Originally required as satellite airfield for RAF Catfoss the land was requisitioned in 1940. Although constrained by three roads and the Gransmoor Drain the builders constructed a standard three-runway bomber airfield. It had two hangars and 36 dispersals and three concrete runways.
Lissett opened in February 1943 and No. 158 Squadron arrived from RAF Rufforth to be the resident squadron on the 28 February. 158 Sqn was a heavy bomber squadron equipped with the four-engined Handley Page Halifax. The squadron flew the first operational mission on the night of 11/12 March 1943 when ten aircraft were flown to Stuggart, one failed to return. The squadron carried out operations up to the end of the war from Lissett. At the end of war in May 1945 the squadron was transferred to Transport Command as it prepared to undertook a transport role and the squadron was re-equipped with the Short Stirling before it departed to RAF Stradishall in August 1945.
Apart from a few weeks in early 1944 when 1484 Flight were in residence the station unusually was a one unit station. After the departure of 158 Squadron the station was relegated to a care and maintenance status but by the end of the year the airfield was abandoned and the technical areas used for storage.
In December 2008 a 30 MW wind farm housing 12 turbines each 125 metres (410 ft) high was constructed across the western end of the airfield. A memorial sculpture to 158 Squadron in the form of seven airmen has been erected to the memory of the 851 airmen who did not return from operations at the the airfield.