The former Royal Air Force Station Leconfield, more commonly known as RAF Leconfield, or ’Leconfield Camp’ was a Royal Air Force airbase in Leconfield (near Beverley), East Riding of Yorkshire, England. The site is now used by the MoD Defence School of Transport.
Leconfield opened in December 1936 as part of RAF Bomber Command. Handley Page Heyford bombers were flown from there from 1937. On the night of 3 September 1939, the first night of the war, ten Whitley bombers from Leconfield became the first British aircraft to penetrate German airspace, dropping propaganda leaflets over Germany. In October 1939 it was taken over by Fighter Command and the Spitfires of 72 squadron arrived from RAF Church Fenton. During the Battle of Britain
, the station was a temporary home to many other squadrons of Fighter Command which made short stays here to rest and re-group. During this period there was also a decoy airfield at nearby Routh.
During the war the RAF squadrons based at Leconfield were: No. 51 Squadron; 166 Squadron; No. 196 Squadron; No. 466 Squadron; 610 Squadron; No. 640 Squadron.
In the 1950s Leconfield was a ’dispersal base’ for the RAF V-bomber force. In the early 1950s it was home to the Central Gunnery School which, among other functions, trained air gunners in Lincoln bombers. This School was later transformed into the Fighter Weapons School. The aircraft then flown were mainly single-seat Venoms and Meteors, plus twin-seat Vampire T11, Meteor trainers and Hawker Hunters for trials with ADEN cannons in 1957. Bristol Sycamore helicopters of No. 228 Squadron RAF arrived there in 1957.
In the 1960s Leconfield became home to 19 Sqdn and 92 Sqdn with Lightning F.2s, which moved from RAF Church Fenton, before their move to RAF Gutersloh in West Germany. It then became home to 60MU and also 202 ’D’ Flight with Wessex Whirlwind helicopters. 60MU was responsible for the major servicing of the EE/BAC Lightnings, plus several other tasks.