Unit History: RAF Wigsley
A wartime airfield to Class A standard 7.5 miles from the centre of Lincoln and directly south-west of the village of the same name, Wigsley was built in 1941-42.
Early in February 1942, No. 455 Squadron, an RAAF unit, arrived from Swinderby, Wigsley’s parent station. Its Hampdens were soon in action and, as with most Hampden squadrons, minelaying played a big part in their operational duties. However, their tenure at Wigsley was brief for in mid-April the squadron was withdrawn from Bomber Command and sent north to become a Coastal Command torpedo-bomber unit. Seven Hampdens failed to return from operations and four others were lost in crashes while flying from Wigsley. This also brought an end to the airfield’s short history as a operational squadron station in Bomber Command, as from thereon all the units based there were involved in some form of operational training.
No. 1654 Heavy Conversion Unit with a few Lancasters and Manchesters was installed in May 1942 to finish crews for No. 5 Group. Four Lancasters were lost on operations when the unit was called upon to assist in the bombing campaign. As with other Lancaster HCUs, a severe shortage of aircraft saw them withdrawn and replaced by Stirlings for several months. Wigsley came under No. 7 Group when most bomber OTUs and HCUs were transferred to this revived formation in November 1944 but No. 1654 HCU continued in residence until September 1945 when it was moved to Woolfox Lodge. Bomber Command operations from Wigsley had cost 17 aircraft missing or crashed in the UK, 13 being Hampdens with four Lancasters.
Wigsley received no further flying units although as Swinderby’s satellite it was frequently used by training aircraft from that station and, with a small holding party, the airfield continued to function for `circuits and bumps’ until the summer of 1958 when the RAF finally withdrew. It was sold during the next decade and by the 1970s few buildings remained, agriculture having taken over