Thorpe Camp

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Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre
Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre Crest.png
Former name RAF Woodhall Spa
Established1988;32 years ago (1988)
Location Tattershall Thorpe, Lincolnshire, LN4
United Kingdom
TypeEx-Wartime Barracks
DirectorNicholas Bird
Anthony Freeman
Michael Hodgson
Angelika Schmidt
Klaus-Harry Schmidt
William Skinner
(Joint Directorship) [1]
OwnerThorpe Camp Preservation Group Limited
Nearest car parkOn site (no charge)

Thorpe Camp, officially known as the Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre, is the former Royal Air Force barracks for RAF Woodhall Spa. It exists 2.5 miles (4.0 km) southeast from the site of RAF Woodhall Spa, in the civil parish of Tattershall Thorpe. Built in 1940 during the Second World War, the site included Officer, Sergeant and Airman messes, a NAAFI building, ration store, latrines and ablution blocks. The site closed in the 1960s. [2]


The remaining buildings - the Airman's mess, NAAFI, ablution block, and ration store are now preserved within the boundaries of the visitor centre, by the Thorpe Camp Preservation Group Limited. The visitor centre commemorates both the Royal Air Force, and RAF Woodhall Spa history, as well as civilian life in Lincolnshire in the 1940s.

Dedications to RAF Woodhall Spa

The visitor centre has various dedications to RAF Woodhall Spa, including a display for each of the squadrons that were either stationed there, or had operations relating to the station. The centre also has a dedication to the Air Training Corps, an organisation that provided training and experience to young people in both World War II, and beyond.

97 Squadron

97 Squadron was a training squadron based at nearby RAF Waddington during the First World War. [3] The squadron was disbanded on 1 April 1920 after being renumbered, becoming No. 60 Squadron. The squadron was reformed on 16 September 1935 at RAF Catfoss, and later became one of the Pathfinder squadrons in April 1943. [ citation needed ]

617 Squadron

Commonly known as the Dambusters, No. 617 Squadron was the squadron that took part in Operation Chastise in May 1943, destroying Nazi factories, mines, and hydro-electric power stations. [4] 617 Squadron was based at RAF Scampton, but often made use of RAF Woodhall Spa during exercises and missions.

619 Squadron

No. 619 Squadron was a Heavy bomber squadron, initially formed at RAF Woodhall Spa on 18 April 1943. The squadron flew the Avro Lancaster, and took place in many bombing raids on Nazi Germany.

627 Squadron

No. 627 Squadron alike No. 97 Squadron was a member of the Pathfinder squadrons. It operated from both RAF Oakington and RAF Woodhall Spa throughout the war, as a bomber squadron, reconnaissance and also a specialised target marking squadron. [5]

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  1. "Thorpe Camp Preservation Group Limited - Officers". Companies House. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  2. "Official site". Thorpe Camp Visitor Centre. Retrieved 3 December 2014.
  3. Melinski Air Pictorial October 1971, p. 389.
  4. Ashworth, Chris (1995). RAF Bomber Command 1936-1968. Haynes. ISBN   978-1-85260-308-3.
  5. Orbis 1985, p. 4257