RAF Goxhill, Lincolnshire
USAAF Station No. 345
24/09/05; 29/12/07; 29/05/08
Construction was started on RAF Goxhill in October 1940, the station being opened on June 26th 1941. Although built for Bomber Command, it was pre-Class A standard and consequently the runways were shorter than their later counterparts and unlike some contemporary stations, never lengthened. They were 07/25 ENE/WSW (1600 yd/1460 m); 01/19 N/S (1100 yd/1005 m) and 13/31 ESE/WNW (1100 yd/1005 m), concrete surface. The Technical Site was equipped with three hangars, two T2s and a single J-type and later, four Blister hangars. The control tower was a Watch Office with Met Section (A.M. Drawing Nos 518/40 & 8936/40). Living quarters and other facilities were spread to the south-east over eight sub-sites excluding W/T, sick quarters and sewage, for a total of 1709, all ranks. It was surrounded by a number of local defence points and two Battle HQ's (Drg No. 11008/41). The station identification code was 'GX'.
Originally opening as a 1 Group RAF Bomber Command airfield, this was to be short-lived with only No. 1 Towed Target Flight (Lysander) being resident for three months (Oct - Dec) in 1941. The Station was transferred to 12 Group RAF, Fighter Command, being used by the Kirton Lindsay-based 616 Sqn (Spitfire coded 'YQ'). Between May and June 1945, Goxhill was used by 15 (P)AFU.
In June 1942, RAF Goxhill was transferred to the US 8th AF and became Station No. 345. Reputedly, according to one local, the Americans were confused by the local pronunciation of "Goxhill" and it was nick-named "Goats Hill". Other American touches included the naming of the dispersed sites after well-known hotels. For example Site No. 3 was Ritz, Site No. 5, Dorchester and Site No. 9, Berkeley.
The role of Goxhill was to house units acclimatising to the European Theatre and consequently, saw many unit movements. The first USAAF unit was the 1st FG, 71st FS (Lockheed P-38F Lightning; coded 'LM'), June - Aug '42. They were followed by the 52nd FG (Spirfire) and rapidly followed by a number of USAAF units: Dec '42 - Apr '43, 78th FG (P-38 Lightning: 82nd FS coded 'MX', 83rd FS coded 'HL', 84th FS coded 'WZ'); June - Aug '43 353rd FG (Republic P-47D Thunderbolt: 350th FS coded 'LH', 351st coded 'YJ', 352nd coded 'SX'); Aug - Oct '43 356th FG (P-47D Thunderbolt: 359th FS coded 'OC', 360th FS coded 'PI', 361st FS coded 'QI'); Oct - Nov '43 358th FG (P-47D Thunderbolt: 365th FS coded 'CH', 366th FS coded 'IA', 367th FS coded 'CP'); Dec '43 - Feb '45 496 FTG (554th FTS P-38J Lightining coded 'B9', 555th FTS P-51D Mustang coded 'C9').
The airfield was transferred back to the RAF in January 1945. It was used by a number of Maintenance Units, the last being 93 MU, for the storage of munitions until 1953. The site was disposed of in 1961 although the hangars were retained by the Ministry of Supply and used for storing "Green Goddess" fire engines. Today, they are used for storage and light industry, as is the rest of the Technical Site. The airfield is now a busy fishery and the watch tower was dismantled and transported to the Fighter Factory, Virginia, USA for rebuild and restoration.
Elsewhere on Airfield Archaeology
Related External Links