Updated: 1 Oct 13
Units based here:
RAF Theddlethorpe was a bombing and gunnery range for RAF Manby with a small emergency landing ground. It was closed in the 1970s due to its proximity to a natural gas terminal. It was the scene of early 20 mm air cannon trials.
During World War II, Manby's 1 Air Armament School relied on Theddlethorpe's drogues for target practice. As described by WAAF Iris Burgess the air gunners were on weekly courses and after lectures performed gunnery practice;
View some historical photographs of Theddlethorpe in 1956 in the gallery.
RAF-Lincolnshire.info was contacted by Mr Peter White whose father was CO from 1959 to 1962:
Used as an Airweapons Range in the 1970's, Theddlethorpe consisted of two large wooden structures mounting large Radar Reflecting Targets at the North and South ends of the beachfront. A retard bomb target consisting of a derelict Comet Mk IV Tank, a derelict 3 tonner laden with oil drums constituted the SNEB Rocket Target and 16x16ft scaffolding and Hessian Screens made up the 30mm Aden Gun Strafe Targets. There was a small ATC 'Tower' emplaced on the edge of the dunes to coordinate and control Air Traffic and firing sorties.
Due to the proximity of the Mablethorpe Resort, typical ordnance used on the range was restricted to 4lb Retard Bombs (fibreglass), 25 pounders, 30mm Aden and at times a civilian munitions company British Market Research (BMARCo) brought landbased mobile weaponry to demonstrate to potential customers. Some initial tests were done with the Rapier Ground to Air Missile System operated by elements of the British Army.
The Callsign was "Saltfleet Target".
The Unit was self-contained and was an admin satellite of RAF Manby and then RAF Binbrook, having limited accommodation for single airmen. It had a combined ranks mess, local Unit HQ and limited entertainment (disco/bar) that extended to the local populace and youth. A small MT Section and Workshops Area existed and a limited number of Civillian Employees provided Labour, telephone services and other duties as required. A complement of approximately 35-40 was the usual muster of military personnel and six civillians at any one time was usual.
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