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RAF Spitalgate

Ensign of the Royal Air Force

Army Housing - geograph.org.uk - 155382.jpg
Former RAF Spitalgate in its current guise as a Territorial Army Barracks
IATA: none – ICAO: none
Summary
Airport type Military
Operator Royal Flying Corps, Royal Air Force
Location Grantham, Lincolnshire
Elevation AMSL 415 ft / 126 m
Coordinates 52°54′05″N 000°36′15″W / 52.90139°N 0.60417°W / 52.90139; -0.60417Coordinates: 52°54′05″N 000°36′15″W / 52.90139°N 0.60417°W / 52.90139; -0.60417
Map
Lincolnshire UK location map
Airplane silhouette.svg
RAF Spitalgate
Location in Lincolnshire
Originally named RFC Station Grantham and later RAF Station Grantham. Decommissioned and closed in 1976
Flying training establishment and Flying Training Command. Since 1976 the station has been a Royal Logistics Corps Territorial Army Barracks and headquarters.

RAF Spitalgate formerly known as RFC Station Grantham and RAF Station Grantham was a Royal Flying Corps and Royal Air Force station, located 2 mi (3.2 km) south east of the centre of Grantham, Lincolnshire, England fronting onto the main A52 road.

HistoryEdit

The station opened in 1915 as Royal Flying Corps Station Grantham, becoming RAF Station Grantham on 1 April 1918 - a name it bore until 1942 when it was renamed as RAF Station Spitalgate. Throughout the First World War the station was a flying training facility and headquarters of No. 21 Group RFC Flying Training Command. The main lodging unit was No. 12 Flying Training School RFC with further elements at the satellite station at RFCS Harlaxton. Flying training continued at RAF Grantham during the inter-war years.

RAF Spitalgate should not be confused with HQ of No. 5 Group that was located in a large private house, St Vincents Hall, Grantham from October 1937 to November 1943 and also known as RAF Grantham during its final years there. Also in November 1943, elements of the HQ IX Troop Carrier Command of the USAAF were relocated to RAF Spitalgate, with their headquarters at St Vincents in the town centre. The station was also the training and point-of departure airfield for the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade during Operation Market Garden.

The station was an Officer Cadet Training Unit (OCTU) in the 1950s. Much later it became the Women's Royal Air Force (WRAF) Depot, responsible for the recruitment and training of all non-commissioned females in the RAF, until this moved to RAF Swinderby. The site is not part of Grantham, but the parish of Londonthorpe & Harrowby Without.

Spitalgate acted as a parent station for a relief landing ground four miles further south at RAF Harlaxton from November 1916 until 1945.

Modern day useEdit

Spitalgate is now a Territorial Army Barracks since 1976, called Prince William of Gloucester Barracks, occupied by the Royal Corps of Transport (RCT) reforming with the amalgimation into the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) in 1992, as 5 training regiment RLC where all Territorial Army RLC recruits visit the camp for training and trade training including all catering personnel (former Army Catering Corps).

UnitsEdit

The site is also used by the Grantham & District Model Aircraft Society.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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