A site on high ground between the villages of Edith Weston and North Luffenham, five miles south-west of Stamford, was found suitable for an airfield and construction commenced in 1939. The flying field was turf and the administration, technical and some accommodation were based in permanent buildings grouped near Edith Weston. Hangars, in keeping with the specification of early wartime airfields, consisted of two Type J erected adjacent to the technical site.
North Luffenham opened in December 1940 with a training mission, No. 17 Elementary Flying Training School being formed at the station in January. Tiger Moths predominated in serving the basic pilot tutelage.
By the summer of 1941 additional airfields were required for No. 5 Group and the EFTS was moved to Peterborough. In July, Nos. 61 and 144 Squadrons were brought into Luffenham from Hemswell, which had been selected as a base for Polish bomber squadrons. Both squadrons flew Hampdens and were fully operational, much of their work being minelaying. No. 61 began to receive Manchesters with their attendant problems in October 1941 and was transferred to the new airfield with hard runways at Woolfox Lodge when this became available for use. No. 144 Squadron was the sole resident at North Luffenham until late April 1942 when it was transferred from Bomber to Coastal Command and torpedo work, moving north to Scotland.
A Manchester conversion flight for No. 61 Squadron was brought into being at North Luffenham in late March 1942 but this moved to Syerston after five weeks where the squadron was then based. With hard surfaced runways desirable for its heavy bombers, No. 5 Group relinquished North Luffenham to training command in April 1942 and No. 29 Operational Training Unit was formed to raise crews on Wellingtons remaining at the station until June 1943. During its occupation, three T2 hangars were erected on the north side of the airfield for Hamilcar glider accommodation. A Ministry of Aircraft Production B1 hangar was also erected on the technical site during 1943, presumably in connection with work on the Hamilcars.
No. 29 OTU moved to Bruntingthorpe in June 1943 so that George Wimpey & Co. Ltd could start work at North Luffenham on laying hard runways. The usual arrangement of intersecting strips featured a main 08-26, of 2,000 yards and 01-19 and 14-32 both at 1,400 yards long. The hardstandings were 36 loops. Additional buildings by Token Construction Co. Ltd brought accommodation up to 2,118 males and 311 females.
When re-opened in March 1944, the station was used by No. 21 Heavy Glider Conversion Unit with Whitleys and Horsas. This HGCU began to receive Albemarles to replace the Whitleys shortly before moving out in September that year. North Luffenham then went back to bomber crew training with the arrival of No. 1653 Heavy Conversion Unit from Chedburgh equipped largely with Stirlings but gradually took on Lancasters and other types. The HCU stayed until October 1945 and, after a period of care and maintenance, No. 21 HGCU returned equipped mainly with Dakotas and Halifax tugs and Horsa and Hamilcar gliders. However, the day of the glider was over so that early in 1948 the unit was re-organised as No. 230 Operational Conversion Unit with a mission to train crews for Transport Command. New hardstandings were built in 1950 by Mowlem. The OCU moved on in 1951 and later the same year the RCAF established three Sabre-equipped fighter squadrons at North Luffenham under a NATO directive. These eventually moved on to the Continent and in April 1954 the RAF took over the station for operational training, Nos.228 and 238 OCUs being the principal residents until the airfield was selected for another mission in June 1958. It became a headquarters location for one of the Thor missile wings the RAF established during the years 1959 to 1963. Also, from late 1963 for the next decade, North Luffenham was home to a succession of ground signals organisations that were nominally grouped under Support Command. The last of these units was relocated in 1997, the RAF station closing late that year. However, in 1998 the Royal Anglian Regiment moved to North Luffenham from Oakington.
During the Second World War Bomber Command lost a total of 60 bombers missing or crashed in the UK on operational flights from North Luffenham. Fifty-six of these were Hampdens, three Manchesters and one a Wellington.