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Unit History: RAF Hemswell

RAF Hemswell was an airfield used by RAF Bomber Command for 35 years. It was located close to the village of Hemswell in Lincolnshire, England.

The first airfield on the site was opened in 1916 by the Royal Flying Corps and called Harpswell after the village of that name across the A631. During World War I it was used as a night landing ground and several training squadrons were established there. After the war it returned to farmland.

A new airbase, now called Hemswell, was opened on New Year’s Eve 1936 to accommodate the rapidly expanding Bomber Command. During the war years various squadrons were based at Hemswell and it continued in flying use by bombers until 1956. From December 1959 until May 1963 the base became the main headquarters of the 5 Lincolnshire Thor missile sites, and three American intermediate range ballistic missiles were based there. In 1964 it was designated as an operational conversion unit for the new TSR.2 aircraft, but when that was cancelled in 1965 it sealed the fate of Hemswell, which closed in 1967.

In 1972 the station became Hemswell Uganda Asian Resettlement Camp when it received asians expelled from Uganda by president Idi Amin.

Hemswell was used for much of the filming of the 1954 movie The Dambusters.

After Hemswell closed the site was eventually redeveloped into a private trading estate and residential area and became what is now the new civil parish of Hemswell Cliff.

Forces Reunited Gallery Images Matching RAF Hemswell

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Forces Reunited Forum Posts Involving RAF Hemswell

"There isnt a museum in Lincoln, the nearest is Newark Air Museum which is quite a going concern and I think they do have a Vulcan and Shack. The only other museum in the area was at ex RAF Hemswell which closed some years ago, the Dumfries Air Museum bagged their Jet Provost and at the moment I am refitting an empty cockpit. Ken "
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"RAF Jever, RAF Hemswell, RAF Syerston"
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"Too true Bruce. I was at the old RAF Hemswell in Lincolnshire recently, still owned by the MOD I believe but rented to businesses. All the buildings still stand but there is industry in the old tech site and all the barrack blocks and the guardroom are now full with antique & collectible shops. Great place, and they could have done the same or similar with Uxbridge."
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Active From: 1916 - 1967

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