RAF Methwold (Pundit Code ML)

 

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RAF Methwold

 

RAF Methwold was opened in September 1939 initially as a dispersal landing ground for RAF Feltwell. The airfield was for a number of years under the control of No.2 Group being used by its Ventura squadrons.  Three runways were laid and T2 hangers erected bringing the airfield to a Class A Station.  In August 1943 it become No.31 Base substation. No.218 Squadron arrived on August 8th 1944, already in situ was No.149 (East India) Squadron. The squadron undertook its first operation on the night of 9/10th August 1944 against the V1 site at  Port-D’ Englos. Its last operation was a daylight against Oberhausen on December 4th 1944.  During the squadrons time the station commander was Group Captain B C Yarde. No.218 Squadron departed on December 5th 1944. See photo’s of the station during a recent visit, here.

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Seen here in the summer sunshine at RAF Methwold, Avro Lancaster Mk.I LM281 HA-T soon after the squadrons conversion. This was one of the first batch of Avro Lancaster’s the squadron received, this particular aircraft arrived via XV Squadron on July 30th 1944. It undertook its first operation on August 9th when skippered by Flight Lieutenant Harold Sheldon, the target was Port D’ Englos. Harold Sheldon survived the war unlike LM281.

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