View Full Version : RAF NORTH COATES

16th Dec 2012, 19:13
I am researching the history of the former RAF North Coates and in particular the aircraft that may have used the airfield post war. I am aware of the Station Flights Ansons and also visits by Prentice, Devon, Dakota and Beverley aircraft.There would have also been Helicopter use after the runway was withrawn from service. I am also aware of the Sycamore SAR squadron but very little else is recorded. If anybody can provide additional or even any information on types, serials and dates It would be gratefully appreciated

17th Dec 2012, 19:53
If you get hold of a copy of "RAF Squadrons" by Wg Cdr CG Jefford it gives lists of all Sqns stationed there with aircraft types and dates.

22 25 42 53 59 85 86 143 217 235 236 248 254 264 275 278 407 415 611 Sqns were stationed there at various times.

17th Dec 2012, 20:25
I am well aware of the history of the based units and aircraft, I have been researching the airfields history in depth since 1997. I am at the point now of trying to establish the aircraft that used the airfield post war, not the types based there. As it was predominentaly a Bloodhound base only the Station Flights Ansons, and a Dragonfly are recorded as based there during that period.
My current interest is the types that visited the airfield during the period 1946 to closure in 1992.These could be any aircraft used by Fighter Command, or even Transport Command.
Currently I have visits from a Dakota(RCAF) DH Devon, Blackburn Beverley, Gloster Meteor, Whirlwind Helicopter, Percival Prentice and little more. The runway was withdrawn from use in the 70s to allow for the rocket site to be expanded, after that it was used by Helicopters only. Very little is recorded about the post war use of the airfield but I feel that there must have been more air activity than this.
Thanks for your interest anyaway

19th Dec 2012, 02:28
A friend of mine was an 'erk' when they reopened the airfield to convert it to Bloodhound SAMs. He told me An SNCO led him and others to a padlocked 'Robin' type hangar where they removed the padlock with bolt cutters. Inside they found what he described as Beaufighter 'toolkits' (not sure if he didn't actually mean spares kits) but anyway, they weren't on the inventory, so to avoid any queries my friend and the others were ordered to dig a hole and bury them. Probably still there (if the story is true and I see no reason why not)

19th Dec 2012, 15:56
I have heard this story before, but as far as I am aware there were no Robin Hangars at North Coates. There were four Bellmans and four which are incorrectly described as the Type F. There was a large workshop type building at one end of the bomb dump which was basically an open ended large nissen hut type structure where some engine maintenance was undertaken. This was dismantled in the 1960s and now serves as a workshop in North Cotes village.
This could be the one your friend describes.
There is also a large lagoon on the seaward side of the sea wall where rumour has it four Rolls Royce Merlins were dumped along with most of the camps rubbish.
Before the RAF left North Coates a metal detector sweep was conducted by the Army bomb disposal which revealed a lot of underground anomolies, some of which was removed, mostly unstable ammo. They didn't get everything though and ordnance and bits of aircraft are regularly ploughed up on the part of the airfield which is now farm land. No tool kits though
Thanks for your input

20th Dec 2012, 12:48
Slight Thread slip.


My cousin, a Captain in the US Air Force, was based at Bentwaters air base when it closed down, although he stayed on in England. He told me that rather than take all of their tool kits back to the States, a very large trench was bulldozed on the airfield and tons (literally) of tools were just dumped in and later covered in a couple of feet of soil.

Two days after the last Americans left, the locals dug the pit out and suddenly local markets had stalls of brand new tools on sale. Eventually, after the trench was virtually empty, the local Plods tried to trace the culprits for 'stealing' tools. Fat chance!!! :D:D

20th Dec 2012, 14:14
I think that was a common practice with Americans especially after WW2.
At the USAAF base at Goxhill, most of the left over vehicles were simply driven off the end of a nearby jetty straight into the River Humber. Even today at low tides you can still see the remains of axles etc sticking out of the mud.