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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

RAF Scampton

The Vulcan served with No. 27 Squadron at RAF Scampton in Lincolnshire, and No. 44 Squadron at Waddington, between 1961 and 1982. Both bases were re-constructed between 1954-56 to accept them, including just one runway as opposed to the wartime triangle. With the advent of the Tornado bomber, the Vulcan squadrons were gradually phased out. RAF Scampton became the Headquarters of The Central Flying School (CFS), and in 1983 The Red Arrows were relocated there. With the end of the Cold war, Scampton fell victim to defence cuts and the airfield closed at the end of 1995. In February 1996, after returning from tours of Africa, Australia and the Far East the Team settled into their new home at RAF Cranwell.

The Red Arrows will be returning to one of their former bases. The team, based at RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire, would return to RAF Scampton. Although Scampton was closed in 1995 as part of the Defence Costs Study, forcing the team to move to its current base, the Red Arrows continued to use the airspace over Scampton for their practice displays. However, the disposal of nearby RAF Newton and the need to make space at Cranwell to accommodate certain tasks currently undertaken there opened up the possibility of the Red Arrows returning to Scampton. No date for the move was given. Scampton will not re-open. The team will form an enclave on the existing technical site as well as having access to the runway.

Scampton opened in August 1936. It became 52 Base HQ in January 1943, and then 15 Base HQ in November 1944. By 1941 there were already 2,500 personnel living at the base, and many of these in tents. 617 was formed specifically for the purpose of destroying the Ruhr dams in 1943. It was from Scampton that 617 Squadron left for the Dambuster raid. Three Victoria Crosses were awareded to airmen serving at Scampton. The raid itself involved nineteen Lancasters carrying Barnes-Wallis's bouncing bombs - eight of them failed to return. After the war Scampton continued to be an important airfield.

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Page last modified: 24-07-2011 04:50:40 ZULU