RAF Massingham started life in September 1940 as a satellite grass airfield to RAF West Raynham just a couple of miles away. Crews slept at West Raynham and cycled over every morning. It had 3 runways on the usual ‘A’ pattern, the longest of 2,000 yards and two others of 1,400 yards.
Blenheim aircraft were based here in those early days, playing an important part in the Ruhr offensive. The Blenheim had a range of 300 miles and could easily reach Germany and coastal ports. In addition to Blenheims, Mosquitoes, Bostons, and for a short while B17’s Fortresses were all based at Massingham.
In April 1944 RAF Massingham was upgraded with concrete runways. Accommodation was also added to house aircrew and up to 800 ground personnel.
69 Squadron was the final squadron of aircraft based here but this was disbanded in August 1945 and RAF Massingham was transferred to 12 Group Fighter Command. The Central Flying Establishment at West Raynham continued to use the airfield for a further 4 years.
The site was sold in 1958, one of the first ex RAF airfields to be disposed of in this way, and although it is now farmed the runways are still used by light aircraft. Visiting aircraft are allowed with prior permission.
ROLL OF HONOUR.
Dedicated in 1998 at a Memorial Service in St Andrews Church, Little Massingham, The Roll of Honour contains the names of all crewmen and residents including details of operations and place of burial, lost in all operations 1940 – 1945. More than 600 airmen from RAF Massingham lost their lives, 7 of them are buried to the left of the east window in the graveyard. A printed version of the Roll of Honour is now available by post at a cost of £10 including postage, giving all details including Prisoners of War.
A pictorial and comprehensive history of RAF Massingham, including RAF material, is now under the care of Massingham Historical Society.
Contact Anthony Robinson on 01485 520455 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org for details about the Museum or Roll of Honour