It is easy to drive across the former Dunholme Lodge and along one of its runways, without realising you are on what was a large WWII bomber airfield.
Construction of a standard ‘A’ Class airfield commenced September 1942 on land just west of Welton – although fields at the site had been used during 1941 to disperse Hampden aircraft from nearby Scampton.
Dunholme Lodge had the standard three runway configuration although one of the subsidiaries was longer than normal at 1,700 yards.
The technical site was established around Dunholme Lodge, off the perimeter track with the communal and accommodation sites dispersed around Welton.
One T2 hangar was located on the technical site whilst the second was off the southern perimeter track near the bomb stores. The B1 hangar was on the south-western edge of the airfield.
Dunholme Lodge opened in May 1943 under 5 Group. The first operational unit was 44 Squadron, which arrived from Waddington on 31 May 1943. The squadron operated their Lancasters from Dunholme Lodge until 30 September 1944 when they moved to RAF Spilsby. On 17 April 1944 they were joined by 619 Squadron who stayed until 28 September when they moved to Strubby.
In September 1944 the site was transferred to 1 Group. On 22 October 1944, the final operational unit to be based at the airfield arrived, 170 Squadron equipped with Lancasters. They stayed at Dunholme Lodge for just over a month until departing for Hemswell on 29 November 1944. Following this departure the airfield was closed to operational flying. It was used towards the end of the war by General Aircraft Limited for the modification of assault gliders, principally the Hamilcar.
After the war, Dunholme Lodge was closed but retained by the military. It had a brief resurrection between 1959-64, when it housed Bloodhound anti-aircraft missiles.
Very little remains of the airfield today, the eastern end of the east-west runway is the largest surviving part. The former technical site is now a private farm and some original buildings still exist on the site.
Map: Dunholme Lodge