‘Forgotten’ Lincolnshire airfield looking to honour Polish World War Two airmen
RAF Ingham, north of Lincoln, is looking to create a heritage centre to honour and remember the sacrifices of those who served during World War Two.
The base became operational in 1940 with the arrival of 300 Polish Squadron, until it ceased use in 1946.
Four Polish bomber squadrons were attached to the base of three grass runways and three hangars during the Second World War.
The airfield held talks and tours as part of the Polish Heritage Day event on Sunday, which was instigated by the Polish Ambassador to the UK.
Geoff Burton, chairman of the RAF Ingram Heritage Group, said:
“After a few years of research, we held a small exhibition in 2010 with around 200 people attending, including veterans, and this led to the creation of the heritage group.
“Those we want to recognise were not just those who flew the aircraft, but those with personal stories.
“Many will be in their mid-to-late 90s now, and it’s important to capture their experiences.
“It gives a wonderful insight into their lives during the war.”
Mr Burton tells the story of a gentleman at the Heritage Day, a 97-year-old Polish man with Argentina heritage, who was an air gunner during World War Two.
Fighting alongside the RAF from Ingham, he was the only survivor in a crash in the war where he only woke up because he was on fire.
After he recovered, he joined the Polish Air Force.
Mr Burton added: “We’re open every Sunday morning from 9 until 12. If anybody’s interested in volunteering, visiting, or organising a talk, it’s very much an open house.”
The base will be hosting the Lincolnshire Heritage Open Weekend on 15 September.
RAF Ingham is close to RAF Scampton, famous for the 617 Squadron that flew the Dambusters mission.
by Tom McBeth