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  RAF Kelstern

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> RAF Bases

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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
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Kirton in Lindsey
Langtoft
Leadenham
Lincoln West Common
Ludford Magna
Manby
Market Deeping
Market Stainton
Mere
Metheringham
Moorby
Morton Hall
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Normanby
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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: 6 Dec 12

Opened: 1917

Closed: Mar 1919

Repened: Sep 1943

Closed: May 1945

Airfield code :: KS

ICAO Code ::

Airfield call sign :: PEAKFREAN

Squadrons based here:

33 Sqn :: 1917

625 Sqn :: 1 Oct 1943 - 5 Apr 1945

170 Sqn :: Oct 1944 - 21 Oct 1944

Kelstern (Mill Farm Night Landing Ground) was established in 1917 as a night landing ground at Mill Farm in the Great War for 33 Sqn RFC during their Zeppelin hunts to cater for any fuel emergencies. It closed again in 1919, having been 'barely used'.

In Jul 1942 construction on RAF Kelstern commenced 1/2 mile to the north-west of the Great War relief landing ground. Early on in the war, a night decoy airfield Q Site was constructed near Kelstern village to protect RAF Binbrook from enemy air attack. However, the imminent construction meant that this site had been abandoned by Aug 1942.

In Sep 1943 RAF Kelstern opened as No 12 Base (Binbrook) substation.

625 Sqn formed at the station as its first occupants on 1 Oct 1943, crews being drawn from C Flight 100 Sqn at RAF Grimsby. First operational sorties were conducted on 18 Oct. 625 Sqn in turn provided the core for a re-formed 170 Sqn in Oct 1944 but after flying its first raid on 19 Oct it moved to RAF Dunholme Lodge on 21st.

By April 1945 HQ 1 Gp had concluded a reorganisation and moved 625 Sqn to RAF Scampton. With the inevitable congestion and associated risk of crashes in the overlapping circuits the decision was take not to base any future flying units at Kelstern. The airfield was closed the following month, in May 1945.

RAF Kelstern is now commemorated in a small memorial stone to 625 Sqn at the corner of the road near the old airfield. See "A Brief History of the RAF in Lincolnshire" :: website. The relevant page is linked directly in the column to the right of this page.

The below is an amusing anecdote cited on The Ridgewell Association's Bomber Command History

Most Station Commanders were tour-expired men, who occasionally flew on operations, usually "incognito" and in defiance of orders. Such spirit and example has to be greatly admired. At Kelstern, G/Capt. Donkin, a WW1 veteran, had flown as supernumerary with a 635 Sqdn. [sic] crew on a 1944 Berlin operation, and on return a BBC reporter, broadcasting "live" in the early hours, asked him what it had been like. The great waxed moustaches bristled. "Ai dain't maind telling yew," replied the aristocratic voice, "that Ai was shite-scaired all the way theyah, and Ai was shite-scaired all the way back."

View airfield photographs here.

 


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

RAF Kelstern photographs

Photographs of RAF Kelstern on Fiskney.com

Map and aerial photo of RAF Kelstern on multimap.com

Buy an aerial photo of RAF Kelstern on GetMapping.com

RAF Kelstern Memorial Stone

RAF Kelstern page on Royal Air Force website

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