RAF-Lincolnshire.info - the home of Royal Air Force and airfield history in Lincolnshire, including allied and other air services.

  RAF North Witham
US Army Air Force Station 479

Home
RAF Stations & Bases
Full list of locations
Squadrons and Units
A brief history
Aircraft types
Forum
Photographs
Memorials
Crashes
Sqn & Stn Associations
Museums
Maps
Oral History
Books
Search site
Links
Sitemap
Abbreviations
People Finder
Family history & research
About the site
FAQs
Contact us
Copyright
Updates

> RAF Bases

Interactive map
Full list of locations

Alma Park
Anwick
Bardney
Barkston Heath
Belton Park
Binbrook
Blankney Hall
Blyton
Boston Wyberton Fen
Bottesford
Bracebridge Heath
Braceby
Buckminster
Bucknall
Caistor
Cockthorne
Coleby Grange
Coningsby
Cranwell
Cuxwold
Digby
Donna Nook
Dunholme Lodge
East Halton
East Kirkby
Elsham Wolds
Faldingworth
Fiskerton
Folkingham
Freiston
Fulbeck
Gosberton
Goxhill
Grantham
Greenland Top
Grimsby
Grimsthorpe Park
Harlaxton
Hemswell
Hibaldstow
Holbeach
Humberston
Immingham
Ingham
Ingoldmels
Kelstern
Killingholme
Kirmington
Kirton in Lindsey
Langtoft
Leadenham
Lincoln West Common
Ludford Magna
Manby
Market Deeping
Market Stainton
Mere
Metheringham
Moorby
Morton Hall
New Holland
Nocton Hall
Normanby
North Coates
North Killingholme
North Witham
Norton Disney
Orby
Rauceby
Saltby
Sandtoft
Scampton
Skegness
Skellingthorpe
Skendleby
South Carlton
South Elkington
South Witham
Spilsby
Spitalgate
Stenigot
Strubby
Sturgate
Sutton Bridge
Swinderby
Swinstead
Theddlethorpe
Tydd St Mary
Waddington
Wainfleet
Waltham (Grimsby)
Wellingore
Wickenby
Wigsley
Winterton
Woodhall Spa

Updated: 12 Feb 12

Opened: 15 Dec 1943 as Army Air Force Station 479

Care and Maintenance: 1948

Closed: 1956, sold off by Feb 1960

Airfield code: NW

Units based here:

9th USAAF 1st Tactical Air Depot: Sep 1943 - May 1945
33rd Air Depot Group
85th Air Depot Group > 29th Air Depot Group
9th Air Force Troop Carrier Service Wing :: Sep 1943 - Jun 1945

9th Air Force Troop Carrier Command Pathfinder School :: 22 Mar 1944 - 13 Sep 1944
44th Mobile Repair and Reclamation Sqn (from Barkston Heath) :: 26 Mar 1944 - ??

100 MU :: 9 May 1945 - 1 Dec 1948
redesignated
93 MU :: Dec 1948 - 18 Apr 1956

259 MU :: 1 Jul 1945 - 31 Aug 1948

16 MU :: 1 Jun 1946 - 1950

No 4 RAF Regiment Depot :: 1 Oct 1945 - 5 Jun 1946

Books about RAF North Witham :: click here

RAF North Witham was built in Twyford Wood alongside the A1 for Bomber Command's 7 Gp following a survey of the dense woodland in 1942. The Air Ministry requisitioned the site from the Forestry Commission. The airfield conformed to the normal A-layout with the main runway 2000 yds long. The dispersals were scaled to cope with 50 bomber aircraft at one time.

In late 1943 however the overall air campaign was changing with the arrival of US forces during the build-up to D Day. The airfield was therefore destined to have a career with the 9th USAAF group which flew C-47, C-53 and CG-4A gliders. It became US Army Air Force Station 479 with an active runway from Dec 1943 and spent most of the period as a service, resupply and repair facility for the local Troop Carrier Groups as the 9th USAAF 1st Tactical Air Depot. There was also limited construction of glider aircraft in preparation for D Day.

RAF North Witham's most significant role in the Second World War was to serve 9th Air Force Troop Carrier Command Pathfinder School from Mar 1944 when it moved from RAF Cottesmore. The School was established to train the leading airborne invasion forces. C-47 from North Witham landed 200 troops in Normandy at 1220hrs on D-Day to guide in the main paratroop forces. After the 82nd and 101st Divs had departed the Pathfinder School continued to train, amongst others, the Polish Airborne Brigade for Op MARKET GARDEN. The School departed on 13 Sep 1944 for Oxfordshire as it was now too far north to support ops in France. Other units of the 9th Air Force began to depart over the coming months for France, a process which continued until the end of the war. By 1 May 1945 all of the remaining 9th USAAF 1st Tactical Air Depot units had departed North Witham.

In Jun 1945 North Witham was returned to RAF control. The association with Bomber Command, parenting via Barkston Heath, did not long and the airfield was placed under Care and Maintenance with Maintenance Command on 7 May 1945. Within 2 days 100 MU at RAF South Witham was using the hard standing and runways as an expansive bomb dump. Shortly thereafter, on 1 Jul 1945, 259 MU was formed here as an Equipment Disposal Depot, operating an aircraft spares depot. Within 3 weeks 259 MU had a satellite depot at RAF Woolfox Lodge. Within days Woolfox Lodge became the parent 259 MU site and North Witham the satellite. 16 MU utilised the hard standing from 1 Jun 1946 until possibly 1950. Like 259 MU this was an Equipment Disposal Depot. On 1 Dec 1948 100 MU was disbanded and immediately reformed as 93 MU. This unit continued to parent North Witham from RAF South Witham until 18 April 1956.

In addition to the Maintenance Units, RAF North Witham hosted No 4 RAF Regiment Depot, from 1 Oct 1945 to 5 Jun 1946. This Depot had a dual function: it streamed RAF Regt personnel returning from overseas into categories for early release and also trained recruits and ran field training courses. By Apr 1946 No 3 RAF Regiment Depot at RAF Folkingham was taking over its roles as in ran down for the last 2 months of its existence.

After 1948 RAF North Witham was again placed on care and maintenance until finally being closed in 1956. The site was disposed of in 1960 with the original woodland site being returned to the Forestry Commission and re-planted. BRM racing motors made use of the empty runways in 1961 and 1962 to test their cars, displaced from RAF Folkingham which was by now a Thor missile base.

The modern-day remains RAF North Witham are scattered amongst Twyford Woods, a Forestry Commission Nature Reserve open to the general public. In addition to the peritrack and runways a T2 hangar, 343/43 control tower and water tower remain.

location of RAF North Withamin relation to Lincolnshire - click here for full-size map showing all station locations

RAF North Witham books

RAF North Witham photos

The US Air Forces in Lincolnshire

RAF North Witham on ControlTowers.co.uk

Buy an aerial photo of RAF North Witham on GetMapping.com

> USAAF Station Numbers

345 - Goxhill
349 - Kirton in Lindsey
428 - Coleby Grange
479 - North Witham
481 - Bottesford
483 - Barkston Heath
484 - Folkingham
488 - Fulbeck

 

Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire
(Tourism)

Follow RAF Lincolnshire:
Visit RAF-Lincolnshire.info's facebook page. Like our page and stay up to date with our posts on facebook! Follow us on twitter and stay up to date with our frequent news items

Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.com

 

Google+

powered by blueconsultancy