RAF Woolfox Lodge
This article needs additional citations for verification. (February 2013)
|RAF Woolfox Lodge|
|Pickworth in England|
|Type||Royal Air Force station|
|Owner||Ministry of Defence|
|Operator||Royal Air Force|
|Elevation||10 metres (33 ft) AMSL|
Royal Air Force Woolfox Lodge or more simply RAF Woolfox Lodge is a former Royal Air Force station next to the A1 road in Rutland, UK. The airfield is split between the parishes of Empingham and Greetham. It was open from 1940 until 1965.
Woolfox opened as a reserve landing ground for RAF Cottesmore then became a satellite to RAF North Luffenham in October 1941. Full station status was granted from June 1943. The wartime airfield comprised three tarmac runways and one Type B1 and four T2 aircraft hangars. There was temporary accommodation for 1,149 male and 252 female personnel.
RAF Woolfox Lodge was used in later years as a relief landing ground but the runways deteriorated to such a degree that the airfield had to be closed to flying by spring 1954. In 1960 a Bristol Bloodhound surface-to-air missile site under No. 62 Squadron RAF was positioned in a secure area adjacent to the A1 road near the former technical site.
RAF units and aircraft
|No. 61 Squadron RAF||1941-1942||Avro Manchester
|Lancaster from April 1942|
|No. 62 Squadron RAF||1960-1964||Bristol Bloodhound||I|
|No. 218 Squadron RAF||1944||Short Stirling||III|
|No. 1651 Heavy Conversion Unit RAF||1945||Avro Lancaster|
The following units were here at some point:
- No. 3 Lancaster Finishing School RAF
- No. 7 Flying Training School RAF
- No. 14 OTU (see List of Royal Air Force Operational Training Units)
- No. 29 OTU (see List of Royal Air Force Operational Training Units)
- No. 33 Heavy Glider Maintenance Section
- No. 61 Squadron Conversion Flight RAF
- No. 259 Maintenance Unit RAF
- No. 1429 (Czech Operational Training) Flight RAF
- No. 1665 Heavy Conversion Unit RAF
The site is now used for agriculture and employment purposes.
The Cold War-era Bloodhound missile site, while derelict, is well preserved. Hardstandings for 32 Bloodhound missiles are present. During the summer of 2018 the parch marks of various World War II-era buildings became visible on the former technical site within the boundaries of the missile site.
- Jefford 1988, p. 158.
- "Woolfox Lodge". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. Retrieved 7 June 2020.
- "WOOLFOX LODGE". Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust. 1 September 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
- Martin, Dan (28 March 2019). "Huge 7,500 home 'garden village' planned for Rutland former RAF base". Leicester Mercury. Retrieved 28 March 2019.
- "Woolfox Garden Village". Retrieved 28 March 2019.
- Jefford, C G (1988). RAF Squadrons. A comprehensive record of the movement and equipment of all RAF squadrons and their antecedents since 1912. Shrewsbury: Airlife. ISBN 1-85310-053-6.