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FOLKINGHAM AIRFIELD

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A World War Two and Post-war military airfield, opened in 1944 and closed in 1963. It was originally intended to be a temporary bomber station for Number 5 Group Bomber Command, but it was assigned to the United States 9th Army Air Force in preparation for D-Day due to insufficient airfield space further south. The airfield was provided with three concrete runways and two aircraft hangars (type T2). The 9th Air Force units that served there were the 52nd Troop Carrier Wing followed by the 313th Troop Carrier Group (29th, 47th, 48th and 49th Squadrons). On the night before D-Day Glider towing aircraft from this base were involved in airborne operations dropping paratroops against an area of the Cherbourg Peninsula near St Mere Eglise. In the following weeks they workedon resupply missions to the Allied troops. In September 1944 they were again used for a major airborne operation, directed at Arnhem. The Americans left Folkingham in February of 1945 and the airfield became part of Bomber Command. With the end of the war active flying ceased but it was reactivated as a relief landing ground for Barkstone Heath in 1957 until 1959. From 1960 Folkingham was reused as a Thor missile site until 1963 (please see TF 03 SE 49 for details of the Thor Missile site). During the mid to late 1960s the former airfield was used for testing racing cars, later returning to agricultural use.

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