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  RAF Wainfleet (Wainfleet Sands)

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> 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: 1914

Closed: 1918

used between the wars by RAF and RNAS

Opened: Aug 1938

Closed: Dec 2009

ICAO Code: EGYW

Units based here:

RAF Wainfleet was opened in Aug 1938 as a range for gunnery and bombing. The site had been used for artillery training as early as 1890s when the marshes were used by 1st Lincolnshire Artillery. There is evidence of practice being carried out as far back as Napoleonic times.

Wainfleet was used for aircraft armament training throughout the Great War, initially by RNAS aircraft from HMS Deadalus (now RAFC Cranwell) and from No.4 School of Aerial Fighting based at Freiston Air Station.

Between the wars the RAF and Royal Artillery continued to use the area for training.

RAF Wainfleet opened again as an aerial bombing and gunnery range in Aug 1938. Frequent visitors during the war included 617 Sqn who used Wainfleet heavily when testing the Stabilising Automatic Bomb Sight.

No 5 Gp Lancaster also practised here for Op ROBINSON on 1 Oct 1942 when they conducted a fanning out bombing run, which was repeated on 17 Oct on the raid with complete success. Op ROBINSON involved Lancasters from 49 Sqn, 9 Sqn, 57 Sqn, 106 Sqn, 61 Sqn, 207 Sqn, 97 Sqn, 44 Sqn and 50 Sqn.

In March 1950 RAF Coningsby was put on a 'care and maintenance' basis. Responsibility for Wainfleet Bombing Range was transferred to Hemswell at the same time.

After WWII the area was used to dispose of bombs and ammunition of all types. As the marshes were considered to be of marginal value munitions were not recorded or controlled when dumped. The construction of a new sea bank in 1978 unearthed the munitions when farmers began ploughing the reclaimed land.

RAF Wainfleet was known latterly as the Wash (North Side) bombing range.

RAF Wainfleet had an open day in 2004 at the Range centre, Sea Lane off the A52, Friskney (sign posted RAF Wainfleet). Visitors were able to meet the staff who man this weapons range and learn what the range gets up to.

RAF Wainfleet Air Weapons Range closed in Dec 2009.

Map of Wainfleet area

Photographs of RAF Wainfleet

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