RAF Ossington, Nottinghamshire
Site Visit(s): 2006
The land for RAF Ossington was requisitioned in Ictober 1940 and work began on the airfield in 1941. Areas of North and High Wood were cleared and raod closed to facilitate the building of the airfield. It was built to the standard pattern of a bomber airfield, with three inersecting concrete runways: 24/06 - NE/SW (2000 yards/1828 m), 26/08 - ENE/WSW (1400 yards/1280 m) and 31/13 - SE/NW (1400 yards/1280 m), surrounding which was the perimeter track from which were 30 frying-pan type heavy bomber hardstandings. Four T2 hangars were provided. The Technical Site was to the east and north of the airfield and the bomb dump situated to the south west in High Wood. Dispersed and accomodation sites for a total of 2463 RAF and WAAF, all ranks off to the east, around the village of Ossington. The station identification code was 'ON'.
Originally built as a bomber airfield, RAF Ossington opened as part of 5 Group, Bomber Command but was transferred to Flying Training Command shortly after it opened in January 1942. The first unit to occupy the site was 14 (P) AFU with its Airspeed Oxfords, who moved in on January 19th 1942 and stayed until transferring to Banff, Scotland in May 1943. The airfield was transferred back to Bomber Command under 93 (OTU) Group with RAF Gamston as its satellite. Ossington's next unit, 82 OTU, was formed from 28 OTU Wymeswold in June 1943, whose Wellingtons temporarily used Ossington whilst work was being undertaken there. A mixture of Wellington IIIs and Wellington Xs could be seen and operated in support of Bomber Command operations, as did many OTUs, on many of the leafleting raids (nickelling) as a preparation to operational life.
Part of the routine at Ossington was fighter affiliation and target practice. Miles Martinet target tugs were used for live air to air firing and fighter affilkiation duties were undertaken at first by the Curtiss P-40 Tomahawks (later replaced with Hurricanes) of 1685 Bomber Defence Training Flight.
In June 1944, Ossington lost Gamston as its satellite and the OTU was reduced in strength until it eventually disbanded in January 1945. The airfied passed to Transport Command and the LAncaster of No. 6 Lancaster Finishing School took up residence. A joint venture between Training Command and BOAC, it converted crews from the Lancaster to the civilian version, the Lancastrian, for the England - New Zealand route. The LFS disbanded in November 1945 and from it was formed 1 (Transport) Conversion Unit, whose purpose it was to convert Lancaster crews to the Avro York for the long distance transport role. Upon disbanding in 1946, flying ceased at Ossington and the site was disposed of soon afterwards. Today, very little remains.
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