Updated: 12 Feb 12
Opened: 20 Sep 1943
Care and Maintenance: Nov 1946
Closed: Mar 1958
Airfield code :: SA, SL
ICAO Code ::
Airfield call sign :: FOAMRANGE
Squadrons based here:
44 Sqn :: 30 Sep 1944 - 21 Jul 1945
75 Sqn :: Jul 1945 - Oct 1945
2 Armament Pratice School :: Oct 1945 - Nov 1946
2751 Sqn RAF Regt ::
RAF Spilsby was to be RAF Steeping, on the site of Gunby Park. However Field Marshal Sir Archibald Massingberd appealed personally to the King and as a result the planned Steeping airfield was built two miles to the south-west as RAF Spilsby.
RAF Spilsby opened on 20 Sep 1943 as No 55 substation satellite to East Kirkby in 5 Group. 207 Sqn were the first flying unit to arrive, on 12 Oct 1943, from RAF Langar. The first operational sorties took place on 18 Oct, to Hanover, and the station was upgraded from satellite status on 24 Oct 1943. In April 1944 three geographically linked bomber stations - RAF Spilsby, RAF Strubby and RAF East Kirkby - joined to become the newly formed 55 Base headquartered at East Kirkby. In Sep 1944 Spilsby grew to a 2-sqn station when 44 Sqn moved from RAF Dunholme Lodge after the reorganisation of 1 and 5 Groups.
75 (New Zealand) Sqn moved here in Jul 1945 as part of the preparations for the Tiger Force to be used against Japan, while 44 Sqn was displaced to RAF Mepal. The dawn of the nuclear age ended the Tiger Force's role and 75 Squadron disbanded here in Oct 1945, 207 Squadron moving to RAF Methwold.
No. 2 Armament Practice School took over from Oct 1945 until Nov 1946. One month later Spilsby was placed on care and maintenance until Jun 1955. During this period it was used for maintenance and stores supplies for RAF East Kirkby. It then re-opened to host ground units on the USAF. However, the east-west runway was extended by 1,590 ft during the Korean War. Once this war ended the USAF moved out in Mar 1958 and the station closed immediately. The runways were torn up in the 1970s with most of the aggregate being used in the construction of the Humber Bridge.
orientation map of the RAF Spilsby airfield site
Living on as Steeping Aerodrome the site was home to Spilsby Soaring Trust but currently status is uncertain - see Spilsby.info
2751 Squadron RAF Regiment fulfilled the airfield defence role.
The airfield was also known as Firsby. A selection of photographs is included on the site. Memorials can be seen in Great Steeping All Saints Church and at the airfield itself. The 207 Sqn Association commemorated an airfield memorial on 25 Aug 01 :: click here.
Buy an aerial photo of RAF Spilsby on GetMapping.com
Photographs and airfield plan on friskney.com
RAF Spilsby on ControlTowers.co.uk
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