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Sturgate Tower 1944.jpeg

Royal Air Force
 

Sturgate

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Flying Control Sturgate Photo - Courtesy of Jon Horridge

50 Sqn Sturgate 1944.jpg

Members of 50 Sqn at RAF Sturgate 1944 - Courtesy of West Lindsey

1943 - 1946 Royal Air Force

Sturgate is a former WWII airfield that, unlike many of its contemporaries has maintained its aviation connections, albeit as a civilian airfield.

Sturgate was opened in 1944 as a bomber base within No. 1 Group, Bomber Command, but it seems doubtful that any operations were dispatched from its runways, being used until the end of the war for training purposes.

Sturgate was also one of the first pioneering stations of the Fog Investigation and Dispersal Operation (FIDO) - this was put to use operationally in December of 1944, recovering 10 Lancasters from operations over Germany.

The airfield’s first unit was 1520 BAT Flight, which arrived from Leconfield in September 1944; to be joined in November by No. 1 Group ACS. In February 1945 the BAT Flight disbanded and in May ACS left the station to be replaced in June by 50 and 61 Sqns, who flew their Lancasters from Sturgate until January 1946. With the squadrons gone the airfield was placed on Care and Maintenance until the early 50’s.

RAF Sturgate saw multiple casualties during its operational years and this page serves as a tribute to those men who gave their lives in the name of service. 

1953 - 1964 United States Air Force (USAF)

With the onset of the cold war and the deployment of American forces in Britain, in June 1953 Sturgate was allocated to the USAF. Number 3928 ABG, part of the 7th Air Division of SAC, was formed on the airfield. Flying was very limited, despite many thousands of dollars being spent rebuilding runways and other facilities, on one occasion a squadron of RF84 jet fighters spent a short time on the airfield. In 1958 the airfield was handed back to RAF control, although used as a supply base by the Americans until 1964. The site was disposed of by the Ministry in 1965.

1969 - Present

Civilian flying began at Sturgate in 1969 with the beginning of a charter and air taxi operation using a Piper Aztec Aircraft. The airport has grown and today is a thriving centre for civil aviation. Lincoln Aero Club moved to Sturgate from RAF Hemswell in the mid 1970's and restored the 1944 Control Tower to form The Clubhouse. The Airfield is operated by Eastern Air Executive (EAE) as of 2024. 

USAF Pictures Courtesy of USAF Sturgate 1953-1964

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