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After an original idea by Paul Freeman.
First published 7 Nov 2010. This collection of airfields is © 2010 - 2018 RonaldV
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Blyton

03-12-2013


1110

53°27'05"N 000°41'34"W

runway: 03/21 - 2030x150yds - concrete
runway: 11/29 - 1400x150yds - concrete
runway: 14/32 - 1430x150yds - concrete


Blyton air field (RAF Blyton) was an airfield 220 kilometers north of London.
The airfield was built in 1942. It featured 3 runways, 35 parkings for aircraft and three hangars: one B1 and two T2s. The technical and logistics site was located on the southwestern tip, between the 03 and 11 runway heads. Total accommodation was provided for 2350 personnel.
Blyton was first used for flying in the spring of 1942 when 'B' Flight of 18 (Polish) Operational Training Unit flew in its Wellingtons. 199 Squadron reformed at Blyton in early November 1942 to be equipped with Wellingtons. The squadron undertook its first operation in early December when six aircraft were sent to bomb Mannheim. After four weeks of operations the squadron received orders to transfer to Ingham in February 1943. Whilst at Bluton, the squadron had flown 119 sorties and although they had lost one aircraft, they did not loose a single member of its crew. 'B' Flight of 18 (Polish) Operational Training Unit left around the same time. The reason for the departures was the need for an airfield with long hardened runways to take four-engined heavy bombers: Lancasters and Halifaxes of 1662 HCU (Heavy Conversion Unit).
Although 1 Group was supposed to become an all Lancaster unit, Lancaster production could not keep up with increasing demand. Late in 1943 all Lancasters were withdrawn from Blyton and 1662 HCU was left with about 30 Halifaxes. This situation did not change until the station transferred to 7 Training Group in November 1944 and Lancaster production finally allowed the Halifax bombers to retire. By the end of March 1945, the demand for specialized operational training was more than met and so the unit disbanded early in April. 
During the 26 months that 1662 HCU was stationed at Blyton, it lost over 50 aircraft in crashes.


nophoto.jpg
No photos or maps of the airfield while in use have been located


From late 1943 the runways and taxiways at Blyton had often needed repair and by the spring of 1945 they were generally in a poor state. As a result, no further RAF flying units were based on the airfield after VE-day. Blyton was left to a period of Care & Maintenance. In the fifties it seemed that the Cold War would give the station a new lease of life. It was allocated to the USAF for refurbishment as a reserve airfield. However, no renovation is known to have been carried out and the USAF party soon withdrew. In 1954 the airfield closed for good, although crews from adjacent stations like RAF Finningly used its runways for circuit and landing practice.
The following two decades brought sale of the hangars and land and as with many other airfields, the inevitable removal of runway concrete for hardcore. The control tower is known to have existed until at least 1975. All the runway heads still exist, but remarkably, the center parts which formed the runway triangle were dug up.
The north side of the airfield is now used as the Blyton Raceway. It is employed for off-road racing cars and test running refurbished and/or new designs of trucks. Several pan aircraft parkings can still be recognised.


5582951881_55a60bde24_z.jpg
The derelict RAF Blyton watch office in the 1970's (Andy Schofield, on Flickr).


blyton2008.jpg
Overview of the remains of the airfield in 2008 (Google Earth)


Blyton_geograph-3125078-by-Chris.jpg
The north side of former RAF Blyton is now in use as a motorsport centre, photographed from the southwest in September 2012.
© Copyright 2012 Chris and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.
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Note: this airfield was described earlier, using information supplied on the RAF website. Due to a 3rd party copyright claim, the part between 1940 and 1945 was rewritten, omitting certain information on units and dates.



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