Saltby Air Raids

    I’m not sure about the dates, but about 1940-41 there were some odd intruder raiders that I remember dropping H.E.’s and Incendiaries over a scattered area to the east of Saltby.

    High Explosive bombs were definitely dropped at Skillington, North Witham and Stainby villages. I also recall seeing an unexploded one being dug out near the Stainby to Colsterworth Road. It was speculated at the time that the ironstone railway system there (it was also around the Sproxton/Saltby area) had been mistaken for an industrial site, as there was also certainly around the Buckminster/Stainby area, long banks of excavated ironstone that was burnt; partly I understand, to reduce the transportable bulk. This resulted in smoke/steam rising up. If the dates of the raids coincide, it could be that the bombs dropped on Saltby in January and August 1941 were part of the same pattern of raids at night on the whole area, not just targeted at the airfield.

    Regarding the Lancaster crash, amazingly I find from some notes of my father, that he was notified of a crash by the ‘Leicestershire Police’ and he spent over an hour from 2.00am on Monday 27th November 1944 searching Wyville, Saltby and Croxton, looking for it! Unfortunately he didn’t record where it had crashed, but he noted that 4 were killed and 3 survived. I am only certain of the body count there from his account and don't know if he actually saw them but they were his details at the time, not recounted afterwards. So, it would appear that someone had got the figures a bit mixed up in the official records, as his figures were in the immediate report.

   By D. Stewart.

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