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RAF Kirmington
Kirmington Aerial 1945
Aerial View RAF Kirmington at wars end 1945

    This is a Class A airfield, on which work began in late 1941, it was completed the following summer. Located directly south-west of Kirmington village

on the A18, Scunthorpe to Grimsby road. The airfield conformed to the standard of the time with three concrete runways, the main 04-22 being originally

1,450 yard long, runway 15-33 1,150 yards long and runway 09-27 1,100 yards long.

   However, it appears that extensions of the runway were carried out before the station was opened and this involved the closure and diversion of the

A18 just west of Kirmington village, and also the closure of the minor road running north to the village on the east side of the airfield.

   When extended the runways lengths were 04-22 at 2,000 yards and the others both 1,400 yards.  Of the original 36 pan-type hardstandings two were

lost by perimeter track and hanger taxiway extensions.  Two loop-type standings were added as replacements.  A T2 hanger was located on the main

technical site between runway headings 22 and 27 and another on the maintenance site near Kirmington Villa with another T2 and a B1 a little to the

north. Two blister hangers were erected on the pan hardstandings adjacent to the technical site T2.  The bomb store was off the south side of the airfield

and 11 camp sites, of which seven were domestic, were dispersed around Kirmington village and further east, allowing for 2,177 males and 345 females.

   Kirmington was first used by No. 15(Pilots) Advanced Flying School from March 1942, but on October 23 that year the station was transferred to

No. 1 Bomber Command when No. 150 Squadron and it's Wellingtons arrived from Snaith preparatory to having half of its strength dispatched to

North Africa.  The remaining crews continued on operations and were joined in December by part of No. 170 Squadron from Grimsby, which had suffered

a similar fate.  Instead of re-building both squadrons, a desision was taken by Bomber Command to amalgamate both under another designation.

Thus on January 27, 1943, No. 166 Squadron was re-born, having last existed as a Hadley Page V/1500 heavy bomber squadron in the First World War.

No. 166 flew Wellingtons until September 1943 and then converted to Lancasters.

    As Bomber Command continued to expand, No. 166 lost its C Flight in October 1944 for the reforming of No. 153 Squadron.  It flew its first raid on

October 7 but, as was common practice, as soon as the new unit was fully established it was transfered to a station where more room was available.

Thus by the middle of the month is had moved to Scampton.

    During operations from Kirmington, a total 178 bombers either failed to return or were destroyed in crashes, 51 being Wellingtons and

127 Lancasters.

    Kirmington continued as home for No. 166 Squadron until November 1945 when, along with several other bomber squadrons, was disbanded.

From February 1946 the station was put on care and maintenance until relinquished by the Air Ministry to the Ministry of Agriculture in 1953.

Some private crop spraying and commercial flying with light aircraft took place over the next few years, use being made of wartime buildings

by the operators.

    From the summer 1967, a small charter company started regular flying from the airfield and its activities gradually expanded.

    In 1970 Kirmington was selected as the best location for a regional airport serving the Hull, Grimsby and Scunthorpe localities.  By this time the A18

had been restored and took in part of the northern end of runway 22, but the others were in good order although a minor road had been reopened across

the flying field.  In furtherance of the project, the airfield was purchased by Lindsey County Council for a reported £85,000, a further £170,000

being invested in refurbishing the runways, building a new terminal and control tower.

    Opened in March 1974, Kirmington eventually became Humberside Airport and home to small charter airlines.

It has since been acquired by Manchester Airport PLC.

   A memorial plaque to the men of No. 166 Squadron was placed in Kirmington village church.

In 2001 this plaque was moved to the 166 Squadron Memorial Gardens in Kirmington village. The land was donated by the Earl of Yarborough.

166 Squadron Memorial Gardens

dedicated 2001
Memorial Garden Memorial Plaque Lancaster Propellor Blade Lancaster Propellor Blade Plaque Aircrew Memorial Window Aeroplanes becoing crosses Aircrew Badges
Kirmington - Air Crew Memorial

window in the church of St. Helen, Kirmington.

Squadron badges are incorporated in the lower

right hand pane.
Images used with kind permission of Glenn Carter Architechtural Glass

To enjoy Glenn's other works visit him at


RAF Kirmington Wartime Photographs
Briefing Room
Briefing Room

September 1944

laying out route to Berlin

Kirmington Village

Kirmington Village at wars end 1945

photograph courtesy Michael Clark

Radar Section 1943 Radar Section Later
Radar Section

RAF Kirmington

Ground Crew
Ground Staff

"A" Flight

circa 1943

Marrowbone and Cleaver

Marrowbone & Cleaver

'The Chopper'

as it was during the war years

photograph courtesy Michael Clark

Squadron Officers

Standing L to R  S/Cdr 'Uncle' Spencer, Intelligence Officer,  F/Lt Dennis Walker,  Engineering Officer

Seated L to R.  F/Lt Harry McGhie,  Signals Leader,  F/O 'Doc' Dhenin,  Sqn. Medical Officer,  F/Lt Fred Fitton,  Gunnery Leader

photograph appears in W. E. Jones book 'Bomber Intelligence'

Motor Transport Section
M/T Section

circa 1944

Incendiaries Loading
Cannisters being filled with

30 lb. incendiaries

4000lb Bombs
4,000 lb. H. C. bombs being loaded on to trolleys

AS-J accident
Lancaster Mk I  ME647  AS-J 

F/O Gerald Lewis DFC and crew - burst a tire on

take off to Revigny 14 July 1944.

All crew were safe.

G/C Gerald Paul Halliley Carter

Station Commander, in foreground

photograph appears in W. E. Jones book 'Bomber Intelligence'

Lancaster Mk I  ME835  AS-T 

F/O Joseph Raymond Wilson and crew

enroute to Le Havre

10 September 1944

Squadron photograph May 1945
166 Squadron

May 1945

RAF Kirmington Post War Photographs
Stanton Shelter
Stanton Shelter

Dispersed Camp No. 1

photograph courtesy Noel Ryan

Orlet Huts01
Orlet Huts

Dispersed Camp No. 1

photograph courtesy Noel Ryan

Blast Shelter
Blast Shelter

Dispersed Camp No. 1

photograph courtesy Noel Ryan

Kirmington Airfield

Kirmington Airfield

circa 1970
Control Tower

Kirmington Control Tower

circa 1970

Earl of Yarborough Arch today Earl of Yarborough Arch War years
 Earl of Yarborough's Arch

war years
 Earl of Yarborough's Arch


166 Squadron Reunion Photographs
Reunion Photo01

L to R Rear

John George Stratford

Alfred Holliday

Cyril A. Cook

Harry Smith

Albert Jones


Edward Thomas Peters

Reunion Photo01

166 Squadron RAF Kirmington

reunion dinner 1952

photograph courtesy Jim Wright 'On Wings Of War'

Reunion Photo 1996

166 Squadron RAF Kirmington

reunion dinner 1966

L to R Alf White, Ted Hull and Ron Goldstein