RAF-Lincolnshire.info - the home of Royal Air Force and airfield history in Lincolnshire, including allied and other air services.

  RAF Coleby Grange
8th Air Force Station No 428

Home
RAF Stations & Bases
Full list of locations
Squadrons and Units
A brief history
Aircraft types
Forum
Photographs
Memorials
Crashes
Sqn & Stn Associations
Museums
Maps
Oral History
Books
Search site
Links
Sitemap
Abbreviations
People Finder
Family history & research
About the site
FAQs
Contact us
Copyright
Updates

> 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 : 10 Feb 12

Commemorative plaque at the truck stop carpark - click here for more photographs

Opened: 1939

Closed: May 1945

Opened: 1959

Closed: 1963

Airfield/Station Identification Code: CG, later WC2

Squadrons based here:

253 Sqn :: May 1940 - Jul 1940

264 Sqn :: 1940?; Nov 1943 - Dec 1943

307 (Polish) Sqn :: Mar 1944 - May 1944; ?? - May 1945

402 Sqn RCAF :: May 1941 -

409 Sqn RCAF :: 26 Jul 1941 - 23 Feb 1943; 19 Dec 1943 - 5 Feb 1944

410 Sqn RCAF :: Feb 1943 - Oct 1943

288 Sqn :: Mar 1943 - Nov 1943

68 Sqn :: 5 Feb 1944 - 1 Mar 1944

2882 LAA Sqn RAuxAF :: formed 1 Mar 1944 - 14 Apr 1944

17 SFTS ::

425 Sqn US 9th Air Force :: 1944

1515 BAT Flight :: Feb 1945

107 EGS ::

142 Sqn :: 1959 - 1963

Opened in 1939 as a relief landing ground for RAFC Cranwell with 253 and 264 Sqn starting to use it. In May 1941 it was transfered to 12 Gp, Fighter Command and became an RAF Digby satellite, 402 Sqn then moving in. 409 Sqn RCAF were present from Jul 1941 to Feb 1943 and again from Dec 1943 to Feb 1944. 410 Sqn RCAF filled the gap from Feb to Oct 1943 on nightfighter defence duties. The station was also home to 307 (Polish) Sqn, departing May 1945.

The airfield never took on an air of permanence like its parent Digby, only ever having one hangar and a single grass runway. Nearby Coleby Hall was pressed into service as the Officers' Mess during the war.

The three grass strips were: NE/SW, 2000 yards (1800 mtrs), NW/SE, 1400 yds (1280 mtrs) and 966 yds (880 mtrs). A concrete perimeter track encircled the airfield site, part of which utilised the B1202 road which formed the southern boundary. The airfield was ultimately equipped (by 1944) with nine hangars; one T.1, one blister and seven extended over-blisters and accommodation was provided for c. 1800 personal, RAF and WAAF's, all ranks.

Once German daylight raids stopped in 1943, RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey became a training unit and RAF Hibaldstow also closed in Jan 1943. After Aug 1944 RAF Digby took on a non-operational role involved in radar calibration and other duties. This left Coleby Grange standing alone to combat the threat of night raids in Lincolnshire.

One of the first Battle of Britain aerial displays was conducted in 1946 from Coleby Grange.

425 Sqn US 9th Air Force deployed from Coleby Grange to participate in the Allied Expeditionary Air Force effort during Op OVERLORD/NEPTUNE in Normandy, Jun 1944. At the time it was equipped with P61/70 aircraft.

From 1959 to 1963 Coleby Grange re-opened with 142 (SM) Sqn which was a Thor IRBM unit and 3 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.

The Viking Way long-distance footpath passes 1.5 km to the west of the former airfield site, along the B1202.

1959 saw the station re-opened with 142 Sqn Thor ICBM unit closing again in 1963.

Today the airfield is in private hands and used for agriculture. The Dunston Land Pillar, which can be seen to the north-east of the airfield on the East side of the A15, was reduced in height by 40ft and had its lantern removed during WII due to it being a hazard for aircraft in the Coleby circuit. The land pillar had originally been built by Dashwood to lead travellers across the difficult to navigate Lincoln Heath after it had been reclaimed from heath and scrubland.

location of RAF Coleby Grange in relation to Lincolnshire - click here for full-size map showing all station locations

RAF Coleby Grange photographs

307 Sqn memorial

Buy the local map:
click to buy on Amazon.co.uk1:25 000 (detail)
click to buy on Amazon.co.uk1:50 000 (area)

Photos of RAF Coleby Grange control tower

Aerial photograph of RAF Coleby Grange

RAF Coleby Grange memories on the Wartime Memories Project

> USAAF Station Numbers

345 - Goxhill
349 - Kirton in Lindsey
428 - Coleby Grange
479 - North Witham
481 - Bottesford
483 - Barkston Heath
484 - Folkingham
488 - Fulbeck

 

Aviation Heritage Lincolnshire
(Tourism)

Follow RAF Lincolnshire:
Visit RAF-Lincolnshire.info's facebook page. Like our page and stay up to date with our posts on facebook! Follow us on twitter and stay up to date with our frequent news items

Amazon.co.uk & Amazon.com

 

Google+

powered by blueconsultancy

TF005605