RAF North Witham

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RAF North Witham
USAAF Station AAF-479

Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg Patch9thusaaf.png

Located Near North Witham, Lincolnshire, England
NorthWitham-19mar44.jpg
North Witham airfield, 19 March 1944. Note the cluster of hangars in the technical site, to the northwest of the airfield, and the dispersed T-2 hangar, on the southeast side of the airfield.
Coordinates 52°47′35″N 000°35′53″W / 52.79306°N 0.59806°W / 52.79306; -0.59806Coordinates: 52°47′35″N 000°35′53″W / 52.79306°N 0.59806°W / 52.79306; -0.59806
Type Military airfield
Code NW
Site information
Controlled by United States Army Air Forces
Royal Air Force
Site history
Built 1942
In use 1943-1945
Battles/wars European Theatre of World War II
Air Offensive, Europe July 1942 - May 1945
RAF North Witham is located in Lincolnshire
RAF North Witham
RAF North Witham, shown within Lincolnshire
Garrison information
Garrison Ninth Air Force
RAF Maintenance Command
Occupants 1st Tactical Air Depot
IX Troop Carrier Pathfinder Group (Provisional)

RAF North Witham is a former World War II airfield in Lincolnshire, England. The airfield is located in Twyford Wood, approximately 19 miles (31 km) east-southeast of Cotgrave; about 104 miles (167 km) north-northwest of London

Opened in 1943, it was used by both the Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Forces. During the war it was used primarily as a transport airfield. After the war it was closed in late 1945.

Today the remains of the airfield are mostly woodland maintained by the Forestry Commission with the old concrete runways still accessible.

Overview[edit]

USAAF use[edit]

North Witham was known as USAAF Station AAF-479 for security reasons by the USAAF during the war, and by which it was referred to instead of location. It's USAAF Station Code was "NW".

1st Tactical Air Depot[edit]

North Witham was allocated to the USAAF Troop Carrier Command in August 1943. Its immediate task was to distribute transport aircraft and the means of maintaining them to operational groups of the USAAF. USAAF C-47 maintenance repair activities continued at North Witham until May 1945, albeit on a reducing scale.

RAF Maintenance Command use[edit]

On 1 June 1945 the station was handed over to No. 40 Group, RAF Maintenance Command.

Civil use[edit]

The site was originally partially wooded and some of this remained to the northeast of the runways throughout the military period but after closure, the Forestry Commission planted most of the airfield with oak (Quercus robur) and conifers. Part of it is now a reserve for butterflies and the concrete is slowly being broken up and removed. Ghostly outlines of large numbers of loop dispersal hardstands can be seen in aerial photography, with the perimeter track being reduced to a single lane road. The runway pattern can clearly be seen, some still remaining at full width, other parts being now at half width or less. All of the remaining runway sections are in a very deteriorated condition.

However, the southern end of the airfield is something of an industrial estate with large numbers of grain silos and highway trailers being parked. In addition, there appears to be a very large graveyard of ex MOD equipment, where C-47s and CG-4 Waco Gliders once were parked prior to the invasion of Continental Europe.

The airfield's proximity to a junction of the A1 road means that development is pressing against the wood from the north-west. Nonetheless the derelict control tower remains and on a warm summer's day, on the runway, in the quiet of the trees, it is a very atmospheric place.

See also[edit]

(US 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment) also flew from RAF Folkingham.

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links[edit]