Updated: 13 Feb 12
Closed: 1945 (Flying ceased 1944)
Opened: 1959 (missile base)
Squadrons based here:
264 Sqn ::
15 (P) Advanced Flying Unit :: 1942
53 OTU :: 17 May 1943 -
269 (SM) Sqn :: Jul 1959 - May 1963
RAF Caistor's location, in the Lincolnshire Wolds, meant that it was unsuitable for much except a day only training role under the control of the RAFC Cranwell. In 1942 it was used by 15 (P) AFU from RAF Kirmington. It had grass runways only.
British attempts to corrupt the German Luftwaffe KNICKEBEIN radio signal, which directed bomber formations to their target, were assisted by an 'ASPIRIN' transmitter set up at Holton le Moor, near Caistor, approximately 3 km south of the airfield.
There was was also a slave station on the North-Eastern GEE chain at Caistor some time after Apr 1944 and it was later refered to as Nettleton GEE. It is not known if it was located with RAF Caistor, the ASPIRIN site or somewhere in the area competely separately. However, this site, equipped with AMES 7722, was moved to Nettleton because of poor coverage in the intended zones from its initial site at Stenigot.
Between 1959 and 1963 Caistor was a Thor missile base for 3 Thor IRBM launchers of 269 (SM) Sqn with 3 Thor IRBM launchers. Each missile was armed with a one-megaton nuclear warhead, controlled by the US Air Force under so-called dual-key arrangements. RAF Hemswell was the headquarters for the 5 Lincolnshire dispersal sites at RAF Hemswell, RAF Bardney, RAF Caistor, RAF Coleby Grange and RAF Ludford Magna.
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