LINCOLNSHIRE AVIATION HERITAGE CENTRE - East Kirkby / UK
Update: 2022/09/27 by Shawn Clish / CHK6
On Saturday August 27, 2022, I had the pleasure of visiting the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre in East Kirkby, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom. The museum is located on the grounds of former Royal Air Force (RAF) East Kirkby, which served as a Bomber Command Station for RAF 57 and 630 squadrons from the time it was built in 1943 until the end of World War Two. The museum is dedicated to the memory of the 55,573 members of Bomber Command who lost their lives during the war and endeavours to educate future generations about the heroism displayed by these brave airmen. The highlight of my visit were the taxy runs by the museum’s Avro LANCASTER Mk.VII NX611 ‘Just Jane’ and a de Havilland MOSQUITO NF.II HJ711.
After World War Two, the airfield was briefly used by the United States Air Force’s Air Rescue Service under the Air Transport Command before cessation of military activity in 1958. In 1964 it was purchased by Lincolnshire farmers Fred and Harold Panton, who then purchased Lancaster NX611 in 1983 before moving it to East Kirkby in 1987. The museum officially opened in 1988 and includes the original Control Tower, numerous vehicles including a one-of-akind Ford WOT1 crew bus, an incredibly rare Handley Page HP.52 HAMPDEN restoration, an impressive assortment of artifacts and of course the centrepiece, Avro Lancaster Mk.VII NX611 ‘Just Jane’. While the museum is dedicated to the efforts of all of Bomber Command, it specifically serves as a memorial to the eldest Panton brother, Christopher, who was lost on operations in 1944.