The Full Wiki

RAF Scampton: Wikis

  
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

RAF Scampton

Scampton.jpg

IATA: SQZICAO: EGXP
Summary
Airport type Military: RAF Station
Operator Royal Air Force
Location Scampton
Built 1916
In use 1936 - present
Commander Wing Commander MSP Coleman MA RAF
Occupants
Elevation AMSL 202 ft / 62 m
Coordinates 53°18′28″N 000°33′03″W / 53.30778°N 0.55083°W / 53.30778; -0.55083
Website http://www.raf.mod.uk/rafscampton/
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
04/22 8,990 2,740 Asphalt
The grave of Guy Gibson's dog

RAF Scampton (IATA: SQZICAO: EGXP) is a Royal Air Force station situated north of Lincoln in England, near the village of Scampton, on the site of an old First World War landing field.[1]

Contents

First World War

Home Defence Flight Station Brattleby (also known as Brattleby Cliff) was opened on the site of the current RAF Scampton in late 1916.[1] The first operational unit was A Flight, 33 Sqn RFC, which flew FE2bs defending against the Zeppelin threat.[1] The site then developed into a training aerodrome, supporting No. 60 Training Sqn, followed by No. 81 and No. 11 Training Sqns, flying the Sopwith Camel, Pup and Dolphin. The station was renamed as Scampton in 1917. It was closed in April 1919. The area was then returned to its previous owners and by 1920 all the buildings, including the hangars, had been removed.[2][3]

Second World War

As part of the expansion of the RAF in the 1930s, the site was extended by compulsory purchase. RAF Scampton reopened in October 1936 as a No. 3 Group RAF station with 9 Sqn flying Handley Page Heyfords and 214 Sqn flying Vickers Virginias. Soon afterwards, 214 Sqn moved to RAF Feltwell, and 148 Sqn was formed from C Flt of 9 Sqn.[2][4]

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Scampton transferred to No. 5 Group RAF in Bomber Command and 49 Sqn and 83 Sqn moved in, re-equiping with Handley Page Hampdens for the hazardous task of low level minelaying (code named 'Gardening',[5]) and the bombing of ships. By 1942, the squadrons had changed to the Avro Lancaster, but were then replaced at Scampton by 57 Sqn and 617 Sqn.[2][3]

617 was specifically established for the Dambusters mission codenamed ‘Operation Chastise’ in which Wing Commander Guy Gibson led the attack on the dams in the Ruhr Valley, for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross. The grave of his dog, Nigger, run over and killed the day before Operation Chastise, can still be seen at Scampton.[6]

In 1944, 57 and 617 Sqn moved elsewhere, so that Scampton's runways could be upgraded, and they were then replaced by two other Lancaster squadrons–153 Sqn, and later 625 Sqn, of No. 1 Group RAF.[7]

Post-war

For many years a bomber was gate guardian at Scampton, along with the large bouncing and Grand Slam bombs they had carried, but this first Lancaster was moved to the RAF museum at Hendon. Later, another restored Lancaster, repatriated from a French island in the South Pacific, took its place. This later Lancaster, Just Jane NX611, is now at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at the former RAF East Kirkby.

In the late 1950s, as a preliminary to road widening work by Lincolnshire County Council, the gate guardian – then a Grand Slam bomb – had to be moved. Efforts to lift it with a small crane proved futile, as it was much heavier than expected. Upon closer examination, it was found to be still filled with live explosives. It was carefully removed on an RAF low loader and detonated on a test range. It is unclear how a live bomb managed to be put on display, but it seems that it was in place for well over a decade.[8]

Scampton was the home of the Vulcan bomber during the Cold War period of the 1950s and 1960s, its Canberras having been moved out in 1955 when the station was earmarked as a V-bomber base.[9] Vulcans were the launch platform for the UK's airborne nuclear deterrent, primarily through the carriage of Blue Steel missiles and WE.177 bombs. It was because of the Vulcans that an almost 2,000 year old Roman road was diverted from its straight north/south track in order to extend the runway. The eastward bulge in the A15 road can still be seen north of Lincoln.[9]

Developments

The RAF Central Flying School (CFS) moved to Scampton, and the base was home to Red Arrows aerobatic team. In the mid 1990s, Scampton was mothballed under the Front Line First programme, with the CFS moving to nearby RAF Cranwell. The Red Arrows, though, continued to trasin in the restricted airspace surrounding the airfield. Scampton, however, continued to be used as overflow from RAF Waddington. More recently, the Red Arrows moved back to Scampton to free space at Cranwell, and they are the only permanent users of the airfield.

As part of a reorganisation, Air Combat Service Support units of 2 Group and personnel from RAF Boulmer and elsewhere were planning to move to Scampton, making its future more secure. However, financial problems meant that infrastructure improvements were not possible and these units moved to RAF Leeming in North Yorkshire instead.

RAF Scampton is now the home of Control and Reporting Centre Scampton, the Mobile Meteorological Unit in addition to RAFAT (Red Arrows). This provides a mix of fighter controllers, reservists and aircrew. It has administrative control over a satellite site, RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey, 15-miles to the North of the Scampton site. RAF Kirton-in-Lindsey is the home of No.1 Air Control Centre, the main operational unit for fighter controllers and aerospace systems operators in the RAF. Operators usually train at the Control and Reporting Centres of Boulmer and Scampton before putting their training into practice at 1ACC or on E3 Sentry Aircraft.

It has been announced that a portion of Peter Jackson's remake of the 1954 film Dambusters will be filmed at RAF Scampton.

Who is based here

  • Control and Reporting Centre
  • 1 Air Control Centre
  • Mobile Met Unit
  • Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team (The Red Arrows)
  • Air Combat Service Support Units
  • Hawker Hunter Aviation

Station Commanders

  • Air Cdre John Russell 1936-8
  • Air Mshl Sir Hugh Walmsley CB CBE 1940-1
  • Air Chf Mshl Sir David Lee CBE OBE CB 1953-5
  • Air Mshl Sir Harry Burton CB CBE 1960-2
  • Air Cdre Allen Mawer DFC 1965-8
  • AVM Jack Furner CBE OBE DFC 1968
  • Air Mshl Sir John Fitzpatrick CB 1974-5
  • AVM Allan Blackley CBE 1985-7

Reference source

  • Bruce Barrymore Halpenny Action Stations: Wartime Military Airfields of Lincolnshire and the East Midlands v. 2 (1981) (ISBN 978-0850594843)
  • Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Wartime Military Airfields of Lincolnshire and the East Midlands v. 2 (1991) (ISBN 978-1852604059) With update Supplement

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Wartime Military Airfields of Lincolnshire and the East Midlands v. 2 - Page 161
  2. ^ a b c Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Wartime Military Airfields of Lincolnshire and the East Midlands v. 2 - Page 162
  3. ^ a b RAF Scampton History - MOD
  4. ^ RAF Scampton Pre-war - MOD
  5. ^ Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Wartime Military Airfields of Lincolnshire and the East Midlands v. 2 - Page 163
  6. ^ Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Wartime Military Airfields of Lincolnshire and the East Midlands v. 2 - Page 164
  7. ^ Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Wartime Military Airfields of Lincolnshire and the East Midlands v. 2 - Page 165
  8. ^ "Australian Armourers Association" (html). http://www.gunnies.pac.com.au/gallery/grand_slam.htm. Retrieved 2008-05-16.  
  9. ^ a b Halpenny, Bruce Barrymore Action Stations: Wartime Military Airfields of Lincolnshire and the East Midlands v. 2 - Page 167

External links








Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message