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RAF Goxhill: Wikis


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Royal Air Force Station Goxhill
USAAF Station 345

Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Patch 8thUSAAF.png Patch9thusaaf.png

Located Near Goxhill, Lincolnshire, England
RAF Goxhill - September 1946
Type Military Airfield
Coordinates 53°40′40″N 000°18′56″W / 53.67778°N 0.31556°W / 53.67778; -0.31556
Location code GX
Built 1940
In use 1940-1953
Controlled by Royal Air Force
United States Army Air Forces
Garrison RAF Bomber Command
RAF Fighter Command
Eighth Air Force
Ninth Air Force
Battles/wars European Theatre of World War II
Air Offensive, Europe July 1942 - May 1945
RAF Goxhill is located in Lincolnshire
RAF Goxhill shown within Lincolnshire (grid reference TA110210)
Republic P-47D-30-RA Thunderbolt Serial No. 44-33240 of the 358th Fighter Group

RAF Goxhill is a former Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Force station in England. It is located just to the east of the village of Goxhill, on the south bank of the Humber estuary, opposite the city of Kingston upon Hull, in north Lincolnshire.



During World War I a Royal Flying Corps landing ground existed near the Lincolnshire village of Goxhill. In 1940 the Air Ministry returned to survey the land once again for its suitability as an airfield.

RAF use

Goxhill was originally used as a barrage balloon site to protect the port of Hull and the River Humber. In 1940, Goxhill was transferred to RAF Bomber Command and was planned and rebuilt as a Class-A bomber airfield. The base was equipped with three intersecting runways, the main runway at 1600 yards and two secondary runways of 1100 yards. Three hangars were built - two T-2's, one J-Type and four blisters and fifty aircraft hardstands. Temporary accommodation was provided for 1700+ personnel.

Its location, however, was too close to the air defences of Hull to be used for that purpose. Its first occupant was No. 1 Group that took up residence on 26 June 1941. The mission of No. 1 Group was towing practice targets with Lysander bombers, its first operation beginning on 25 October.

In December 1941, RAF Fighter Command replaced the Bomber Command training unit with No. 12 Group, flying Spitfires from No. 616 Squadron at RAF Kirton in Lindsey. Fighter Command operated the base until May 1942.


The base was relegated to satellite field use by RAF Kirmington until August 1942, when it was taken over by the United States Army Air Force (USAAF). The transfer ceremony was attended by General Dwight D. Eisenhower. During World War II it was known as USAAF Station 345.

The facilities at Goxhill, however, had a lot to be desired. Three wooden barracks were supplemented by a number of metal fabricated buildings (aka: tin cans) for living quarters. Typical of the RAF bases of that period, living quarters and mess facilities were 1-2 miles from the hangars and flight operations area.

The station was unofficially known by the USAAF units based here as "GoatHill".

The USAAF used Goxhill as a training base though the balance of the war, with several squadrons using it after their initial deployment to the UK, then moving on to a permanent facility for their operational missions.

Both the USAAF 8th and 9th Air Force utilized Goxhill. Units which trained here were:

Group Aircraft Date Arrived Date Departed
1st Fighter Group P-38 Lightning 10 June 1942 24 August 1942
52d Fighter Group P-39 Airacobra 26 August 1942 9 November 1942
78th Fighter Group P-38 Lightning
P-47 Thunderbolt
1 December 1942 6 April 1943
353rd Fighter Group P-47 Thunderbolt 7 June 1943 3 August 1943
356th Fighter Group P-47 Thunderbolt 27 August 1943 5 October 1943
358th Fighter Group P-47 Thunderbolt 20 October 1943 29 November 1943
496th Fighter Training Group P-51 Mustang and P-38 Lightning 25 December 1943 15 February 1945

The 496th Fighter Group was a Combat Crew Replacement Center for 8th and 9th USAAF units. It consisted of the 554th Fighter Squadron with P-38s and the 555th Fighter Squadron with P-51s. The group trained over 2,400 fighter pilots during its existence. The 78th Fighter Group came to England equipped with P-38's but had all of its aircraft and most of its pilots sent to the Twelfth Air Force in February 1943, after which it flew P-47 Thunderbolts.

Postwar Military use


On 20 January 1945, the USAAF returned Goxhill to RAF control, being assigned as a satellite to RAF Kirton In Lindsey. On 27 May it was assigned to RAF Maintenance Command for storage of excess munitions. RAF Goxhill remained a storage depot until it was deactivated on 14 December 1953.

Goxhill airfield was leased to farmers for agricultural use until 29 January 1962, when it was finally sold by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The Technical Site and the aircraft hangars, however, was retained by the MOD for storage uses. In July 1977, the MOD sold off the remaining parts of Goxhill to private owners for agricultural use.

Civil Use

With the end of military control, Goxhill airfield is remarkably intact and has a 'Marie Celeste' feel about it. All the buildings in the Technical Site, with the sad exception of the control tower, demolished over the owner's objection in 2002, are still standing. The three hangars, two T-2s and a J type also are there, albeit in a state of disrepair. The perimeter track is almost complete and a large part of the main runway is still in place. To the northwest corner of the site is a memorial incorporating a propeller blade from a crashed P-38.

Perhaps of its relative inaccessibility, Goxhill looks very much like it did during the war years.

See also


  • Bruce Barrymore Halpenny Action Stations: Wartime Military Airfields of Lincolnshire and the East Midlands v. 2 (ISBN 978-0850594843)
  • Maurer Maurer, Air Force Combat Units Of World War II, Office of Air Force History, 1983
  • Freeman, Roger A., Airfields Of The Eighth, Then And Now, 1978

External links



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