Binbrook

Opened: 1940
Administered RAF Binbrook :: 25 Oct 1945 –
Closed: Jun 1988
Acted as relief landing ground for RAF Scampton until 1995
Airfield code: BK
Squadrons based here:
460 Sqn RAAF :: 14 May 1943 – Jul 1945
12 Sqn :: Jul 1940 – Jul 1943; Sep 1945 – Jul 1959
142 Sqn :: Jul 1940 – Dec 1942
1481(B) Gunnery Flt :: May 1943 – Feb 1944
9 Sqn :: Apr 1946 – Dec 1959
101 Sqn :: 1 Oct 1945 – Jan 1957
617 Sqn :: Feb 1947 – Sep 1947
Target Towing Flight (Lysanders) ::
1 Gp Special Duties Flight ::
50 Sqn :: Aug 1952 – Jan 1956
109 Sqn :: Jan 1956 – Jan 1957
139 Sqn :: Jan 1956 – Dec 1959
64 Sqn :: Jun 1962 – Apr 1965
Central Fighter Establishment :: Oct 1962 – Jan 1968
85 Sqn :: May 1965 – Jan 1972
5 Sqn :: Oct 1965 – Dec 1987
Fighter Command Trials Unit :: Feb 1966 – Jun 1967
11 Sqn :: Mar 1972 – Jun 1988
Airfield code: EGXB

RAF Binbrook opened in early 1940, base to 142 Bomber Sqn, with 12 Sqn from Finningley in early July 1940. The station closed for 1942 to allow the construction of concrete runways. 12 Sqn moved to Wickenby and converted to Lancasters. 12 Sqn returned on 24 Sep 1945. On 14 May 1943 Binbrook reopened as the home for 460 Sqn RAAF. 460 Sqn was to suffer higher casualties than any other unit of the Australian Army, Navy or Air Force in World War Two. 617 Sqn moved in in 1947 and undertook a Goodwill Mission to the USA and Canada from July to September 1947, under the command of Group Captain Thomson.

After WWII Binbrook hosted the Canberra, the RAF s first jet bomber and later transfered to Figher Command in 1960, hosting sqns flying the Gloucester Javelin and the the English Electric Lightning.
RAF Binbrook was home to the Electric Lightning which celebrated its 50th anniversary in Jul/Aug 04. A squadron was on 24-hour QRA (Alert) at RAF Binbrook for many years in the all-British built fighter when the Lightning was the mainstay of British air defence from 1962 to 1988. The QRA sheds at Binbrook are extant and visible from the road. They are now marooned from the main runway which has been excavated and removed as hardcore along with most of the taxiways. The sheds are used to store the contractor s machinery and are deteriorating badly. The former  Fightertown  is now a sorry sight. Two organisations preserve the Lightning and its association with RAF Binbrook: the Leicestershire-based Lightning Preservation Group and the Binbrook-based Lightning Association.
Immediately after closing in 1988 the movie  Memphis Belle  was fimed at Binbrook :: more details here. Then the airfield became a relief landing ground for RAF Scampton.
460 Sqn RAAF is now commemorated in a memorial stone in Binbrook. See “A Brief History of the RAF in Lincolnshire” :: website. The relevant page is linked directly in the column to the right of this page.
RAF Binbrook Signals Squadron Association
Details can be obtained by contacting the Secretary – T E Merriman, 55 Woodlands, Harrow, Middlesex HA2 6EJ
617 Sqn Binbrook Goodwill Mission to Canada and USA
Robert (Bob) Hornby of Lancashire has spent 7 years researching and writing the history of 617 Sqn s 1947 goodwill mission of which he was a member. Based on AIR27/2526/27 Documentation and oral history from surviving members he has produced a 125 page history which is lodged at 617 Squadron Air Crew Associations Historical Section, at the COMOX Air Force Museum, Lazo BC, and the Nanton Lancaster Museum in Nanton Alberta. Further details about the project and the book can be found on the 617 Sqn Goodwill Tour.