RAF Digby

RAF Digby Crest

Icarus reborn

THE STATION

The oldest RAF station, opened on 28 March 1918, is located near the village of Scopwick and is an important signals site for all three services. Home to the Joint Service Signals Organisation, part of the Intelligence Collection Group, the station is tri-service and is alternately commanded by a British Army Colonel or RAF Group Captain.

ADDRESS

RAF Digby, Cuckoo Ln, Digby, Lincoln LN4 3LH

Who's based here

KEY DATES

  • 1917 - The airfield site was already being used by trainee pilots from HMS Daedalus (RAF Cranwell).
  • 1918 - Airfield formally purchased.
  • 1936 - Dambuster Guy Gibson learned to fly at the station.
  • 1940 - Became an important fighter station during the Battle of Britain.
  • 1941 - Pilot John Magee, poet of 'High Flight', was killed while flying from the station.

HISTORY

Digby was originally called RAF Scopwick and was established on 28 March 1918. It has been home to a number of units, including Nos. 2 and 3 Flying Training Schools and both Guy Gibson and Douglas Bader were stationed here. In 1942, the station became a Royal Canadian Air Force Station operating Mosquito aircraft. Following a brief period as a technical training unit, the role of the station changed yet again in 1955 with the arrival of No. 399 Signals Unit. This was later joined by 591 Signals Unit and the Aerial Erectors School. No. 399 Signals Unit changed its name to the Joint Service Signal Unit on 15 September 1998, reflecting not only its tri-service environment, but also its bi-national one with members of all three US forces serving alongside RAF, Army and Royal Navy personnel.

On 1st April 2005 the Unit merged with the rest of the station to become the Joint Service Signals Wing (JSSW) Digby.

On 1st August 2008 the Unit changed its name back the the Joint Service Signal Unit (D) and the RAF ensign was lowered for the last time on 1st June 2011. However, the station remains RAF Digby in name due to its historic links.

Currently, the station is home to the Joint Service Signals Organisation and command of the two rotates between an Army Colonel and and RAF Group Captain.

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