Vast Vehicle Graveyard Haunts Abandoned Wartime Airfield

(Image: LiamCH, reproduced with permission)

Opened in 1940, RAF Folkingham in Lincolnshire, UK, served a number of diverse roles over the decades. Home to British and American forces during World War Two, the air base was later equipped with Thor ICBM nuclear missiles before closing in the 1960s. Used briefly by the British Racing Motors (BRM) Formula One team as a test track, the cracked remains of the main runway and perimeter track now boast what could be the UK’s largest vehicle graveyard.

(Images: LiamCH, reproduced with permission)

The vehicle graveyard is a strange feature on the windswept landscape. More a scrapyard than a storage facility, the colossal collection of rusting hulks ranges from construction equipment to former military fuel bowsers. The former Royal Air Force (RAF) Folkingham is one of hundreds of lonely and forgotten wartime air bases littering rural Britain.

Few military buildings remain, although the wartime bomb dump, complete with abandoned bomb stores, lies in a now-forested area to the east of the base. In addition, three Thor missile pads – made of reinforced concrete and considered uneconomical to remove – are still extant.

(Image: LiamCH, reproduced with permission)

On June 6, 1944 (D-Day), 72 C-47 and C-53 transport aircraft, operating from Folkingham as part of Operation Overlord, dropped US paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne Division near Picauville in France in a bid to bolster the Normandy Landings. Four aircraft were lost and many others damaged during the mission and a resupply flight the following day.


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