Ossington Airfield

Photo:Disused buildings at RAF Ossington

Disused buildings at RAF Ossington

Newark Air Museum Archive

Photo:Former hangar at RAF Ossington

Former hangar at RAF Ossington

Newark Air Museum Archive

Photo:Former watch tower at RAF Ossington

Former watch tower at RAF Ossington

Newark Air Museum Archive

Photo:Memorial stone to 82 OTU crew lost near Laxton

Memorial stone to 82 OTU crew lost near Laxton

Howard Heeley

By Howard Heeley

Grid Ref: Sheet 120; SK745648; 8 miles NW of Newark

Opened: January 1942

Squadrons: No 14 Pilot AFU; 82 OTU; 1685 Training Flt; 6 LFS (Transport Command & BOAC); 1384 HTCU

Aircraft: Oxford; Wellington; Martinet; Tomahawk; Lancaster; Lancastrian; York

Nationalities: Commonwealth

Things of note: Originally built as a decoy base it never became a front line operational station but was always involved with training. Most notably towards the end of the war training Lancaster pilots to fly Lancastrian aircraft to operate on the BOAC London to New Zealand route, closing in 1946

Current status: The concrete runways have been broken up; however some original wartime buildings still exist and are used by local farmers. These are far more extensive than first thought but most are on private land

The photograph of the Laxton memorial has been included in the photographs to accompany this write-up as the aircraft and crew were fling from RAF Ossington when they crashed near to Laxton. Work is currently ongoing to locate the families / relatives of the Canadian airmen lost in this crash.

(This information was originally published in the 2011 booklet “Aviation in Nottinghamshire”, which was produced by the Newark Air Museum thanks to a Local Improvement Scheme grant from the Nottinghamshire County Council. Photographs sourced from the Newark Air Museum Archive.)

This page was added by Howard Heeley on 05/12/2014.
Comments about this page

I remember Ossington airfield in the late 1950s and early 60s, it was a good place to learn to handle a car before you were old enough to drive on the road, lots of people learnt to drive there the runways were still intact in those days. Also when go-carts first appeared around 1960 people would take them there, it was fun watching several of them racing around, it couldn't happen today to many health and safety implications. A lot of people went there on a sunny Sunday afternoon at the end of summer to pick blackberrys there were lots of them, everywhere that was grass when it was an aerodrome ended up covered in blackberrys.                                                         It's interesting to learn that the fledgling BOAC trained there in their converted Lancasters, I'm always interested to hear anything about Nottinghamshire aviation history.


By P.Bowler
On 08/12/2014

Reference page at http://www.ournottinghamshire.org.uk/page/ossington_airfield#commentsform

The last paragraph on this page mentions that "Work is currently ongoing to locate the families / relatives of the Canadian airmen lost in this crash.".  I am quite certain that one of those airmen lost was my uncle F/O John Clair McLeod of Minnedosa, Manitoba, Canada.  He was survived by 2 brothers and 2 sisters and was the son of Albert and Maude McLeod.  I have very little other information about him other than where he was buried.  I someone ther can forward this to whoever is seeking information I would be happy to entertain the contact, not that there would be much I could add.

By Gavin McLeod
On 12/11/2016

Thanks for the above Comment, Gavin.  We will make the author of the article on Ossington airfield aware of your contact, and hope we can put him in touch with you.  Thanks again for contacting OurNottinghamshire

Website Administrator

By Website Administrator
On 12/11/2016

Thank you for the 'heads-up' Website Admin and thank you Gavin for responding to this request. We would be delighted to hear further details from you. These can be emailed to the museum via the following address admin@newarkairmuseum.org and we will get back in touch with you. We already have contact with some other families who have visited the memorials in Laxton. 

By Howard Heeley
On 15/11/2016


I was involved in researching the crash and getting the memorials in place – one near the actual crash site and one in Laxton Church.

We have contacts with Bob Eden whose Grandfather survived the crash, Len Caldwell whose step uncle was Edward Fernandez the Navigator and your Aunt Audrey Combs, Blair's sister, who visited Laxton in October last year and I had the pleasure of meeting her and her Daughter Doreen. Your Aunts contact details I can forward to you if you want them. Audrey has an album of photos of Clair, his crew and other photos.

By Colin Savill
On 15/11/2016

Hello...recently learned my uncle, Sgt Lorne Herbert Johnston RCAF flew from Ossington as part of the OTU 82. He and his crew were killed in a crash in Yardley Goboin on March 20, 1944.

By Kim LeBlanc
On 02/11/2017

We will be travelling to Yardley Gobion for the 2018 Remembrance Day ceremonies and will be dedicating a new plaque of remembrance to my uncle and his crew mates and, as part of our tour, wish to go to the former site of RAF Ossington to visit where he served. Any suggestions on this part of the tour would be appreciated.

By KIm LeBlanc
On 07/02/2018

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