Gamston (Retford) Airfield

Photo:Personnel photograph at RAF Gamston 30 OTU

Personnel photograph at RAF Gamston 30 OTU

Newark Air Museum Archive

Photo:Memorial stone to a Gamston crew at Creswell Crags

Memorial stone to a Gamston crew at Creswell Crags

Howard Heeley

Photo:Light aircraft operating from Gamston 2014

Light aircraft operating from Gamston 2014

Howard Heeley

By Howard Heeley

Grid Ref: Sheet 120; SK693762; 3 miles S of Retford

Opened: December 1942

Squadrons: 14 (P) AFU; 82 OTU; 30 OTU; 211 AFS

Aircraft: Oxford; Wellington; Martinet; Hurricane; Meteor; Vampire; Bulldog

Nationalities: Commonwealth; Polish

Things of note: Post World War II was major holding centre for RAAF; three phases of RAF use 1942 – 1945, 1953 – 1957 & 1976 - 1977.

The dedication and formal unveiling of an aviation memorial took place on Saturday 21st May 2011 at the Creswell Crags Visitor Centre on the Nottinghamshire / Derbyshire county border. This commemorates a crew of five Canadian airmen that were lost when their Wellington X bomber, HE821 crashed on 5th August 1944. The aircraft was flying on a training exercise from the Operational Training Unit at RAF Gamston.

Located in the car park area of the Creswell Crags Visitor Centre the memorial is approximately fifty metres on the Derbyshire side of the county boundary with Nottinghamshire. Each of the crew members is buried in the Stonefall Cemetery in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.

Current status: Currently an active airfield for light aircraft and business jets; it is possible to take trial flying lessons from the airfield, which is located close to the A1 road.

The Newark Air Museum is keen to locate any in-service photographs of aircraft and personnel that were operating from Gamston.

(This information was originally published in the 2011 booklet “Aviation in Nottinghamshire”, which was produced by the Newark Air Museum thanks to a Local Improvement Scheme grant from the Nottinghamshire County Council. Photographs sourced from the Newark Air Museum Archive.)

This page was added by Howard Heeley on 16/12/2014.

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