From the opening day of the Second World War, RAF Bomber Command took the offensive to the enemy and played a leading role in the liberation of Europe. Many of its squadrons were based in Lincolnshire, where the flat terrain and open fields made the county ideal for the development of new airfields. All of Bomber Command’s major efforts involved the Lincolnshire-based squadrons. The Battles of the Ruhr, Hamburg and Berlin, during the hardest years of 1943/44, were just some of those when night after night hundreds of bombers took off from the county, many never to return. It was also from Lincolnshire that precision raids were mounted against targets such as the diesel engine factory at Augsburg, the notorious Dortmund-Ems Canal, the mighty German battleship Tirpitz, and, of course, the Ruhr Dams.
Most of Lincolnshire’s wartime bomber airfields have long gone, with many having reverted to their pre-war agricultural use. Only Coningsby, Scampton and Waddington remain in service with the RAF today, while others - such as Binbrook, Blyton, Spilsby, Strubby, Swinderby and Woodhall Spa – have long fallen victim to Defence cuts. Other airfields have survived and maintain the link with their flying past. All are included here, some well-known, others less so.
From these airfields came countless acts of personal courage and self-sacrifice, with eight Victoria Crosses, the highest award for gallantry, being awarded to men flying from bomber airfields in Lincolnshire. All are included, as are stories of other personalities who brought these airfields to life. In all, the stories of the county’s twenty-nine wartime airfields of Bomber Command are told, with a brief history of each accompanied by details of how to find them and what remains there today. Whatever your interest, be it aviation history or something more local, there is lots to discover. Lincolnshire has truly earned its name of Bomber County.
The Greenhill Military Small Arms Data Book
By: Ian V Hogg
Jutland: The Naval Staff Appreciation
By: William Schleihauf
Rotherham in the Great War
By: Margaret Drinkall
Dorking in the Great War
By: Kathryn Atherton
The Naval Flank of the Western Front
By: Mark Karau
By: Lawrence Paterson
The Ulrich von Hassell Diaries, 1938-1944
By: Ulrich von Hassell
Introduction by: Richard Overy
Lost Honour, Betrayed Loyalty
By: Herbert Maeger
Cold War Command
By: Dan Conley, Richard Woodman