Spilsby Airfield History

RAF Spilsby Airfield
(Map edited to show the airfield and runways between 1940-45)
Bomber Command Crest
© Crown Copyright/MOD 2010
Airfield Code: SLGoogle Earth Co-ordinates:
53°9'45.2"N  0°10'6.2"E
11/29 & 16/34 6000ft x 150ft - 05/23 4200ft x 150ft
Station History

Spilsby airfield was located east of Spilsby village, to the north of Great Steeping. Opened in September 1943, it was a Class 'A' bomber airfield allocated to 5 Group. The main runway length was 1430 yards and the remaining two were 1400 yards, both these were later extended to 2000 yards. Two T2 hangars were provided, one in the technical site on the south-west side of the airfield and the other off the eastern perimeter track. A B1 hangar was sited off the northern perimeter track, close to the bomb stores. The communal and accommodation sites were dispersed around the village of Great Steeping.

On 12th October 1943, No.207 Squadron arrived from Langar, Nottinghamshire equipped with Lancasters. The squadron carried out operations from Spilsby until the end of WWII, leaving for Methwold, Norfolk on 30th October 1945. Spilsby became a two-squadron airfield when Lancasters of No.44 Squadron arrived from Dunholme Lodge on 30th September 1944, staying almost ten months before departing to Mepal, Cambridgeshire on 21st July 1945. Their place at Spilsby was taken by No.75 Squadron until they disbanded in October 1945. The airfield was retained by the RAF and housed a series of fighter units until April 1946, when it was put on Care and Maintenance. It saw a return to life as a USAF non-flying site in 1955 but was fully closed in 1958.

Today, several fragments of perimeter track and parts of dispersals can be seen alongside the minor roads to the east of Great Steeping. The B1 hangar still stands, as does the operations block. Some of the communal and accommodation buildings are still extant, in use as farm buildings. A fine memorial can be found built on the base of the crash tender shed. This replaced an existing memorial and was unveiled on 21st June 2012.

Station Timeline
September 1943Station opened.
October 1943No.207 SqnOperating the Avro Lancaster. The squadron left the station on the 30th October 1945.
September 1944No.44 SqnOperating the Avro Lancaster. The squadron left Spilsby in on the 21st July 1945.
July 1945No.75 (NZ) SqnOperating the Avro Lancaster and Lincoln. The squadron was disbanded at the airfield on the 15th October 1945.
November 1945No.2 APSOperating the de Havilland Mosquito, Miles Master, Supermarine Spitfire and Miles Martinet. The Armament Practice School left Spilsby on the 1st May 1946.
May 1946Station placed on care and maintenance.
June 1955Station allocated the the US Air Force.
July 19567536th Material SqnThe Material squadron left the airfield on the 25th May 1957.
March 1958Station allocated back to the Air Ministry and closed.
1962RAF Spilsby placed up for sale.