Unit History: RAF Metherington

RAF Metherington
Located nine miles south-east of Lincoln and two miles east of Metheringham village beside the B1189, this Class A standard airfield was built 1942-43. Largely in the parish of Martin it bordered the Lincolnshire fens. The runways were to the standard specification with the main 02-20 at 2,000 yards and the others, 13-31 and 07-25, at 1,400 yards length. Being to the later Class A specification, 34 of the hardstandings were loop type and only two pans. One of the standard T2 hangars was placed on the technical site, which was alongside the B1189 near Linwood Grange, between runway heads 02 and 07, and the other off the east perimeter track between runway heads 25 and 31. A B1 hangar lay north of runway head 13 near Barff Farm. The bomb store was situated around Blackthorn Holt and other woodland between runway heads 13 and 20. The camp sites were built directly south around the B1189 and consisted of one mess, one communal, one WAAF, four domestic and a sick quarters. Accommodation was given as for 1,685 males and 345 females.
Lancasters from No. 106 Squadron, moving in from the comforts of Syerston in November 1943, undertook their first raid from the new station on the llth. The squadron was destined to remain at Metheringham until February 1946, and was the only operational unit based there during hostilities. During a raid on Schweinfurt on the night of April 26127 1944, Sergeant Norman Jackson, flight engineer of a Lancaster, was awarded the Victoria Cross for his action when his aircraft was set on fire by an enemy fighter. Jackson volunteered to climb out on to the wing to try and extinguish the flames but, badly burned, he was swept off and landed heavily to be made prisoner.
By the end of hostilities No. 106 Squadron had lost 65 Lancasters in operations flown from the airfield. After VE-Day, No. 467, an RAAF squadron, arrived with Lancasters to train with No. 106 for operations in the Far East but the end of the war made this plan redundant and No. 467 was disbanded at the end of September 1945. No. 189 Squadron took its place but this too was soon stood down. No. 106 Squadron endured until February 1946 when it met the same fate and Metheringham was closed to flying soon after.
Although remaining in a fairly complete state until the early `fifties, the hangars and most domestic site buildings had been demolished by the end of the next decade. Sold in 1961-62 and returned to agriculture, some of the concrete was removed and parts of runways 07-25 and 13-31 were used to reinstate two small roads closed during the construction of the airfield. Several technical site buildings remain in use for commercial purposes and the former ration store is now a museum devoted to Bomber Command’s wartime tenure.

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