History of RAF Swinderby

History of RAF Swinderby

The image above shows “our” Lancaster R5689 VN-N on the runway at Swinderby in June 1942 at the base Open Day.

The Lancaster is a replica of a 50 Squadron plane based at Swinderby Airfield…

The airfield was hastily opened shortly after the outbreak of WWII but it was grass-surfaced.    Initially it was allocated to two Polish Squadrons who flew Wellington Bombers until July 1941.  The base then transferred to 5 Group and on 20th July 1942, No.50 Squadron equipped with Hampdens, arrived from Lindholme, South Yorkshire. The squadron operated from Swinderby until 26th November, when the deteriorating state of the grass forced a move to Skellingthorpe, allowing the construction of concrete runways.

The airfield was reopened in June 1942 after the three concrete runways were laid, and on 29th June, No.50 Squadron, equipped with Lancasters, returned to resume operation.

The motto of the base was “Haec porta moenia viri” which means  “Here are the gates, the men are the walls”

How fitting that this memorial is to be sited at the Lincolnshire Gateway.