Updated: 12 Feb 12
Opened: 1 Jun 1940
1967 Parenting transfered to RAF Scampton as Hemswell closes.
Closed: Apr 1985 ?
Returned to land owner: 1994/6
World War II
RAF Normanby opened on 1 Jun 1940 as a Wireless Telegraphy Transmitting Station, or DF transmitter site. It was administered by RAF Hemswell and served Hemswell, Scampton and Kirton in Lindsey as ??? with parenting by RAF Scampton.
From the early 1950s into the 1960s the unit located at Normanby was officially ?? Signals Unit, subordinate to HQ No 1 Group at Bawtry Hall, and part of the Bomber Command network.
In the mid-1950s Normanby was home to around a dozen airmen who were all wireless or aerial technicians. At this time the mail, rations and any technical stores requrired by the high-power transmitters were transported every few days from RAF Hemswell.
The site was commonly referred to in the area as 'Normanby Transmitters'. The high-powered transmitters were 'Swabs' short wave broadcasters. SWB transmitters were maintained at permanent readiness, ready to transmit and relay instantly any message required by a morse operator at Bomber Command HQ when he pressed his Morse key.
Throughout all the days of the V-Force the air signallers, and later AEOs, were required to send a position report to Bomber Command by Morse every hour, wherever in the world they were flying.
At 30 minute intervals the Bomber Controller’s radio operator at High Wycombe would broadcast a message which included a codeword which all airborne V Bombers were required to log. For alerts or the transmission of war codes, 'go' messages would have been transmitted simultaneously on every available transmitter in the Bomber Command network.
Ray Ballard was a Corporal i/c at Normanby for 3 months in late 1955 or early 1956.
Tony Cunnane spent a few weeks at Normanby in 1956:
At some point before Hemswell's closure in 1967, probably before 1961, parenting and maintenance of the transmitters and their generators was transfered to RAF Scampton where a small team of ground electrical engineers commanded by a SNCO was dedicated to supporting the Normanby site. Regular fuel checks continued until at least 1980. Some single story brick buildings remained until the 1990s at the site and the transmitters' diesel generators were still in place in 1996 when the fuel tanks were finally emptied. The aerials have been dismantled.
Dave Thompson served at Normanby in 1961-1962. At that time Hemswell was not in the picture as far as the transmitter site was concerned and all support was from Scampton. His posting was to Scampton but he lived and worked at Normanby.
The site is now owned by Normanby Youth Club.
Most of the buildings were knocked down in 1998/99 after they had been apparently used by BT, following RAF use.
is some confusion over the simultaneous operation of site for the SWB
Transmitters and as the outer marker for approach to Runway 23 at
RAF Scampton. The site certainly served Canberra and
Vulcan aircraft operating into Scampton as beacon, initially in the Standard
Beam Approach system and then as the outer marker.
The presence - documented by photograph - around 1989 of two lattice
aerial mastsand three modern christmas-tree type aerials may confirm
the site's dual purpose.
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