Unit History: RAF Bardney

RAF Bardney
Bardney opened as a satellite to Waddington in April 1943 and it received No. 9 Squadron with its Lancasters on the l3th and l4th of the month from that station, this veteran unit remaining at Bardney for the duration of hostilities. In late September 1944, the USAAF transferred a number of airfields in the Grantham/Newark areas back to the RAF and Bomber Command took the opportunity to expand its strength.
In early October, No. 9 Squadron provided personnel for a flight of the re-formed No. 227 Squadron, which was soon moved to Balderton. No. 9 then went on to provide for the newly-established No. 189 Squadron which flew its first raid the night of November 1/2, being moved to the vacant airfield at Fulbeck the next day. At this time the main body of No. 9 Squadron had become a specialist unit using the l2,000lb Tallboy bombs for precision daylight attacks, one of only two squadrons to do so. During one of these raids, when the Dortmund-Ems canal was the target, the aircraft in which Flight Sergeant George Thompson was acting wireless operator was crippled by anti-aircraft fire. In going 'to the aid of two unconscious and disabled crew members, Thompson was badly burned and he died in hospital three weeks later. His action brought the posthumous award of a Victoria Cross.
In April 1945, No. 189 Squadron returned to Bardney to carry out its final sorties. No. 9 Squadron, which lost 85 Lancasters during operations from the airfield, moved back to permanent accommodation at Waddington in July 1945, while No. 189 was transferred to Metheringham in October. Bardney was then on care and maintenance until later in the year when it was handed over to the Army. During the following decade, its runways could be seen lined with almost every conceivable type of military vehicle, many of which were disposed of at auction. In 1959, a Thor missile site was built on the airfield, the operating unit being No. 106 Squadron, but, as with other Thor sites, it was disbanded four years later. Thereafter the airfield was disposed of but all three hangars were retained as well as several of the larger buildings on the technical site.

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