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War Memorial #577 ~ RAF Fulbeck Traditional Geocache

Hidden : 11/24/2018
1.5 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size:   micro (micro)

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Geocache Description:

RAF Fulbeck


RAF Fulbeck was a former RAF station located 3 miles west of Fulbeck. The majority of the airfield actually lay in the parishes of Fenton and Stragglethorpe.

The airfield was first used in 1940 as a grass surfaced Relief Landing Ground (RLG) for aircraft from RAF Cranwell. The airfield was temporarily closed during 1942 for the runways to be relayed with concrete. This meant RAF Fulbeck was developed into a Class 'A' bomber airfield which was given to 5 Group Air Bomber Training. 5 Group arrived in October 1942 with RAF Fulbeck becoming fully operational again in December 1942. No front line squadrons were ever allocated to RAF Fulbeck and it quickly fell back under RAF Cranwell to continue use as a night time training airfield.

In May 1943, 1506 Blind Approach Training (BAT) arrived and stayed until August 1943 when RAF Fulbeck was transferred to the Americans.

RAF Fulbeck became known as USAAF Station AAF-488 for security reasons. It was referred to by the USAAF Station Code 'FB'.

On 7 October 1943, the 434th Troop Carrier Group (TCG) arrived at Fulbeck from Baer AAF, Indiana.The group was assigned to the 53rd Troop Carrier Wing and flew Douglas C-47/C-53 Skytrains. The 434th TCG had 56 C-47s and started training with some detachments elsewhere until finally moving to RAF Welford on 10 December 1943.

Between 27-29 March 1944 the 442nd TCG arrived at Fulbeck from Baer AAF, Indiana. The group was assigned to the 50th Troop Carrier Wing and flew Douglas C-47/C-53 Skytrains. The 442nd TCG moved to RAF Weston Zoyland in June 1944 after having taken part in the D-Day operations.

During the following two months there was little activity at Fulbeck until some C-47s of the 440th TCG arrived on 11 September 1944 from RAF Exeter to use Fulbeck as part of Operation Market, the air component of Operation Market Garden.

The USAAF relinquished the airfield back to the RAF in late September and it was reallocated to 5 Group Air Bomber Training. On 16 October 1944 No. 49 Squadron arrived from RAF Fiskerton with their Lancasters. They were joined on 2 November 1944 by No. 189 Squadron from RAF Bardney. Both squadrons remained until April 1945 with No. 189 Squadron returning to RAF Bardney on 8 April and No. 49 Squadron moving to RAF Syerston on 22 April.

No. 189 Squadron flew 40 raids from RAF Fulbeck with 16 aircraft lost. No. 49 Squadron flew 60 raids from RAF Fulbeck losing 15 aircraft.

On the morning of their transfer, a No. 49 Squadron Lancaster making a low farewell pass across the airfield crashed into the technical area, resulting in 24 casualties among air and ground personnel, with 15 fatalities.

At the conclusion of WWII, RAF Fulbeck was retained as an active station, being home to No. 255 Maintenance Unit who were involved with equipment disposal. In June 1948 No. 255 MU were replaced by No. 93 Maintenance Unit who stayed until 1952. RAF Fulbeck then converted back to a RLG for RAF Cranwell.

RAF Fulbeck finally closed in 1970.

The runways, apart from narrow strips used as farm roads, were removed during the 1970s. The perimeter track was kept intact. Small sections of the 30 and 10 runway ends still exist in their full width. At one time Fulbeck was proposed for a nuclear waste disposal site. A karting track has been built over the previous site of one of the runways.

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