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After an original idea by Paul Freeman.
First published 7 Nov 2010. This collection of airfields is © 2010 - 2017 RonaldV
uk

Fiskerton

27-12-2015


849

53°14'34"N 000°25'58"W

Runway: 05/23 ...x..m - concrete
Runway: 08/26 ...x..m - concrete
Runway: 13/31 ...x..m - concrete

Fiskerton Air field (RAF Fiskerton) was an airfield 195 kilometer north of London.
Construction started in 1942 and the airfield opened in January 1943 as a satellite to RAF Scampton under Group 5 Bomber Command. It featured three runways, 36 aircraft parkings, A B1 and a T2 hangar and several dispersed sites, comprising accommodation for aircrews, sick bay, mortuary, gymnasium, chapel and sewage treatment works were located to the east and south of the airfield with bomb storage area located to the north. One aircraft parking on the north side of the airfield was later 'traded' for a second T2 hangar.
49 Sqn was based at the airfield from the start, with the exception for a few weeks in the autumn of 1943, when repairs were carried out on the runway. Operation 'Hydra', the Peenemunde Raid, was launched from Fiskerton on 17 Aug 1943.  During the runway repairs, carried out between 22 September and 23 October 1944, the opportunity was taken to install the FIDO fog dispersing equipment system.  FIDO consisted of two rows of burning petrol on each side of the runway. The heat generated by the system was enough to rise the temperature above the runway, cutting a hole in the fog. It provided aircrews, often in battle damaged bombers, with a brightly lit strip indicating the position of the runway. RAF Fiskerton was one of only 15 airfields to be equipped with FIDO. 

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FIDO during a demonstration on 3 Nov 1943, from 500ft looking in a south westerly direction, showing clearly the main runway threshold. To the left of the shot, above the Lancaster on its dispersal, the concrete base for the not yet erected B1 hanger can be seen. The T2 hanger is clearly visible and to it’s right the watch office complex is located. Moving further up the photo on the left, the A Flight dispersal can just be seen. (49squadron.co.uk)

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The same test, seen from the south. Caption says RAF Fiskerton - 3rd Nov. 1943 - testing 'FIDO'. (fiskertonairfield)


Explanation video of the FIDO system.

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Leading Aircraftwoman Lilian Yule tractors Avro Lancaster B Mark III, DV238 'EA-O', of No. 49 Squadron RAF to its dispersal slot at Fiskerton, Lincolnshire. DV238 later went to 44 Squadron RAF with whom it was lost during a raid on Berlin on 16/17 December 1944 (© IWM (CH 13716))

In October 1944, 49 Sqn was replaced by 576 Sqn. They used the airfield until the end of the war, their last combat sortie from the airfield was in participation of the attack on Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden in Bavaria.
The airfield closed to flying operations in early 1946. 

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RAF Fiskerton in 1945. On the original (found at FiskertonAirfield.co.uk) you can still see Lancaster bombers on the dispersals and even one on the 13/31 runway!
 
After the war, the domestic sites were converted to accomodate homeless families. 182 homes were so convertedd and the sergeants mess was converted into school, in which role it served until 1970. The mail part of the airfield remained with the Ministry of Defense until the early 1960s. One part of the airfield was used to become home to the Royal Observer Corps first purpose built control center (No 15 Group HQ and UKWMO Midlands Sector HQ) , which remained operational until 1991. The airfield remained in a more or less complete shape until at least the early 1970s.

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The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight's Lancaster PA474 seen overflying RAF Fiskerton sometime around 1970 (Photo RAF, via FiskertonAirfield).

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RAF Fiskerton was still remarkably complete in 1971, 25 years after the airfield closed. Only a local road across the airfield, from the village of Fiskerton to Reepham, was reinstated after the war had ended (FiskertonAirfield)
 
In the 1980s, some oil drillling took place in the center of the former airfield, roughly where the three runways and the local road crossed.
The final flight of an aircraft into Fiskerton took place in the early 1990s, almost 50 years after the airfield had closed. Courtesy of the farmer who farmed the land on the disused Fiskerton airfield, Captain Jack Moss returned to the airfield in his Cessna 150 on 10 August 1993, 50 years to the day on which he took off from Fiskerton in his Lancaster and was posted missing. Also present was his bomb-aimer, Len Bradfield who was the only other member of his crew who survived.
RAF Fiskerton is commemorated in the village church and in an airfield memorial, described on the RAF Fiskerton memorial page.
Elements of the runway and taxiway system still remain and are used for farm equipment and produce storage.
 
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Fiskerton in 2007 (Google Earth)



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