RAF North Killingholme - North Lincolnshire, UK.
Close to the Lincolnshire side of the Humber estuary, North Killingholme airfield was situated to the west of the village of that name on a low-lying area of farmland, and a mile from the site of the First World War seaplane base used in 1918 by the US Navy. The western boundary was the stream known as Skitter Beck and the Ulceby to Immingham line ran close to the southeast side.
Built to Class A standard, work started in August 1942 with John Laing & Son Ltd as the main contractor. The three runways followed the usual pattern with 36 dispersals around the perimeter. A T2 hangar stood by the technical site close to North Killingholme village. A second T2 was on the south-west side of the airfield. A B1 hangar was erected later for the Ministry of Aircraft Production contractor engineer's use.
Bomb stores were close to Skitter Beck. The camp was to the east, near the village and consisted of single mess, communal, WAAF sites, six domestic and sick quarters, all dispersed in farmland.
Allocated for No. 1 Group use, the airfield with was occupied by 550 Sqdn. who transferred from from Grimsby early in January 1944 shortly after it was formed. 550 Sqdn was to be the only unit based at North Killingholme till it was disbanded at the end of October 1945.
The RAF left the airfield after the war. However hangars and many of the buildings were taken over for light industry and storage, mostly associated with the nearby port of Immingham. The runways are used as container parks and also for poultry houses.
North Killingholme is a small village in North Lincolnshire, England. Along with its larger neighbour South Killingholme, it makes up the area of Killingholme. It is situated about 6 miles east of Elsham. The airfield is stituated to the south of the village.
The village features St Deny's church and a small village hall. The church is a fine old building and typical of many village churches in the area. I do not know of its history but clearly goes back a very long way.
There is no public house, the nearest is the Cross Keys at South Killingholme. The Yarborough Arms is not far away situtated south of the airfield near to Ulceby railway station.
Dominating the village landscape to the north are the Conoco Phillips owned Humber Refinery, Total's Lindsey Oil Refinery and the port of Immingham which is now a major trade centre benefiting from a prime deep water location on the Humber Estuary.
The village was brought to national attention recently due to the Lindsey Oil Refinery strikes over the use of foreign labour.
550 Sqdn who were the only unit to fly from North Killingholme are still active and their was a small reunion and commemoration at the Sqdn Memorial in July. The memorial is situated on Lancaster Approach which is the main access road to the indutrial estate which not occupies a lrage part of the old airfield.
For a detailed history and photos of North Killingholme airfield and 550 Squadron see the excellent 550 Squadron Association web site on this link here.
Item written by David Fell