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Thread: RAF North Witham, Lincolnshire, May 2018

  1. #1
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    Default RAF North Witham, Lincolnshire, May 2018


    1. The History
    RAF North Witham is a former World War II airfield in Lincolnshire, England. The airfield is located in Twyford Wood, off the A1 between Stamford and Grantham. It opened in 1943 and was used by both the RAF and US Army Air Forces. During the war it was used primarily as a transport airfield. It 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.

    After the war it was closed in late 1945. 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.

    2. The Explore
    Been meaning to come here for ages. Thereís not a whole lot left beyond the runways but the area has now been returned to woodland and it makes for a nice walk. The main reason for a look-see is the watch office which remains in good nick. Itís a fair walk but worth the effort. Thereís also an old water tower but didnít get the chance to look at it this time around.

    3. The Pictures

    Looking along the south-west runway:

    img7789 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Bomb-loading ramp:

    img7791 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And on to the watch-tower:

    img7794 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    No way in here:

    img7795 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    So round the back:

    img7796 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And weíre in!

    img7798 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    A few pieces of decent graff:

    img7799 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    And up the stairs:

    img7800 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Internal walls have been knocked down:

    img7801 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7804 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7805 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Out on to the balcony:

    img7807 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7809 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7811 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7816 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7818 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7819 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7822 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    Looking along the North-South runway:

    img7823 by HughieDW, on Flickr

    img7824 by HughieDW, on Flickr


  2. Thanks given by: ajarb, BikinGlynn, etc100, fluffy5518, Hugh Jorgan, krela, Mearing, Mikeymutt, Newage, noiseboy72, Old Wilco, oldscrote, psykie, rockfordstone, smiler, theartist, Tigershark
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  4. #2
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    Nice, I done Kings Cliffe watch tower at the weekend (first one Iv been in) & although its just a similar shell, it gave me a certain chill to stand on the balcony & look over the fields that were once runways! Lovely pics there.

  5. Thanks given by: HughieD
  6. #3
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    Cheers BG. Ah... this one:

    img4892bw by HughieDW, on Flickr

    A bit of a hike to get to. There is a uniformity to watch towers but there is just something about them I can't put my finger on. There are some real enthusiasts out there. This is a great resource if you get the bug:

    UK Control Tower & airfield photographs of WW2

  7. Thanks given by: Hugh Jorgan, oldscrote
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    S'not bad that, liked it Thanks
    Smiler
    😁

  9. Thanks given by: HughieD
  10. #5
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    Nice hughie.i do like a good watch tower.been in a few myself now.
    I like to go where others fear to tread.

  11. Thanks given by: HughieD
  12. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikeymutt View Post
    Nice hughie.i do like a good watch tower.been in a few myself now.
    Cheers Mikey. Not too many of them left in a derelict state. Either been demo'ed or converted.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HughieD View Post
    There is a uniformity to watch towers but there is just something about them I can't put finger
    If one had a relative that was killed or went MIA during a Bomber Command sortie, the thought may suddenly hit you (very hard) that the figure standing on the balcony giving your relative the green light was the last friendly person he, and the rest of the crew, saw on the ground. My wife's late uncle was a Flight Commander with 12 Squadron RAF Wickenby and although he had done his 30 missions, half his crew - because of injuries caused by a crash landing, needed to do two more to make their 30. He volunteered to do two extra missions and train up his replacement during that time also. Sadly the Lancaster and crew went missing on the 32 mission - during a raid on the Kiel Canal. My wife has his Log Book - the last entry, written by the Station Commander makes chilling reading even today - MIA and the August 1943 date. Six weeks later I was born and the long journey that lead me to finding out about that brave young man began.

    I am not into 'ghosts', but when I stand on any deserted runway of an old Bomber Command Station there is always a palpable feeling of pent up energy in the air. I like to think - perhaps the location does hold the life force of all those brave young men who stared Death in the face and in far too many cases made his acquaintance.

  14. Thanks given by: HughieD

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