RAF Gamston, Nottinghamshire
Visit Date(s): 08/05/06; 24/05/12
Built between the villages of Elkesley and Gamston, RAF Gamston was constructed to Class A standard as a bomber airfield, with authorisation for acquisition of the land was given in August 1941. The airfield had three concrete (tarmac surfaced) runways; 21/03 NNE/SSW (2000 yards/1828 m), 27/09 E/W (1400 yards/1280 m) and 33/15 NW/SE (140 yards/1280 m). A Watch Office for Bomber Satellite & Bomber OTU Satellite Stations (13726/41, 15683/41) was sited at the south of the airfield together with the technical site, with the usual cluster of buildings and to the north-west, the bomb stores. Four T2 hangars and a single B1 hangar were spread around the airfield and from the perimeter track, thirty frying-pan type heavy bomber hardstandings. The accommodation and facilities for 1272 RAF and WAAF, all ranks, was clustered around the village of Elkesley, to the south. The station identification code was 'GB'.
Opened in December 1942 Gamston, despite being built as a bomber airfield, was first used by 14 (P) AFU of Flying Training Command as a satellite to RAF Ossington. In May 1943, Gamston transferred to Bomber Command falling under 93 (Training) Group. This saw the arrival of 'C' Flight 82 OTU (Wellington III and Wellington X, Miles Martinet, Hawker Hurricane), on June 1st 1943 until being scaled down by mid-1944. In June 1944, 86 OTU was formed from 82 OTU, and continued the training of bomber crews until disbanding in November 1944. From this time 91 Group Servicing Unit, responsible for the Group's Wellingtons, took up residence
A series of smaller units began to utilise Gamston which included (after transfer to 7 (Training) Group), 3 Aircrew Training School and 93 Group Disposal Unit, both of which disbanded in January 1945. In February 1945, 30 OTU arrived from RAF Hixon, Staffordshire. With the transfer to 91 Group, 30 OTU disbanded on June 12th 1945. The station became home to 9 Air Crew Holding Unit, which processed Commonwealth aircrews for repatriation (primarily Australians of the RAAF). By the end of 1945, Gamston closed and was reduced to Care & Maintenance.
With the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 Gamston, along with a number of other airfields then on C & M, was reactivated in June 1952 as a satellite for the Meteors of 211 AFS, from RAF Worksop, Notts. Only lasting for two years, by 1954 the Meteors had gone and Gamston closed. The airfield's potential as a small civil operation was spotted and today it is known as Retford Airport. The technical site is a busy industrial estate and the control tower converted into a private dwelling. Apart from one or two structures on private property, the dispersed sites have gone.
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Related External Links
RAF Gamston 08/05/06
RAF Gamston 23/05/12