- Created: 21 February 2014
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The Sqn Logos are used and produced under licence from the MOD
R.A.F Snaith is located 7 miles from Goole close to the village of Pollington in the Riding of East Yorkshire. RAF Snaith was designed in March 1940 with construction commencing later that year. The northern boundary was formed by the A545 and the southern side by the Great Heck to Pollington Lane The airfield opened in July 1941 before closing in 1946.
Above: 2014 areal shot showing the M62 Motorway at the top which runs through the north of the field cutting through the original runways.
The three intersecting concrete runways measured,
14-32 (Main) 1,400 yards
07-32 1,100 yards
09-27 1,100 yards
although these were extended in the summer of 1941.
14-32 to 2,000 yards
07-23 to 1,400 yards
09-27 to 1,100 yards.
A Type J and two Type T2 hangars were erected on the technical site. The usual 36 pan-type hard standings were accessible from the encircling perimeter track.
The camp south east of the field provided for a maximum of 2016 males and 394 females.
The bomb stores, a series of blast mound protected revetments, lay in fields to the west on the opposite side of the airfield from the main technical site and it was here that a disastrous explosion took place on June 19 1943.
The airfield was assigned to No. 1 Group and lots of different squadrons used the airfield firstly No. 150 Squadron were the first to arrive from RAF Newton with their Wellington III's in July 1941. In October 1942 moving to RAF Kirmington the station was then handed over to No. 4 Group and No. 51 Squadron arrived, recently returning from loan to Coastal Command at Chivenor, replacing its ageing Whitleys with Halifax BII's, involved in almost all the major operations during the remainder of the war and right up until the end of the war flying 264 raids and losing 148 aircraft. No. 51 Squadron was transferred to the permanent station at Leconfield a few days after the last No. 4 Group bombing operation took place April 25, 1945
A total of 205 bombers were lost from Snaith, 57 being Wellingtons of No. 150 Squadron.
During this period the airfield also had another squadron join as a flight from No.51 Sqn its `C' Flight was used to form another squadron No. 578 Squadron, which flew from the airfield temporarily between January 1944 until February 1944 before moving to the empty
In the winter of 1943 the airfield suffered two seperate accidents with exploding bombs while the airfield was preparing for missions. Both accidents were the result of faulty U.S.-produced bomb-controls which short ciruited when set to 'Safe', releasing the bombs prematurely. An even more significant incident occurred that summer. On 19 June 1943 a disastrous explosion in the bomb-store west of the airfield cost the lives of 10 groundcrew.
A number of units also used the airfield such as No 6266 Servicing Echelon between 27 April 1944 and 6 May 1944 repairing the various aircraft and No. 17 Air Crew Holding Unit between 20 June 1945 and 27 May 1946. During this time a small Beam Approach Flight using Airspeed Oxfords used the airfield for a short period learning beam approach landings.
Above: The Station Commander at Snaith, Group Captain N H Fresson, is joined by other officers on the balcony of the control tower as they await the return of Handley Page Halifaxes of No. 51 Squadron from a night raid on Nuremberg. Note the ambulance and crash tenders with their crews standing by below the tower, and the searchlight beam pointing skywards to show the cloud base. Five aircraft failed to return to Snaith on this night, and a sixth crashed on landing. © IWM (CH 12601)
The airfield closed in the 1950's and in the 1970’s, the M62 motorway sliced through the northern part of the airfield. Much still remains including the MT sheds and the Sergeants' Mess still complete with its brick fireplace.
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