|RAF Wainfleet (Wainfleet Sands)|
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.
|Photographs of RAF Wainfleet
powered by blueconsultancy