RAF Digby

If you look at Roy's Service timeline you will see that he was frequently serving at Royal Air Force Digby, and in particular the No. 399 Signals Unit there.

RAF Digby is a station in central Lincolnshire (England). It became a Royal Air Force station in the same year as the Royal Air Force itself - 1918. In WWII it served as a Royal Canadian Air Force base from 1942.

Digby is also the home to a reconstructed World War 2 sector operations room and this is open to the public.

The Ministry of Defence website records that Royal Air Force Digby is the oldest operational RAF station and its flying history spanned 35 years. Originally called RAF Scopwick, it was established on 28 March 1918. It has been home to a number of units, including Nos. 2 and 3 Flying Training Schools and both Guy Gibson and Douglas Bader were stationed here. In 1942, the station became a Royal Canadian Air Force Station operating Mosquito aircraft.

Following a brief period as a technical training unit, the role of the station changed yet again in 1955 with the arrival of No. 399 Signals Unit. It was to 399 SU that Roy would return again and again. It was his trade's home unit and as a small specialist trade, personnel would often find themselves working together at 399 SU or one of the other few similar signals units around the world. 399 SU was later joined, at Digby, by 591 Signals Unit and the Aerial Erectors School. No. 399 Signals Unit changed its name to the Joint Service Signal Unit (JSSU) on 15 September 1998, reflecting not only its tri-service environment, but also its bi-national one with members of all three US forces serving alongside RAF, Army and Royal Navy personnel.

On 1st April 2005 the Unit merged with the rest of the station to become the Joint Service Signals Wing (JSSW) Digby. Yet on 1st August 2008 the Unit changed its name back the the Joint Service Signal Unit (D)

JSSU (D) is an MOD sponsored unit whose mission is to provide operational support to the development of specialist communication information systems. JSSU (D) is the largest of several Joint Service Signal Units, and as its name implies it comprises personnel from all 3 UK and US Armed Forces, supported by specialist civilian staff and contractors. However, the RAF and the Army together make up most of the 500-strong complement.

In carrying out its mission, JSSU (D) operates both at home and on deployments overseas. In this regard, the unit carries out its own military and specialist training which ensures that individuals earmarked for such deployments are well prepared and able to look after themselves in the field.

JSSU (D) links with other national and international organisations, such as the US military, NATO, and other government departments, to ensure that communications capability is consistent between all users.

More History:

The flying history of RAF Digby spanned 35 years from Mar 1918 to Feb 1953. In the early days, the sky above the airfield reverberated to the sound of Handley Page 0/400, Avro 504 and FE2b machines. These subsequently gave way to a multitude of biplanes in the 1920s-1930s and eventually to the roar of Rolls Royce Merlin powered RAF Fighters in World War II. The airfield also witnessed the arrival of the jet age when two Gloster Meteor Fighters operated from the grass airfield in Jul 1945. Flying ceased in Feb 1953, after this the Stn continued to be a key contributor to the defence of the United Kingdom with the arrival of 399 Signals Unit and 591 Signals Unit.

The Station continued to expand steadily throughout the 1970s, 80s and 90s. The arrival of the Army, initially in 1994, and later the Royal Navy and the US detachments, signalled the start of yet another era in the history of Digby. On 1 September 1998 399 Signals Unit merged with the newly arrived Special Signals Support Unit from Loughborough to form the JSSU(D). JSSU(D) merged with the rest of the station on 1April 2005. Digby is not only a truly tri-Service environment but has a distinctly multi-national flavour to it, one that evokes memories of the last time the Station hosted overseas personnel.

Over the years the Station has not only enjoyed excellent relations with the local community but has also played an active part in that community through participation in various initiatives and projects as well as entering sports teams into local competitions. In particular the Station enjoys a close relationship with the town of Sleaford.