The Field Detectives are currently researching the history of RAF Langar airfield. They hope to provide a unique insight into the life of a Second World War airfield, which captures 207 squadron’s arrival from RAF Bottesford in September 1942, through to their departure to RAF Spilsby in October 1943.
Initial investigations had focused on Wednesday 25 November 1942, when five aircraft of 207 Squadron flew out of RAF Langar, each tasked with separate missions. The Field Detectives are attempting to piece together the day from the remaining fragments of written materials, eyewitness accounts and the results of our field surveys. It is a process that relies heavily on teamwork, collaboration and trust, which is slowly beginning to shed light on the shadows of a day from almost eighty years ago.
It has been a steep learning curve. When The Field Detectives first began looking into the life of Langar airfield c.1942-1943, the focus became fixed on the crews of those lost Lancaster’s, but now we have come to realise that every one of those aircraft was part of a much bigger human relationship to the airfield itself.
Each loss would have had a significant emotional impact on a wide range of airfield personnel. At this stage of the investigation, The Field Detectives are learning that those involved at the Station Sick Quarters would have had a strong emotional attachment to the crews who flew those aircraft.
After discovering the crash site of Ray Hannan’s Avro Lancaster last year (2020), The Field Detectives learnt sadly that Flight Sergeant John Kennerleigh Barnett Lee was the only one of R5694’s eight crew members who survived the crash. Tragically, he died the following day. His grave marker at St. Mary’s Churchyard in Bottesford gives his date of death as 26 November 1942, the day after the crash.
This then led to learnimg more about the Station Sick Quarters and the roles of the people who worked there. Ken would have suffered terribly after the crash, and the emotional impact of that suffering would have had a profound effect on whoever was there at the time.
Although The Field Detectives have identified the sick quarters’ location, nothing is knpwnabout the medical staff who worked there.The story of the women who served at RAF Langar as part of 207 Squadron is sadly missing.The story of nursing at Nottinghamshire airfields during WWII is an important story to tell .Can you help?
For more information contact
The Field Detectives
Tel: 0115 9377 318
Mob: 07896 225 691