Jump to content

Fly Boys

Recommended Posts

Whilst most of Team Weasel were catching up on some much needed beauty sleep, the good looking part, who obviously don't need any, left for Norfolk at 01.30. A quick stop on the way to hook up with Mr Snapt who got up even though he had only had 6 hours sleep and made bacon butties for the journey :clapping:.


At this point I really must mention Mikeymutt who was our contact down there and was a thoroughly decent chap.
Many thanks Mikey


History (supplied by wiki)

Royal Air Force West Raynham or more simply RAF West Raynham is a former Royal Air Force station located 2 miles (3.2 km) west of West Raynham, Norfolk and 5.5 miles (8.9 km) southwest of Fakenham, Norfolk, England.

The airfield opened during May 1939 and was used by RAF Bomber Command during the Second World War with the loss of 86 aircraft.

The station closed in 1994, though the Ministry of Defence (MoD) retained it as a strategic reserve. Having laid derelict since closure, the MoD elected in 2004 that it was surplus to requirements, and the site was sold in 2006 to the Welbeck Estate Group who sold the entire site in October 2007. The site is now managed by FW Properties of Norwich, acting for administrators Moore Stephens.

The site has now been given planning permission for installation of a 49.9MW solar farm with plant housing and perimeter fence, operated by Good Energy.

Built between 1938 and 1939, RAF West Raynham was an expansion scheme airfield. The grass landing area was aligned roughly north-east to south-west. The main camp, with housing and headquarters, was located immediately west of the landing area. To the south-east were bomb stores.[1] The airfield was originally equipped with a Watch Office with Tower (Fort Type), of pattern 207/36 (made from concrete), although the tower was later removed and new control room built to pattern 4698/43. Later in the war the station was provided with a "Control Tower for Very Heavy Bomber Stations" to pattern 294/45, one of only four such towers to be built.[2]

101 Squadron – a detachment of Bristol Blenheim which was part of 2 Group – were moved to West Raynham in May 1939. The only squadron based at RAF West Raynham, 101 Squadron were held in reserve by 2 Group until they were used as target tugs in February 1940. In 1940, RAF West Raynham also acted as a temporary base for 18 and 139 squadrons after they suffered losses in the Blitzkrieg.[1]

RAF Great Massingham was founded in 1940, just 2 miles (3.2 km) from RAF West Raynham to act as a satellite base. It was originally intended to support West Raynham and provide it with extra space for its Blenheims, but eventually expanded to accommodate a squadron of its own.[3] A second support airfield, RAF Sculthorpe, was built to the north.

On 4 July 1940, 101 Squadron saw action for the first time. Individual aircraft attacked oil tanks in German ports. This went on for over a year, and during this time the squadron lost 15 Blenheims across 610 missions. No. 101 Squadron was transferred to 3 Group and consequently left West Raynham. They were replaced at West Raynham by 114 Squadron, another detachment of Blenheims. They were stationed at West Rayham for over a year before they were despatched to North Africa as part of "Operation Torch". The squadron converted to Blenheim Mk Vs in August 1942, in preparation for combat in Africa. No. 18 Squadron also went to RAF West Raynham to be refitted with Mk Vs. At this time, squadrons 180 and 342 were formed at West Raynham. The 180 Squadron was equipped with North American B-25 Mitchells and based at RAF Great Massingham which was associated with RAF West Raynham. Squadron 342 was provided with Douglas Bostons crewed by Frenchmen in early 1943, and was later relocated to RAF Sculthorpe.[1]

Between May and November 1943, the grass landing area was replaced with two concrete runways, one 04-22 and 2,000 yards (1,800 m) long and the other 10–28 1,400 yards (1,300 m). At the same time, the existing housing on the site was expanded to provide accommodation for 2,456 men and 658 women.[4]

In December 1943, the station was taken over by 100 Group, who brought 141 and 239 squadrons to RAF West Raynham. They were equipped with de Havilland Mosquito, fighter aircraft which provided support to bomber sorties in enemy air space. They were based at West Raynham until the end of the war; their duties involved flying Serrate patrols and "Ranger sorties" (seek and destroy enemy fighters in the air and on the ground). During the war, squadrons stationed at RAF West Raynham lost 56 Blenheims, 29 Mosquitos, and a Bristol Beaufighter.[1]


We got here early having a lot to do and only having daylight hours to do it in, access was really hard and involved a waist high fence and everything. The site is massive and we didn't see it all so a return is needed.

First part seemed to be mainly accomodation blocks that are the same on all RAF bases but there was some nice little bits left like the shower blocks



The early morning fog helped to add a bit of atmosphere







The old control tower is in private use but there was a smaller more fecked one



A lot of the buldings have businesses in them so we left but following a meeting with our Norfolk guide, Mikeymutt, we returned and had a reet proper good look and we were very pleased we did.























There is a site manager who kicked us off after we had finished luckily, he was ok to be honest but just be warned if you go.

It cannot be underestimated how much I liked this place I'm giving it a 9/10.

More pics on my flickr if you want to look




Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On ‎12‎/‎09‎/‎2017 at 20:27, fragglehunter said:

just woke up, have I missed anything ???

Oh my they are nice - except the one with the Shrek like thing in it

Ooh that's the last time I send you pouting selfies:lol::lol::lol:

Excellent report Mr TBolt, cracking are those images. Definately worth the early morning departure. I still can't believe the building full of dead sheep:o. Or the 24hour Mscdonalds that's not open at night:10_1_108:

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

After being reminded by Sir TBolt of the Shires again to post my stuff I thought I'd best get a shift on. It was a cracking day and well worth getting up for, even if I did manage an hour longer in bed. I think the days explore has been well covered already so on with my 2 penneth worth.


37071357556_2cf4043857_b.jpgFog Bound by Richard Ashton, on Flickr

37071357596_dabe8b8359_b.jpgOld RAF Accomodation by Richard Ashton, on Flickr

36447023523_906eb040af_b.jpgRuin by Richard Ashton, on Flickr

36447023443_def16ea2ec_b.jpgLight by Richard Ashton, on Flickr

37237462011_328a6fc32e_b.jpgFront by Richard Ashton, on Flickr

37237461991_c520f83056_b.jpgPlane by Richard Ashton, on Flickr

37339131145_6df3cbdb22_b.jpgThe Corridor by Richard Ashton, on Flickr

37071357646_4bc852b349_b.jpgLiving Space by Richard Ashton, on Flickr

37071357616_b08847c042_b.jpgDecay Window by Richard Ashton, on Flickr

37119178121_1efeb63165_b.jpgWash Room by Richard Ashton, on Flickr

37119178141_01d4de767c_b.jpgThe Chair by Richard Ashton, on Flickr

37089580082_b96a8b7c61_b.jpgCommunication by Richard Ashton, on Flickr

37119178191_10dc30038a_b.jpgRooms by Richard Ashton, on Flickr

37089580122_2d1111e71b_b.jpgThe Ballroom by Richard Ashton, on Flickr

37208143322_f88391846d_b.jpgHall Pan by Richard Ashton, on Flickr


Thanks for looking at our shared mooch, hopefully no duplicate images

Flickr album


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.