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[Home] [Airfields of 103 Sqn] [RAF Newton]

RAF Newton – Notts, UK

RAF Newton

The RAF Newton site as it is in recent times with the 5 hangars clearly visible

Newton was one of numerous airfields built during the late 30s as part of the UK government RAF expansion programme. Situated south of the village of Newton, six miles east of Nottingham, it was completed in 1938.

The site included five Type C hangers on the eastern side of the airfield. The technical and administrative buildings and accommodation were all of brick construction with flat roofs and most with central heating. At its peak Newton was able to accommodate 1773 males and 304 females. The airfield was a popular posting for those stationed there because of its close proximity to the city of Nottingham.

During 1940/41 a total of 24 hardstands for aircraft were laid to the south and north of the site and this was later increased to 35. Three grass runways were established, one at 1230 yards and two more at 770 yards.

In June 1940 Newton was under the control of No. 1 Group Bomber Command and 103 Squadron and 150 Sqn were posted in after their return from France in July. Both squadrons were flying Fairey Battles at the time and they were held mainly in reserve for the expected invasion. Both undertook numerous training tasks to prepare for this eventuality but also made a small number of night bombing raids to targets on the continent.

In October 1940 both squadrons were re-equipped with Vickers Wellington bombers. After a period of training on the new type 103 and 150 Sqns were heavily involved in bombing operations against targets, mostly in Germany and France.

103 Squadron Wellington circa 39 40.

PM-A early 103 Squadron Wellington

103 Squadron Wellington on bomb dump at Newton

103 Squadron Wellington which after a mishap ended up on the bomb dump at Newton looking rather forlorn. I believe this to be PM-A Sierra Leone as that shown above

103 Squadron Wellington W5612 Mellor.

103 Squadron Wellington W5612 Mellor. Shot down on approach to RAF Newton by single engined aircraft which was almost certainly a Blue on Blue incident. The Germans had no single engined night intruders operating over the north of England and the attacker was either an RAF Hurricane or Defiant.

Newton Duke of Kent

The Duke of Kent makes an official visit to Newton early 40s

In July 1941 both units moved to airfields which were better equipped with concrete runways for the operation of heavy bombers. 103 Sqn departed for Elsham Wolds and 150 Sqn for Snaith.

103 Squadron Newton Wellingtons leave station for the last time

Last of the 103 Squadron Wellingtons depart for Elsham Wolds. The Newton water tower is on the right. The tower was still prominent on the site till well into the 2000s.

Newton then became home to No 16 (Polish) Flying Training School which provided basic and advanced training for hundreds of Polish airmen serving in the RAF. This unit was disbanded in October 1946.

Various training activities continued and the station became home to the headquarters of No 12 Group, Fighter Command until 1958 when Technical Training Command took over and several ground schools followed in the 60s and 70s.

Flying continued with Newton being the home of the East Midlands University Air Sqn with Bulldog aircraft and the civilian operated Slingsby Fireflies on behalf of RAF Cranwell. In 1996 part of the site was sold and the airfield closed in November 2000.

Newton has been in the news in recent years following government proposals to use the old airfield as a reception and holding centre for illegal immigrants. This has been the cause of considerable controversy and protest from the local people however it seems any plans of this nature have now been abandoned.

In more recent times planning permission has been granted for the construction of 500 new houses on part of the site.

Rastus - Sqn Pet Owl

Rastus a well known and popular resident of Newton.

The RAF Newton Memorial Fund are at time of writing raising money for a memorial on the site of the new housing estate and a site has been agreed with the developers. The RAF Newton Memorial will feature a bronze statue of a wartime pilot with a book to  symbolise the 'teaching and learning' aspect of the station motto; a  theme that was associated with Newton from July 1941 to September 2000.  Or he could be reading a love letter, but we will leave it up to you to  decide. It is quite excellent and if anyone wishes to contribute further details can be found on this website. He will be accompanied by his pet dog, a Spaniel which can also be seen  as subtle nod to the RAF Police whose dogs were trained at Newton  between 1975 and 1995.

It is quite excellent and if anyone wishes to contribute further details can be found on this website.

RAF Newton Memorial Fund

Item written by David Fell

Source RAF Newton Tim O’Brien. Photos from the late Arthur Roberts archive via Jonathon Hipkin and IWM.

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Featured Page of the Month

Vire  - 6/7th June 1944

Latest additions to this site

1st June 2024 - RAF Bombsights

1st June 2024 - Armstrong NH Profile

1st June 2024 - Marsden JTA Profile

1st June 2024 - Flak Scrapbook

1st May 2024 - Fairey Battle Photo Gallery

1st May 2024 - Barratt Profile

1st May 2024 - Remy and Crew Profile

1st May 2024 - Breen Profile

* 1st April 2024 - 80 Wing

1st April 2024 - Shields Profile

1st April 2024 - Anderson Profile

1st April 2024 - Cavanagh Profile

* 1st March 2024 - Advanced Air Striking Force

1st March 2024 - Riches Profile

* 1st February 2024 - Kilvington Profile

1st February 2024 - Garton Profile

1st February 2024 - Holland Profile

* 1st January 2024 - Pamplin Profile

1st January 2024 - Milan - 24/25 October 1942

* 1st December 2023 - Photos of F/L Jacob t'Hart DFC and bar

1st December 2023 - Bremen – 2/3rd July 1942

1st December 2023 - Skinner Profile

* 1st November 2023 - Memoirs of F/L Jacob t'Hart DFC and bar

1st November 2023 - Mine laying Biarritz / Biscay coast - 21 November 1942

1st November 2023 - Billie - Lancaster - W4364 - 103 Squadron

1st November 2023 - Curtin Twins Profile

*1st October 2023 - Dusseldorf - 1 August 1942

1st October 2023 - RAF Usworth Photo Album - 103 Squadron Era 1937/38

1st October 2023 - Mills Profile

*1st September 2023 - Tilley Profile

1st September 2023 - Ostend docks and barges - 22 December 1940

* 1st August 2023 - Defensive Armament - 103 Squadron and 576 Squadron

1st August 2023 - Chesterton Profile

1st August 2023 - Targets in Holland - 21/22 July 1940

1st August 2023 - Numerous additions and updates throughout the site

*1st July 2023 - Armed Reconnaissance/Leaflet Raid – Koblenz area – 20/21 March 1940

1st July 2023 - Air Dropped Weapons Article

1st July 2023 - Knott Profile

Also of local RAF Bomber Command interest are the

166 Squadron website

and the

550 Squadron and North Killingholme website.