|RAF Ingham (RAF Cammeringham from Nov 1944)|
Opened: May 1942 in 1 Group
Renamed: RAF Cammeringham 24 Nov 1944
Care and Maintenance : Jan 1945
Transferred to 24 Technical Training Command : 18 Jun 1945
Renamed: No 16 School of Technical Training (Polish), RAF Cammeringham
Disposed: On 25 Feb 1946 the airfield was release for immediate cultivation
Closed: 7 Dec 1946
ICAO Code ::
Airfield call sign :: RUNIK
Location :: SK961836
Units based here:
300 Sqn :: 18 May 1942 - 31 Jan 1943; 22 Jun 1943 - 1 Mar 1944
305 Sqn :: 22 Jun 1943 - 5 Sep 1943
199 Sqn :: 3 Feb 1943 - 20 Jun 1943
1687 (Bomber) Defence Training Flight :: 5 Jun 1943 - 4 Dec 1944
1481 Target Towing and Gunnery Flight :: 20 Jun 1943 - 4 Dec 1944
Night Bomber Tactical School :: 10 Mar 1944 - May 1944
2799 Sqn RAF Regiment :: Apr 1945 - 11 June 1945
16 (Polish) School of Technical Training :: 9 Jul 1945 - 7 Dec 1946
4 Personnel Holding Unit (Polish) :: 14 Nov 1945 -
Polish Film Unit :: 14 Nov 1945 -
1 Polish Resettlement Unit :: 1 Nov 1945 - Feb 1948
Boys Training School :: 13 Oct 1946 -
RAF Ingham was an all-grass airfield which served as a satellite for RAF Hemswell. The site was considered during the 1930s expansion scheme but was not selected for development. However the increasing size of the bomber force let to Ingham being developed from 1940 as a satellite for RAF Hemswell.
It was built as a standard 3-runway grass airfield with main runway oriented SW to NE. Uniquely the Control Tower was situated between the runways at the centre the airfield together with a house initially used as one of the Officers Messes.
The concrete peritrack included over 30 frying-pan hard standings and passed the 3 hangars, including the remaining one at the north end of the airfield. In addition to the dispersed domestic sites the airfield also occupied a number of buildings in Ingham village including Station HQ, the Sick Quarters and later the Polish Resettlement Centre. Although not loved by those stationed there, due to the limited infrastructure and its dispersal, it had the major advantage of long, flat and easy approaches.
Despite the work put into building the airfield Ingham was little used until May 1942, aside from occasional dispersals of aircraft from RAF Hemswell. In this month 300 Sqn arrived with its Wellington aircraft. 300 Sqn squadron operated from Ingham until January 1943 when 1 Group concentrated the Polish bomber squadrons at RAF Hemswell. 199 Sqn arrived some four days later from RAF Blyton with its Wellingtons and was transfered south to 3 Group, less aircraft, by Jun 1943.
Jun 1943 also saw 300 Sqn return to Ingham, this time accompanied by 305 Sqn, another Polish RAF squadron. These had boltholed from Hemswell in preparation for the airfield to close for upgrading to concrete runways. The Poles continued operating with Wellingtons until Sep 1943 when 305 Sqn was reallocated to Second Tactical Air Force. 300 Sqn remained as the only operational squadron until 1 Mar 1944 when it was scheduled to re-equipped to the Lancaster and moved to Faldingworth. The association did not end here as the station was used for the resettlement of Polish aircrews after the end of the war.
Throughout the Wellington era Ingham remained a sod-surface airfield. It was unsuitable for the operation by four-engine heavy bombers due to the limitations of grass runways, and for the rest of 1944 the station was home to bomber defence training units, Nos. 1481 and 1687 Flights, charged with target-towing and bomber interception practice using mainly Martinets and Hurricanes. 1481 Bombing and Gunnery Flight of the Gunnery School was resident at Ingham from Jun 1943 until 1945. Amongst its students were Ken Brady in June 1944. His son has kindly shared his logbook with the site and extracts are reproduced.
Unusually RAF Ingham was subject to a mid-war name change. Later known as RAF Cammeringham, the name change was officially promulgated on 24 Nov 1944, to avoid confusion with Ingham villages in Norfolk and Suffolk.
RAF Ingham effectively ceased to operate by Jan 1945 when the 3 grass runways had deteriorated beyond suitability for flying of any type. The station was put in the hands of a holding party until closure shortly before the end of hostilities in Jan 1945.
After the war the Polish association continued through the presence of 16 (Polish) School of Technical Training until Dec 1946 and 1 Polish Resettlement Unit until Feb 1948. These units included the Boys Training School, transfered from RAF Heliopolis in Egypt where the Polish Air Force Command had established an Aircraft Technical School for 200 Apprentices.
The Windmill pub, located on the B1398 which adjoins the RAF Ingham site, has a print and photographs of Wellington IV Z1407, BH.Z of 300 Squadron. The print depicts the damage to the aircraft after an operation mounted from Ingham in September 1942.
The RAF Ingham Heritage Group are developing a building on the airfield
site as a heritage centre.
RAF Ingham on RAF website
RAF Ingham on AIX
RAF Ingham photos on ControlTowers.co.uk
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SK958833 - pub