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[RAF Elsham Wolds] [Other Local Airfields] [RAF Waddington Pt 2]

RAF Waddington Lincolnshire - Part 2 - WW2

463 Squadron Lancasters Waddington

463 Squadron Lancasters Waddington

At the start of WW2 the RAF Waddington Handley Page Hampdens of 44 Squadron and 50 Squadron were in action on the day of the declaration of war attacking German naval targets at Kiel. Waddington squadrons were also involved during the critical stages of the late summer and early autumn of 1940, attacking barges in the channel ports which were being assembled as part of the proposed invasion fleet.

Handley Page Hampden pair in flight

Handley Page Hampden pair in flight

In November 1940 it was the first station to receive the Avro Manchester heavy bomber.

Avro Manchester

Avro Manchester

No. 44 Squadron RAF was the first in RAF Bomber Command to fly operationally with the Avro Lancaster on 2 March 1942 from Waddington. BT308, the first prototype Lancaster (or Mk III Manchester), arrived at Waddington in September 1941 for flight tests. Similar to RAF Scampton, the station was part of 5 Group.

44 Squadron Lancaster ED433 1943

44 Squadron Lancaster ED433 1943

On 17 April 1942, seven Lancasters of No. 44 Squadron took off from Waddington as part of Operation Margin, a bombing raid on the MAN U-boat engine plant in Augsburg in Germany. The squadron subsequently left Waddington on 31 May 1943, moving to RAF Dunholme Lodge, also in Lincolnshire.

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During WW2 War the following squadrons are known to have operated from Waddington.

    No. 97 Squadron reformed on 25 February 1941, with the Avro Manchester before moving to nearby RAF Coningsby on 10 March 1941

    No. 9 Squadron arrived on 7 August 1942, initially with the Vickers Wellington III, before switching to the Lancaster I and III during September 1942. The squadron moved to RAF Bardney, also in Lincolnshire, on 14 April 1943.

    No. 142 Squadronn was present between 15 June 1940 and 3 July 1940 with the Fairey Battle before moving to RAF Binbrook, also in Lincolnshire.

142 Squadron Fairey Battle

142 Squadron Fairey Battle

    No. 207 Squadron reformed at Waddington on 1 November 1940 with the Manchester adding the Hampden for a month in July 41. The squadron moved to RAF Bottesford on 17 November 1941

    No. 420 Squadron of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) formed on 19 December 1941 with the Hampden before moving to RAF Skipton-on-Swale in North Yorkshire on 7 August 1942.

    No. 463 Squadron of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) formed at the airfield on 25 November 1943 with the Lancaster I and III before moving to RAF Skellingthorpe in Lincoln on 3 July 1945.

    No. 467 Sqn RAAF was present between 13 November 1943 and 15 June 1945 with the Lancaster Mks I and III. The squadron then moved to nearby RAF Metheringham.

    No. 617 Squadron was present between 17 June 1945 and 19 January 1946 with the Lancaster VII-FE before moving to RAF Digri in Pakistan.

467 Squadron Lancaster

467 Squadron Lancaster

Compiled by David Fell. Photos from my archive and WWP

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