Unit History: RAF Digby
RAF Digby is about 15 miles south of Lincoln and 8 miles north of Sleaford.
Although nominally an RAF station, over the last thirty years it has been used by the Army, Navy, Air Force and more recently, by United States military personnel. Home to two Signals Units, Joint Service Signals Wing (see 399 Signals Unit), 591 Signals Unit and the Aerial Erector School. With no airfield its main function now is a communications base.
In 1942 it was used by the Royal Canadian Air Force but previous alumni include Douglas Bader and Guy Gibson. It remembers this era with a Supermarine Spitfire replica as a gate guardian.
There is a bunker dating back to the Second World War when RAF Digby was a sector operations HQ, which has been restored and is now a museum.
Pilot Officer John Gillespie Magee, Jr., who wrote "the most inspirational poem of aviation literature, High Flight" was stationed with Number 412 RCAF Fighter Squadron at Wellingore, a satellite of Digby. It is said that it was inspired by being able to test pilot a new Spitfire V; however, Magee’s logbook indicates that he flew his inspirational flight in a standard Spitfire MKI on August 18, 1941, while at No. 53 OTU.
The station is the oldest RAF station, being named RAF Scopwick on March 31, 1918, the day before the official founding of the RAF and the naming of other stations. Its name was changed because of the similar name of another RAF station, RAF Shotwick (now RAF Sealand). For radio communications reasons both stations’ names were changed.