IN REACH OF THE SKIES

WOODHALL SPA

EAST KIRKBY

RAYDON

RAF COLTISHALL

RACKHEATH

NORTH CREAKE

CROYDON

ROUGHAM

EVANTON

Now very little left of this former RAF bomber field in Lincolnshire that was home to the famous 617 Dambusters squadron. The runways have reverted to farming although, a few years ago at least, it was still possible to find remains of the bomb dump area. There is a very impressive memorial to 617 squadron crews in the town square built on the site of a hotel destroyed by enemy action.

__________________________________________________________________

Now home to Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, East Kirkby was an RAF bomber field in WWII. Several original buildings remain which are mainly used for museum purposes and the ambition is to restore it to a complete original wartime airfield.

__________________________________________________________________

Former 353rd FG base in Suffolk, Raydon was home to P-47 and P-51 aircraft during WWII. The field has retuned largely to agriculture but there is still a remarkable amount left to see starting with a memorial on the secondary runway just where it meets the main runway. A couple of large hangars are still on site as are some barrack and other buildings. The bomb dump is hidden away down a private road but the bank for the firing butts was evident as is much of the peri-track. A new grass runway has been laid next to the peri-track at one point and is home to the occasional fly in. Pictures from August 2012.

__________________________________________________________________

This Norfolk airfield was active in the Battle of Britain and was the only RAF base to be a fighter airfield for the whole of its existence. Post war it was home of what was to become the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight - now based at Coningsby. Sadly, after 66 years service the field closed in 2006. I was there in March 2013.

___________________________________________________________________

Close to Wroxham in Norfolk, Rackheath was home to the USAAF 467th Bombardment Group flying Liberators in WWII. Today the airfield has largely disappeared having been converted back to agriculture. However, a couple of sections of one of the main runways still exist and trees clearly mark two of the runways. The control tower has been restored and converted to offices and there are also one or two other wartime buildings nearby including a re-clad T2 hangar. A fitting memorial stone was erected in 1990. As seen in March 2013

___________________________________________________________________

North Creake airfield in Norfolk became operational on D-Day and was primarily a base for counter measures aircraft in the form of Halifaxes and Stirlings. Now returned to agriculture the control tower still exists, and is being restored as a 1940's B&B but also to be found are the original hangars and a number of buildings on the technical site. From a visit in March 2013.

___________________________________________________________________

Croydon Aerodrome opened in 1920 although the original buildings were subsequently demolished and replaced with a modern terminal and hangars and the new Croydon Airport opened in 1928 and served as London's main airport until WWII. At this point the field became Royal Air Force Station Croydon reverting to civilian use in 1946. By then it had been decided that Heathrow would be the main London airport and it gradually became less active and finally closed in 1959. Today the terminal building survives as visitor centre which is open on the first Sunday of each month. One or two other buildings survive, as does a small section of runway and a memorial to those serving at Croydon during the Batlle of Britain has been erected. A D.H Heron has been mounted outside the terminal. April 2013.

___________________________________________________________________

Rougham was a bomber base in WWII being primarily home to the B-17s of the 94th bomber group. Today the old control tower has been restored as a museum and there is now an active grass strip. A number of original buildings still exist although many now look the worse for wear. Viewed in May 2013.

__________________________________________________________________

Evanton was an airfield overlooking the Cromarty Firth. Originally coming into being as the Navy required a shore base for FAA aircraft but By WWII it became a repair base, and a school for flight, bombing and armament training. Now part of an industrial estate the runways and many original buildings still survive. Pictures from a visit in July 2013.

___________________________________________________________________

In Reach Of The Skies © 2012 • Privacy Policy • Terms Of Use