Ingham/Cammeringham Airfield History

RAF Ingham Airfield
(Map edited to show the airfield 1940-45)
Bomber Command Crest
© Crown Copyright/MOD 2010
Airfield Code: ?Google Earth Co-ordinates:
53°20'26.98"N  0°33'17.42"W
N/S 4800ft - E/W 3600ft - NE/SW 4800ft
Station History

The construction of RAF Ingham was not your normal construction or indeed layout. The site finally chosen was just north of RAF Scampton, and barely outside their airfield border. The site chosen had been considered for use as an airfield during 1936, but it was deemed too small for a conventional at the time. However with the onset of war with Germany, the site chosen was deemed adequate for use as a satellite airfield.

Work commenced on the airfield during 1941, but not to the normal Class ‘A’ standard as most other stations. Instead Ingham was to have three grass runways encased by a concrete peri-track. In between the runways, a house which had been built many years before was to remain and act as the Officers Mess. Also a total of thirty-six hard standing pans were built for the aircraft.

As par the standard, three hangars were to be built, one B1 to the lower western side of the airfield, and two T2’s, one on the northern side, the other on the eastern side. The living and communal accommodation was to be mainly spread around the nearby village of Ingham, but a few were erected to the north of the airfield. One bomb store was erected on a minor road to the south of the airfield, but was linked to the southern peri-track. The other bomb store was located to the north of the airfield. The airfield was finally opened in early May 1942.


Only days after opening the station would receive its first occupants and become an operational airfield. Originally intended to be a satellite airfield for RAF Hemswell, it was a surprise when No.300 (Mazowiecki) Sqdn, Polish Air Force arrived on the 18th May 1942, thus changing the status of the station. As with the arrival of most squadrons, came the first aircraft in the form of a heavy bomber, the Vickers Wellington. The squadron was to remain at the airfield until 31st January 1943, when they returned to the station from which they had come from, Hemswell.

The airfield would only remain unoccupied for a few days though and No.199 Sqdn arrived on the 3rd February 1943 to fill the gap No.300 Sqdn had left. They too also brought with them the Vickers Wellington, but there stay at the station was only to be a short one. On 21st June they too were to leave the airfield once again leaving the station completely empty. Despite their relatively short stay at the station No.199 Sqdn still managed to fly 50 operational missions, these being mainly mine-laying sorties. But once again only a few days after, No.300 (Mazowiecki) Sqdn were to return to the station, along with No.305 (Ziemia Wielkopolska) Sqdn arriving for the first time. No.305 Sqdn’s stay was only to be a short one though, and on the 5th September they would leave the airfield taking with them their Wellingtons.

December 1943 saw the airfield being used by No.16 Service Flying Training School due to the very poor condition of its home airfield at Newton, but no personnel from the school were to be stationed here on a permanent basis.

The same month also saw a reduction in both personnel and aircraft for the only resident unit No.300 Sqdn. The squadron was reduced to just eight aircraft being operated by twelve crews. The remaining crews on the squadron were re-tasked with converting to the Avro Lancaster under the control of 11 Base. Once their conversion to the new aircraft was complete the entire squadron left Ingham. The departure of No.330 Sqdn on the 1st March 1944 saw the end of operational units at the airfield.

Instead the station would become a training ground starting with the arrival of 44 Night Bomber Tactical Training School on the same day No.300Sqdn departed the airfield. The next unit was to be formed at the station and on the 5th June, when 1687 Bomber Defence Training Flight stood-up. They were closely followed by the arrival of 1481 Bomber Gunnery Flight on the 20th June 1944 at the airfield. With the formation of both flights came an influx of a variety of aircraft, these included the Miles Martinet, Supermarine Spitfire and the Vickers Wellington. With the addition of both personnel and aircraft, the decision was also made to upgrade the airfield from a satellite to a sub-station on the 3rd June 1944.

The next change at the station was not to be either a squadron or a control issue, but a renaming of the station itself. On the 24th November 1944 Ingham was re-named RAF Cammeringham, so to stop any further confusion with the RAF station in Suffolk with the same name. It was not unheard of that both personnel and aircraft turning up at the wrong RAF Ingham. With the change of name also came a change of control, and on the 1st December 1944 RAF Cammeringham officially stood-up as a sub-station but this time under the control of 15 Base.

But this change of both name and control was not a good one, and only a month down the line on the 1st January 1945, the station was placed on Care and Maintenance and all flying ceased. This in turn led to 1687 Flight leaving the airfield on the 3rd January 1945, and they were shortly followed by the Night Bomber Training School on the 20th January 1945. No.1687 Flight did however leave ben some of their Wellingtons, but this was only for disposal at a later date.

With all personnel and aircraft now gone from the airfield, the Cammeringham would see out the rest of the war being used to either store equipment or house personnel working at other near-by stations.

Post War

After the war the station continued to be used for both training and storage purposes. It was mainly the Polish that would use Cammeringham for training in the form of No.16 School of Technical Training and No.4 Personnel Holding Unit. 1945 would also see the arrival of a Polish Film Unit from RAF Pinewood, but despite the station still being used its days were numbered.

Over the remainder of the year and the following year the Polish slowly drifted away from the airfield, until eventually the station was finally closed on the 7th December 1946. Despite the airfield only being open for four years, it was the home of many service personnel from both home and abroad, and played its own distinctive role during the war.

Cammeringham Airfield

Once closed the land was slowly returned to its former use as farmland, until very little trace remained of its history. Today very little remains of the station, even the T2 hangar at the northern end of the airfield has been very heavily modified making it hard to know its former use.

But despite this, there are a few signs left of its former past. The control tower was been totally refurbished to its former glory and is now someone’s home. A few of the technical buildings still stand are in use, whether it be for a small business or use for storage for the local farmers. The decontamination block along with the water tower is also still standing, all be it in a decaying state.

But all is not doom and gloom at the former airfield, with the rejuvenation of the former Sergeants Mess. A local group was set up in 2010 with the aim of turning the former mess in to a museum to honour the personnel that once served there. Please take a minute to have a look at their website and support this excellent project.

For more information on the RAF Ingham Heritage Centre please click here.

Aircraft and Squadrons
February 1940Station opened as a satellite for RAF Hemswell.
May 1942Stations airfield fully opened.
May 1942No.300 Sqn Polish AFOperating the Vickers Wellington. Left the airfield on the 31st January 1943.
February 1943No.199 SqnOperating the Vickers Wellington. Left the station on the 21st June 1943.
June 1943No.305 Sqn Polish AFOperating the Vickers Wellington. Left the Ingham on the 5th September 1943.
June 1943No.300 Sqn Polish AFOperating the Vickers Wellington. Left the airfield on the 1st March 1944.
March 1944NBTTSThe Night Bomber Tactical Training School left the station in May 1944.
June 1944No.1687 BDT FlightOperating the Supermarine Spitfire and Hawker Hurricane. The Bomber Defence Training Flight left Cammeringham on the 3rd January 1945.
June 1944No.1481 BG FlightOperating the Vickers Wellington and Miles Martinet. The Bomber Gunnery Flight left the airfield on the 25th November 1944.
Nov 1944Station named changed to RAF Cammeringham.
Jan 1945Station placed on Care and Maintenance.
Dec 1946RAF Cammeringham closed.