RAF Worksop, Nottinghamshire
Visit Date(s): 8th May 2006
With land requisitioned in July 1942, construction commenced by contractors Wimpey and Carmichael on RAF Worksop in 1943, which opened in November 1943. One of the last airfields to be built, it was designed as a Class A bomber airfield with the three concrete-surfaced runway layout: 28/10 NE/SW (2000 yards/1828 m), 22/04 E/W (1400 yards/1280 m) and 34/16 NW/SE (1400 yards/1280 m), with the encircling perimeter track having 36 spectacle-type heavy bomber hardstands. The tower was a Watch Office for all RAF Commands (12779/41 & 343/43); the hangars were two T2. Accommodation and facilities were provided over ten sites for 1994 personnel, RAF and WAAF all ranks, to the north east of the airfield.
Opening as a satellite to RAF Finningley, along with nearby RAF Bircotes which already undertook this duty. On November 11th 1943, 18 OTU arrived (Wellington, Oxford, Martinet, P-40 Tomahawk and latterly Hurricanes). The OTU was predominantly responsible for training Polish airmen and in December 1944, the OTU split, with the exclusively Polish 10 OTU forming and moving out. This left the parent unit in residence for a brief period before it too disbanded in January 1945.
Between 1945 and 1948, a number of smaller units were housed at Worksop, including the Engine Control Development Unit (March - September 1945), 1 Group Communications Flight (late 1946 - early 1947), and the Central Night Vision Training School (1946 - June 7th 1948). In November 1946, RAF Worksop transferred to Flying Training Command and ceased to be a satellite of Finningley. With the departure of the CNVTS, the airfield closed and was paced on Care & Maintenance.
After the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950 and Britain's increased involvement Worksop, along with a number of other home stations, was reactivated for the training of fast jet pilots. On August 11th 1952, 211 Advanced Flying School formed at RAF Worksop with its Gloster Meteors, later being renamed 211 Advanced Flying School. Disbanded on June 9th 1956, the school re-emerged as 4 Flying Training School (Meteor, Vampire, Provost). They were joined by 616 Sqn R Aux AF (Meteor). Both units remained until RAF Worksop closed in June 1958. It was disposed of in December 1960.
For a time, the extended east-west runway was used as a facility for testing vehicle brake systems. This ceased in the 1990s and the runway was finally torn up between late 2005 and early 2006. Apart from a few fragments of concrete, nothing else remains.
Elsewhere in Airfield Archaeology
Related External Links