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Report - RAF Grafton Underwood - Dec 2011

Discussion in 'Military Sites' started by a_little_feisty, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. a_little_feisty

    a_little_feisty 28DL Full Member
    28DL Full Member

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    Explored this site a couple of weeks ago. I know it has been covered many times so nothing here that won't have been seen before, but we had great fun exploring this place and plan to go back again soon as we know there is so much more to see - including the legendary Ops Room! :)

    First the history part:

    RAF use

    The airfield was opened in 1941 and was first used by the RAF Bomber Command 1653 Heavy Conversion Unit with Liberators. The original runways were approximately 1,600 yards and 1,100 yards in length. However, these were unsuitable for the operation of heavy, four-engined bombers and the field was upgraded to Class A airfield standards, including the lengthening of the runways to the required 2,000 yards for the main and 1,400 yards for each of the others, started in late 1942.

    USAAF use

    Grafton Underwood was assigned United States Army Air Force Eighth Air Force in 1942. Its designation was USAAF Station 106.

    Subsequently used by 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 97th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 305th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 96th Bombardment Group (Heavy) and 384th Bombardment Group (Heavy) during WW2.


    Postwar Air Ministry use

    After the war, Grafton Underwood was used for vehicle storage with No. 236 Maintenance Unit employing up to two hundred civilian drivers and mechanics. The unit at the airfield repaired and stored thousands of Air Ministry vehicles which were sold at monthly public auctions. The airfield was finally declared surplus to requirements and closed on 1 February 1959.

    Civil use

    With the end of military control, Grafton Underwood airfield was returned to agricultural use, however some old buildings remain, in varying condition. Most of the concreted area of the airfield has been removed, except for some single-track agricultural roads which were part of the perimeter track and runways. Several frying pan and at least one double-loop hardstand remains on the north side of the airfield on private farmland. Woods now cover much of the site and these are open to the public. A memorial was installed at the airfield site in the 1990s.



    Now for the photos:

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    A few from the nearby farmhouse too:

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    Thanks for looking :thumb
     

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