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RAF Spilsby in the Second World War 1939-1945 - The Wartime Memories Project -

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- RAF Spilsby during the Second World War -

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RAF Spilsby


RAF Spilsby, situated 3 miles E of Spilsby, 8 miles west of Skegness, in Lincolnshire, was a 5 Group Bomber Command station, opening in September 1943. Spilsby was home to 207 and 44 Squadron, flying Lancasters.

The airfield closed in November 1946, briefly reopening in the 1950's. Today the site is used for Agriculture.

Squadrons stationed at RAF Spilsby

  • No: 207 Squadron Oct 1943 to July 1945
  • No:44 Squadron Sep 44 to July 1945
  • No 2 Armament Practice School. July 1945 to Nov 1946


8th Jul 1944 207 Squadron Lancaster lost.

Sept 1944 

5th Nov 1944 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

9th Feb 1945 44 Squadron Lancaster lost

10th April 1945 

July 1945 

If you can provide any additional information, please add it here.

Those known to have served at

RAF Spilsby

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List

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Sgt. John Coults rear gunner 44 Sqd.

Sgt John Coults

My Dad,John Coults who passed away in 2006, was in 44 Rhodesia Squadron. He flew in R for Robert PB417 and completed 32 Operations. The first two were pamphlet drops in France, the other 30 were combat missions between 19/07/44 and 6/11/44. Dad then transfered to Liberators based in India.

The crew were:

  • Flt Lt Merrik Heath (Rhodesian), PILOT - tragically killed in a civilian Lancastrian during the Berlin Airlift (22/11/1948) at Chute, near Andover.
  • P.O John La Forrest (Australian) BOMB AIMER
  • Sgt A Smith (Irish - Northern Ireland) FLIGHT ENGINEER
  • Sgt Bill Bennett (Scottish), NAVIGATOR
  • Sgt Ron Parkinson (English), WIRELESS OPERATOR
  • Sgt Paddy Pyper (Irish, Northen Ireland) MID UPPER GUNNER
  • Sgt John Coutts (Scottish), REAR GUNNER
They were based at RAF Spilsby from 5-10-44 to 6-11-44 (at least).

Dad is back row, 2nd from the left

David Coutts

Flt Lt Merrik Heath pilot 44 Sqd.

Merrick Heath

Flt Lt Merrik Heath was the pilot of R for Robert PB417 flying with 44 Rhodesia Squadron based at RAF Splisby. He was tragically killed in a civilian Lancastrian during the Berlin Airlift (22/11/1948) at Chute, near Andover.

David Coutts

P/O John la Forrest bomb aimer 44 Sqd.

John La Forrest

P.O John La Forrest, an Australian, a bomb aimer in the Merrick Heath's crew flying R for Robert PB417 with 44 Rhodesia Squadron based at RAF Splisby.

David Coutts

Sgt A. Smith flight eng. 44 Sqd.

A Smith

Sgt A Smith was the Flight Engineer with Merrick Heath's crew, flying R for Robert PB417 with 44 Rhodesia Squadron based at RAF Splisby.

David Coutts

Sgt William Bennett navigator 44 Sqd.

Bill Bennett

Sgt Bill Bennett was the navigator with Merrick Heath's crew, flying R for Robert PB417 with 44 Rhodesia Squadron based at RAF Splisby.

David Coutts

Sgt Ron Parkinson w/op 44 Sqd.

Ron Parkinson

Sgt Ron Parkinson was the Wireless Operator with Merrick Heath's crew, flying R for Robert PB417 with 44 Rhodesia Squadron based at RAF Splisby.

David Coutts

Sgt Paddy Pyper mid upper gunner 44 Sqd.

Paddy Pyper

Sgt Paddy Pyper was the Mid Upper Gunner with Merrick Heath's crew, flying R for Robert PB417 with 44 Rhodesia Squadron based at RAF Splisby.

David Coutts

F/Sgt J. H. Crammond 44 Sqd.

My late father was Flt.Sgt. J H Crammond. His RAF log book started on 21.4.44 and he served at Spilsby, Winthorpe.

James Crammond

F/O. Thomas Watson Craig 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron

I recently came into the possession of the Flying Log Books, medals, wings and other memorabilia of my late Uncle Thomas Watson Craig who was a Lancaster pilot with No. 44 Squadron based at RAF Spilsby from November 1944 through June 1945.

His first operational flight was on the 2nd of November 1944 for Operation Dusseldorf as 2nd Pilot then two days later on 4th of November he flew as pilot in command of his own Lancaster in operation Dortmund-Ems Canal. He completed his 30th and final mission on 25th of April 1945 for Operation Berchtesgaden. With the end of hostilities, he transferred to Transport Command and flew Yorks in the Middle East and as a Flt/Lt was appointed a route check pilot for 51 Squadron, No. 47 Group. He retired from the RAF in 1966 with the rank of Squadron Leader and resided with his wife in the town of Knaresborough, Yorkshire. I believe he was a Post Master at a post office there.

A curiosity is that his initial Log Book is labelled Royal Canadian Air Force although all his initial flying training was done at No. 28 EFTS Wolverhampton. He did some time at Moncton, New Brunswick prior to going to Texas for training on the AT6A Texan. His second log book with Air Transport Command is an RAF one. Unfortunately, in the information passed along to me, there was no mention of his crew’s names but his aircraft numbers were shown in his log with the most frequent being a tail number 625H in which he flew 18 sorties.

Neil Craig

Robert Leo "Bob" Werner

RAF Spilsby

Edward James WERNER

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