RAF Goxhill is a former Royal Air Force and United States Army Air Force station in England. It is located just to the east of the village of Goxhill, on the south bank of the Humber estuary, opposite the city of Kingston upon Hull, in north Lincolnshire.
Its location, however, was too close to the air defences of Hull to be used for that purpose. Its first occupant was No. 1 Group that took up residence on 26 June 1941. The mission of No. 1 Group was towing practice targets with Lysander bombers, its first operation beginning on 25 October.
In December 1941, RAF Fighter Command replaced the Bomber Command training unit with No. 12 Group, flying Spitfires from No. 616 Squadron at RAF Kirton in Lindsey. Fighter Command operated the base until May 1942.
The facilities at Goxhill, however, had a lot to be desired. Three wooden barracks were supplemented by a number of metal fabricated buildings (aka: tin cans) for living quarters. Typical of the RAF bases of that period, living quarters and mess facilities were 1-2 miles from the hangars and flight operations area.
The station was unofficially known by the USAAF units based here as "GoatHill".
The USAAF used Goxhill as a training base though the balance of the war, with several squadrons using it after their initial deployment to the UK, then moving on to a permanent facility for their operational missions.
|Group||Aircraft||Date Arrived||Date Departed|
|1st Fighter Group||P-38 Lightning||10 June 1942||24 August 1942|
|52d Fighter Group||P-39 Airacobra||26 August 1942||9 November 1942|
|78th Fighter Group||P-38 Lightning|
|1 December 1942||6 April 1943|
|353rd Fighter Group||P-47 Thunderbolt||7 June 1943||3 August 1943|
|356th Fighter Group||P-47 Thunderbolt||27 August 1943||5 October 1943|
|358th Fighter Group||P-47 Thunderbolt||20 October 1943||29 November 1943|
|496th Fighter Training Group||P-51 Mustang and P-38 Lightning||25 December 1943||15 February 1945|
The 496th Fighter Group was a Combat Crew Replacement Center for 8th and 9th USAAF units. It consisted of the 554th Fighter Squadron with P-38s and the 555th Fighter Squadron with P-51s. The group trained over 2,400 fighter pilots during its existence. The 78th Fighter Group came to England equipped with P-38's but had all of its aircraft and most of its pilots sent to the Twelfth Air Force in February 1943, after which it flew P-47 Thunderbolts.
On 20 January 1945, the USAAF returned Goxhill to RAF control, being assigned as a satellite to RAF Kirton In Lindsey. On 27 May it was assigned to RAF Maintenance Command for storage of excess munitions. RAF Goxhill remained a storage depot until it was deactivated on 14 December 1953.
Goxhill airfield was leased to farmers for agricultural use until 29 January 1962, when it was finally sold by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The Technical Site and the aircraft hangars, however, was retained by the MOD for storage uses. In July 1977, the MOD sold off the remaining parts of Goxhill to private owners for agricultural use.
Perhaps of its relative inaccessibility, Goxhill looks very much like it did during the war years.