A fascinating new guide, featuring the area’s rich aviation heritage, has been launched by East Lindsey District Council.
The booklet - ‘East Lindsey Aviation Heritage’ - highlights the vital role the region played in the Second World War.
Fittingly, it was launched at the Petwood Hotel in Woodhall Spa last week.
The hotel was the Officers’ Mess for the legendary 617 ‘Dambusters’ Squadron during the Second World War.
ELDC’s deputy leader Craig Leyland, who represents Woodhall Spa, was among 80 guests who attended the launch.
He said: “It is a fantastic guide, not only for visitors to the area, but for local people to be aware of our aviation history.”
The Dambusters’ role in the war is well documented.
However, the guide highlights the role other airfields played in the conflict - and in more recent times.
During the war, Bardney was the main base for the IX (B) Squadron, which, along with 617 Squadron, was one of the RAF’s main precision bombing squadrons.
Lancaster bombers from Bardney took part in numerous important missions - including the ‘Battle of the Ruhr’ and the ‘Battle of Berlin.’
The squadron also targeted U-Boat pens, railway bridges, ‘V’weapon sites, the Normandy fortifications and the supposedly unsinkable Triptiz battleship.
More recently, Bardney was used as a Thor Missile Base during the Cold War between 1959 and 1963.
The guide also features RAF Coningsby which is still an important frontline base.
Coningsby also had strong war-time links with 617 Squadron and 619 Squadron - nicknamed ‘The Forgotten Squadron’.
Post-war, Coningsby has continued to play a vital role in various conflicts and is ‘home’ to the RAF’s elite Typhoon aircraft.
The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (BBMF) - one of the region’s premier tourist attractions - was re-located to Coningsby in 1976.
RAF Woodhall Spa and East Kirkby also feature prominently.
There is also a special section on various locally-based Heritage Centre’s, including East Kirby, Thorpe Camp, the BBMF and the Cottage Museum in Woodhall Spa.
The guide highlights the importance of several lesser-known airfields - including Market Stainton, Bucknall and Moorby.
Pick up your guide for free at the Horncastle News office in Church Lane.
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Tuesday 21 May 2013
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