Updated: 1 Oct 13
Opened: Nov 1916
Reopened: Oct 1926; rebuilt 1936; closed for runway construction May 1943
1953-55 no flying squadrons during relaying / reconstruction to modern heavy aircraft standard.
Closed: still an active RAF station
Airfield code :: WD > WA
ICAO Code :: MWXW > EGXW
Airfield call sign :: SLANGWORD, JETTY (1941)
Squadrons based here:
503 Sqn :: formed here Oct 1926 - Oct 1938
50 Sqn :: May 1937 - Jul 1940; Jan 1946 -
110 Sqn :: May 1937 - May 1939
88 Sqn :: Jun 1937 - Jul 1937
44 Sqn :: Jun 1937 - May 1943; Aug 1960 - Dec 1982
142 Sqn :: ?? - Jul 1940
207 Sqn :: Nov 1940 - Nov 1941
97 Sqn :: - Mar 1941
420 Sqn RCAF :: Dec 1941 - Aug 1942
420 Conversion Flight :: 16 May 1942 -
9 Sqn :: Aug 1942 - May 1943
463 Sqn RAAF :: Nov 1943 - Jul 1945
467 Sqn RAAF :: 12 Nov 1943 - 16 Jun 1945
617 Sqn :: Jun 1945 - Jan 1946
61 Sqn :: Jan 1946 - 1953
12 Sqn :: Jul 1946 - 1953
57 Sqn :: 1946 - 1953
100 Sqn :: 1951
21 Sqn :: 1955 - 1957
27 Sqn :: 1955 - 1957
83 Sqn :: May 1957 - ??
101 Sqn :: 1961 - 1982
8 Sqn :: - present
23 Sqn :: - 2 Oct 2009
51 Sqn :: - present
5(AC) Sqn :: - present
92(R) Sqn ::
54(R) Sqn ::
56(R) Sqn ::
230 OCU ::
13 Sqn :: Nov 2012 -
RAF Waddington opened to flying units of the Royal Flying Corps in 1916. No 27 Training Wing was succeeded by No 48 Training Depot Station in July 1918. It closed after the Great War in 1919 but was reopened in October 1926 as a training base. It was subsequently rebuilt and extended in 1936, coming under Bomber Command and 5 Gp in 1937 once works were complete. These works included construction of new C-type hangars 503 (County of Lincoln) Squadron was the first to move in. Nearby Gautby served as a decoy K and Q site for Waddington during the war, with an additional Q site at Potterhanworth.
Waddington was the first station to receive the Avro Manchester heavy bomber in Nov 1940, with 207 Sqn reforming specifically for this task. The type's first operational use came on 24 Feb 1941 when 6 of the aircraft attacked Brest docks.
RAF Waddington was to lose more bomber aircraft on operations than any other Bomber Command station. Of a total 345 losses, 103 were Hampden, 15 were Manchester and 227 Lancaster.
In the early days of the Cold War, USAF bomber squadrons operated B-29 Superfortresses from RAF Waddington, alongside Scampton. In ?Jul 1946 when RAF the B-29 Stratofortresses of US Strategic Air Command arrived.
From the summer of 1953 until 1955 there were no flying squadrons present during relaying / reconstruction of the runway and support structures to cope with to modern very heavy aircraft operations.
In May 1957 Waddington became a Vulcan bomber base, hosting the first front-line squadron equipped with the type, 83 Sqn. This was joined in Aug 1960 by a re-formed 44 Sqn and over the years by a further 3 Vulcan sqns including 101 Sqn.
51 Sqn's NIMROD R1 departed for the last time in Jun 2011 and is due to be replaced in 2014 by the RC-135 RIVET JOINT.
The Viking Way long-distance footpath passes through Waddington village, 500 m west of the active station.
Airfield aerial photo of RAF Waddington from Multimap.com
On the permanent pre-war base of Waddington, near Lincoln, a new Australian squadron, 463, was being formed from “C” Flight of 467 Squadron, RAAF. Alex had the opportunity to transfer us over to the new squadron, and happily for all of us he took it. We packed up our gear and took transport over to Waddington, and warm barrack-blocks with a fine Sergeants’ Mess building a few steps away. Our new location was within walking distance of three good pubs, a fish and chip shop, a bakery and only about three miles from Lincoln town. Our first “task” after we got settled in our new quarters was to go on leave again — another six weeks had passed. - read a detailed personal history of life on 463 Sqn at Waddington, and on ops, by JA Campbell.
RAF Waddington history on RAF website
Other aircraft photos at Waddington
aerial photo of RAF Waddington
"spotters' guide" to RAF Waddington
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