RAF Freiston

RAF Freiston is a former Royal Air Force station located about five miles (8 km) east of Boston, Lincolnshire, which was in operation during the First World War.

RAF Freiston
Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg
Freiston, Lincolnshire in England
RAF Freiston is located in Lincolnshire
RAF Freiston
RAF Freiston
RAF Freiston in Lincolnshire
Coordinates52°56′37.8″N 0°03′48.8″E / 52.943833°N 0.063556°E / 52.943833; 0.063556
TypeRoyal Air Force station
Site information
OwnerAir Ministry
OperatorRoyal Naval Air Service
Royal Air Force
Site history
Built1916 (1916)
In use1916–1919 (1919)
FateClosed
Battles/warsWorld War I
Garrison information
Past
commanders
Major Harold Spencer Kerby, RAF

Station historyEdit

In mid-1916, the Royal Naval Air Service established RNAS Freiston Shores on the mudflats to the south of Frieston, Lincolnshire, to serve as a bombing and gunnery range for trainee pilots of the RNAS Flying School at Cranwell. As aircraft using the range had to fly for 40 minutes from Cranwell, in September 1916 about 90 acres (36 ha) of farmland nearby were requisitioned to serve as a landing ground. As training continued, the landing ground was enlarged with hangars, accommodation, and a control tower. As well as its training role, it also became home to a flight of Bristol Scouts based there on anti-Zeppelin operations. On 1 April 1918 the Royal Naval Air Service was merged with the Army's Royal Flying Corps to form the Royal Air Force, and it was renamed RAF Freiston, designated the School of Aerial Fighting and Bomb Dropping, and later renamed No. 4 School of Aerial Fighting, and then No. 4 Fighting School, to train pilots in air gunnery and bomb dropping operations. The station was closed in early 1919, and soon after several buildings were destroyed in a severe gale. The only remains still extant are the foundations of the headquarters building.[1][2][3]

St. James' church in nearby Freiston village contains nine Commonwealth War Graves,[4] three of whom were Canadians serving with the RAF, who were killed in flying accidents during training at RAF Freiston.[1]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Freiston Air Station". The RAF in Lincolnshire. 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  2. ^ "Freiston". Aviation Heritage Trail. 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  3. ^ Historic England (2016). "RNAS Freiston Shores (1512184)". Research records (formerly PastScape). Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Cemetery Details: Freiston (St. James) Churchyard". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. 2016. Retrieved 13 May 2016.