(Map edited to show runways)
© Crown Copyright/MOD 2010
Better known these days as the Prince William of Gloucester Territorial Army Barracks, the site originally opened in 1915 as a Royal Flying Corps landing ground. Located on top of Spitalgate Hill, on the East side of Grantham town, adjacent to the A52 road, the site was originally called RFC Grantham.
Post WWI it remained an active airfield, but with the onset of WWII in 1939 it was redeveloped and expanded by the RAF into a modern fighter station and renamed RAF Spitalgate.
From October 1937 to November 1943 it hosted the HQ of No.5 Group, Bomber Command and from November 1943, the HQ Troop Carrier Command of the USAAF. It was also the training and point-of departure airfield for the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade during Operation Market Garden. The base was an Officer Cadet Training Unit (OCTU) in the 1950s. Much later it became the Women's Royal Air Force (WRAF) Depot, responsible for the recruitment and training of all non-commissioned females in the RAF, until this moved to RAF Swinderby. The station was not part of Grantham, but the parish of Londonthorpe & Harrowby Without.
After WWII, the station remained active and was used as a training school for RAF personnel and as a glider college. It continued in this role up until 1975 when the stations function changed, and it was transferred by the MOD for use by the Army as a Royal Corps of Transport depot for the Territorial Army.
The old technical and domestic site buildings from the stations RAF days are virtually all intact and still in use, with the exception of the old control tower which has been demolished. The old hangars in front of the old airfield are still there, now used for storage purposes. Part of the old airfield is still in use by the army for training purposes, the other half has reverted to agriculture. The old bomb stores on the far side of the field next to the A52 are still there as they have not yet been churned up by the farmer.
|1916||Station opened as Grantham Aerodrome.|
|November 1916||No.49 Sqn RFC||Operating the Avro 504. Left Spitalgate in September 1917.|
|September 1917||No.37 Sqn RFC||Operating the Avro 504. Left Spitalgate in August 1918.|
|November 1917||No.50 Sqn RFC||Operating Avro 504. Left Spitalgate in July 1918.|
|February 1919||No.70 Sqn||Operating the Sopwith Camel/Snipe. Squadron disbanded in January 1920.|
|September 1919||No.43 Sqn||Squadron disbanded in December 1919.|
|February 1922||No.100 Sqn||Operating the Vickers Vimy & Avro 504. Left Spitalgate in May 1924.|
|February 1923||No.39 Sqn||Operating the Airco DH.9. Left Spitalgate in January 1928.|
|July 1924||No.100 Sqn||Operating the Hawker Horsley and Fairey Fawn. Left Spitalgate in January 1928.|
|April 1928||No.3 FTS||Operating the Tiger Moth. The Flying Training School left Spitalgate in September 1937.|
|August 1937||No.113 Sqn||Operating the Hawker Hind. Left Spitalgate in April 1938.|
|September 1937||No.211 Sqn||Operating the Hawker Hind. Left Spitalgate in April 1938.|
|November 1943||Grass runways replaced. Finished in February 1944.|
|March 1944||Station officially named RAF Spitalgate (Grantham).|
|September 1944||No.12 AFU||The Advanced Flying Unit left Spitalgate in February 1945.|
|September 1949||Mess School||The Mess Staff School left Spitalgate in August 1957.|
|1955||Central Library||The RAF Central Library left Spitalgate in 1958.|
|September 1955||No.644 VGS||The Volunteer Gliding School left Spitalgate in January 1975.|
|October 1956||No.2 GC||The Gliding Centre left Spitalgate in August 1971.|
|1960||WRAF Depot||The WRAF Training Depot left Spitalgate in March 1974.|
|1975||RAF Spitalgate closed and ownership transferred to the British Army.|