of RAF Norton Disney which could supply bombs, ammunition, oxygen and other dangerous supplies to new airfields under construction in the north-east of the county, like RAF Kelstern, Spilsby and Ludford Magna. It was initially parented by the nearest local station, RAF Wickenby, and known as 93 MSU Market Stainton, later 233 MU. It was storage depot but mostly an ammo dump with 60 miles of roadside storage using the grass verges of second class roads and was capable of storing some 20 000 tons of bombs in the area surrounding the village. In 1943 its complement was 267 airmen.
As the concentration and number of bomber bases increased - and to relieve pressure on 93 MU - Market Stainton became a full Forward Ammunition Depot in its own right in June 1943, was renumbered 233 MU and administrative control transfered to RAF Ludford Magna from 25 Jun 1943. Together with 100 MU at RAF South Witham and 93 MU at RAF Norton Disney, 233 MU at RAF Market Stainton waxs responsible for supplying bombs, ammunition and oxygen to the flying stations. Bombs were stored along the grass verges of the main road to the east of Market Stainton village; this had been blocked off from both ends. The bombs were transported to and from nearby railheads by flatbed rail truck. To illustrate the volume of traffic to and from Market Stainton, its railheads and supplied units, in Dec 1943 there were 1632 movements of goods inward by truck from the railheads and a further 218 lorry deliveries by road. In the same month 543 rail trucks and 481 lorries made deliveries to the eastern RAF airfields of Lincolnshire. From Apr 1944 these deliveries included the 12 000lb Tallboy medium earthquake bombs.
RAF Market Stainton had railheads created at East Barkwith, South Willingham, Donington on Bain and Withcall on the Bardney - Louth segment of the Louth and Lincoln Railway. Domestic accommodation and admin site were constructed in Market Stainton village opposite the village hall. Hallington, another stop on the line, was used as a dump for empty shell cases. Most of the bombs delivered by rail came in to Donington on Bain, perfectly suited to the hazardous cargo due to the village’s position in a valley between two long tunnels. In layout it was a quiet station on a minor line, well-equipped with sidings, but from the air it was a more complex target.
Satellite storage depots were also located at RAF Orby and Wragby (precise location unclear). Nearby Hemingby, 4 miles to the south, was 233 MU's principal chemical weapons site arranged along Green Lane, a 3 mile long wide verged road NE of the village.
After the war 233 MU continued to act as a bomb dump, holding the largest stocks of any UK site in 1947 by a significant margin.
Stainton on AIX
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