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RAF Hibaldstow, situated in North Lincolnshire was built as a satellite airfield for RAF Kirton Lindsey in 1941. The airfield opened in May 1941 when 255 Squadron took up residence flying Defiant Night Fighters.
The base closed in August 1947 and remained in RAF hands until 1961 when the land was sold agriculture. Teh Control Tower was converted into a house in 1976 and today the site is for Sunday markets, by a parachute club and as a skid-pan by Lincolnshire Police.
Squadrons stationed at RAF Hibaldstow
- No: 255 Squadron. May 1941
- No: 253 (Hyderabad) Squadron. Sept 1941 to Jan 1943
- No: 53 OTU. May 1943 to May 1945
- No: 538 Squadron. Sep 1942 to January 1943
Since reading, 'Johnnie' Johnson's book "Wing Leader", I have been fascinated by the story surrounding Flt. Lt. Richard Playne Stevens, 253 Squadron, RAF pilot. JJ speaks highly of him in his book and the great man himself, Dougie Bader, has referred to him, yet little is known of the man. I have found a few tidbits which reveal that his wife lost her mind and ended up in a mental institution, following the death of their baby son during a German bombing raid, (possibly on Manchester) and that Stevens, for obvious reasons, took it very badly. Following this tragedy, it is said that he would scream like a man possessed when engaging the enemy during his time as a night fighter pilot and that he scored a very high tally against enemy aircraft without using any of the emerging technology at that time. One tale reveals that he got so close to an exploding Heinkel He 111 he was attacking, that ground crew found human remains and blood on the fuselage of his Hurricane after the sortie and he made them leave it on his aircraft. Whilst posted to 253 Squadron, Stevens set out to attack an airfield in Holland, Hulten near Grize- Rijen, on the 15th of December 1941, from Hibaldstow. He crashed near the Dutch airfield at 21:30 hrs that night and his remains were interred in the local cemetery at Bergen op Zoom and re-interred after the war at the CWWG site at Zuilen. If you know any more about this individual or the aircraft he flew I would appreciate it if you could forward information on to me. It is a tragic but fascinating story.
The runway at Hibaldstow
Runway area at Hibaldstow
RAF Hibaldstow entrance in the distance with modern hanger.
Building near the watch office
The Control watch office
Track near to the way out
Track near control watch tower
Taxi area now a go kart track.
The side of the watch office.
The only significant signs are the runway and perimeter track and the watch tower which is now a private house. There are also two modernish hangars that look like they are the handywork of the target skydiving club.
If you have any Photographs you would like to share please get in touch.
List of those who served at RAF Hibaldstow during WW2
- WAAF Margaret Horton.
- Flt. Lt. Richard Playne Stevens. pilot. 253 Squadron.Read his Story
- F/O Edward Raymond van der Zee. dutch 53 OTU Sqd (d. 03/03/1945 )
If you have any names to add to this list, or any recollections or photos of those listed, please get in touch.
If you have a story which you would like to share, or a website dedicated to an airfield or aircrew, please get in touch.
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