Located just east of Grantham off the A52, the airfield was called Spittlegate in WWI with the alternative spelling of Spitalgate being mistakenly used when the site reverted to its original name towards the end of World War II. (Pic: Phil Bonner).
During WWI, a training aerodrome was constructed on the site, which remained active until 1920. It reopened two years later and in 1928 received the name RAF Station Grantham. The site was involved with training and it was in this role that it entered WWII with 12 Service Flying Training School (SFTS) based there since its formation on 1 December 1938.
In April 1942 the school was renamed 12 (P) AFU – Advanced Flying Unit (Pilots) and it operated a large number of Blenheim and a lesser number of Ansons and Oxford aircraft.
In March 1943, 1536 BAT (Beam Approach Training) Flight formed at the airfield and saw out the European war, disbanding in May 1945. Between March and August 1944, 1544 (P) AFU operated from Grantham. Towards the end of that year, 12 (P) AFU moved to Hixon, Staffordshire. The Communications Flight of 7 (Training) Bomber Command arrived in March 1945 and in the following May, 17 SFTS, the last training unit of WWII arrived, staying until 1948.
Grantham was always a grass airfield, although two of the three runways were covered in Sommerfeld steel tracking. The buildings had undergone numerous changes since 1920, being completely rebuilt between 1925 and 1927. Further development continued and by 1944 it had 19 hangars of various types.
Today the site is owned by the Army who acquired it in 1975 when RAF training at the site ceased.
Map: Grantham Spitalgate