King George VI and Churchill’s Dakota to take centre stage at RAF Metheringham museum

Metheringham airfield is gearing up to welcome a Second World War Dakota DC3 aircraft which is believed to have transported Winston Churchill and King George VI.

The Dakota, which has been based at North Weald Airfield in Essex, will arrive at Metheringham Airfield on Monday, November 16 and will be assembled on site the following day.

Motorists along the route from Essex, along the M11 to Newark and A17 to Sleaford, will be met with quite a sight as four low loaders transport the aircraft in pieces along local roads.

The Dakota will be an exciting addition to the Metheringham Airfield Visitor Centre, a small museum supported by the Friends of Metheringham Airfield.

Member of the group, and Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire Air Ambulance pilot, Tim Taylor is organising the transportation of the Dakota.

He said: “The aircraft was built in 1944 and is an American design. It was transported to the RAF in the UK in June 1944.

“It eventually became part of a VIP squadron responsible for the flights for the Prime Minister and the King.

“It was one of the aerodromes under Fighter Command and whose squadrons fought with the German Luftwaffe during the Battle of Britain.

“At North Weald Airfield in Essex the base has various restrictions to the public and access was difficult, therefore they decided to donate it to us.

“It is fully restored and while we will oversee its short term maintenance we will also look to raise enough money to use it for taxi runs. If we raise £300,000 we may even see it fly again.

“For now people will be able to get up close at the museum as it takes centre stage.”

The exhibit will also highlight a fascinating link to the former RAF Nocton Hall hospital, to which Dakotas were a familiar sight bringing in the wounded after the D Day landings.

The Friends of Metheringham Airfield will be raising funds for the restoration of the Dakota through a programme of events including dances and lectures.

People can find out more and pledge a donation via the Metheringham Airfield website here. 

Friends of Metheringham Airfield are based at what was known as RAF Metheringham during World War Two.

The Lancaster Bomber aerodrome was the wartime home to the famous 106 Squadron, which lost 59 aircraft whilst flying from there.

Throughout the course of the Second World War, the squadron lost over 1,000 aircrew, with a number of names ascribed on Lincoln’s Bomber Command Memorial on Canwick Hill.