Unit History: RAF Strubby

RAF Strubby
Strubby was a late Class A standard airfield lying some eight miles south-east of Louth directly south of the village of Strubby .
Although intended as a sub-station for East Kirkby in No. 5 Group, being only four miles from the coast, the airfield was first assigned to Coastal Command, which brought in No. 280 Squadron and its Warwicks for air-sea rescue duties early in May 1944. They were joined two months later by two Beaufighter strike squadrons, which carried out anti-shipping sorties. Coastal Command’s tenure was short for in September all units moved out and the station was transferred to No. 5 Group Bomber Command.
A re-allocation of stations between Nos. 1 and 5 Groups brought No. 619 Squadron and its Lancasters to Strubby from Dunholme Lodge, which had passed to No. 1 Group. A few days after its arrival, No. 619 raised a `B’ Flight for re-formed No. 227 Squadron and this soon moved to Balderton. Commencing operations from Strubby on October 8, No. 619 and was to have the station to itself for the next six months until No. 227 Squadron arrived from Balderton on April 5, 1945. The last sorties from the station took place on April 25/26, 1945 to lay mines off Norway. Sixty-five Lancasters failed to return or were destroyed in crashes during operations from Strubby, all from No. 619 Squadron.
Following VE-Day both units engaged in repatriating British POWs from the Continent. In June the Lancaster squadrons departed, No. 619 going to Skellingthorpe and No. 227 to Graveley. The station was then used for a number of ground units before being put on care and maintenance in September 1945. However, many unwanted Lancasters continued to be stored on its runways.
It was re-opened for flying in 1949 when it was designated a relief landing ground for training aircraft from Manby. In the years that followed some additional work was carried out to airfield facilities, most notably a modern `glass house’ on top of the existing wartime control tower. Strubby was finally closed for flying in 1972 and after a few years of stagnation was sold for agricultural use at auction in 1980. At the end of the `nineties all three hangars remain but little of the runway concrete remains. A heliport for North Sea gas operations closed in 1999, the airfield now being owned by Anglian Water for a support depot.

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