Folkingham Airfield History

RAF Folkingham Airfield
(Map edited to show runways)
Bomber Command Crest
© Crown Copyright/MOD 2010
Airfield Code:FKUSAAF Station:484Google Earth Co-ordinates:
52°51'34.34" N  00°26'45.22" W
01/19 & 07/25 4200ft x 150ft - 13/31 6000ft x 150ft
Station History

The remains of Folkingham airfield lie 2.5 miles south-west of Folkingham village. The remote site was first used by the military from 1940, when it was a decoy 'Q' site for Grantham. Originally intended as an RAF station it was transferred to the US Ninth Air Force, becoming Station 484. The airfield opened in January 1944 and was built to Class 'A' standard. Two T2 hangars were provided, one off the western perimeter track and the other within the technical site to the north-east. The communal and accommodation sites were dispersed in fields behind the technical site and bomb stores were located in woodland south-east of the airfield.

The usual USAAF practice was to base a group, comprising of up to four squadrons, at an individual airfield. This meant significantly more aircraft were based at a single station than at a normal British airfield, where the majority housed up to two squadrons. Consequently, airfields built for the Americans had more aircraft dispersals and Folkingham was no exception, having fifty loop types. The headquarters personnel of the 313th TCG arrived along with a single squadron of C-47s at Folkingham in February 1944, with a further three squadrons arriving in March. The group trained in glider-towing and dropping parachute troops in preparation for D-Day. The group was active during D-Day and the days following the invasion. They also took part in Operation Market Garden during 17-25th September 1944 at Arnham, Holland. In support of the Allied advance, the TCGs were deployed to capture European airfields and the 313th Left Folkingham for Achiet, France on 26th February 1945.

The airfield was returned to the RAF in April 1945 and was placed on Care and Maintenance until closure in 1946. Folkingham was another Lincolnshire airfield which saw a brief return to service, between 1959-1963, when part of the old airfield was used as a Thor missile site. Today the three launch pads and parts of the perimeter track, sections of runway and the odd building are all that remain of an airfield which became operational during the later stages of the war.

Aircraft and Squadrons
1940Station opens as a decoy site for RAF Spitalgate.
1943Station upgraded to Class A airfield.
January 1944Control of the station handed to the USAAF.
February 1944313th TCG USAAFOperating the Douglas C-47 Dakota. The Troop Carrier Group left Folkingham in February 1945.
July 1945Control of the station handed back to the RAF.
July 1945Station placed on care and maintenance.
1947Station closed.
1959Station re-opened.
December 1959No.223 SqnThe Thor Missile Unit was disbanded in August 1963.
September 1963RAF Folkingham closed.
1966RAF Folkingham sold-off.