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Wunstorf Air Base

Roundel of the German Air Force border
RAF Wunstorf
Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) B-116

Transall LTG 62 1983
A German Air Force Transall C-160D transport aircraft (s/n 50+38) of Lufttransportgeschwader 62 (LTG 62) (Transport Wing 62) based at Wunstorf, Lower Saxony (Germany), in flight on 15 June 1983.
Type Military Airfield
Coordinates Latitude:
Longitude:
In use 1936-Present
Controlled by Bundeswehr Kreuz Bundeswehr (Air Force)
Occupants Balkenkreuz  Luftwaffe (National Socialist), 1936-1945
RAF roundel  Royal Air Force, 1945-1957
German Air Force (FRG), 1957-Present
Battles/wars World War II
Airfield information
IATA: none – ICAO: ETNW
Summary
Elevation AMSL 187 ft / 57 m
Coordinates 52°27′17″N 009°25′44″E / 52.45472°N 9.42889°E / 52.45472; 9.42889Coordinates: 52°27′17″N 009°25′44″E / 52.45472°N 9.42889°E / 52.45472; 9.42889
Map
Lower Saxony location map
Airplane silhouette.svg
ETNW
Location of Wunstorf Air Base
Runways
Direction Length Surface
ft m
03/21 5,573 1,699 Asphalt
08/26 8,193 2,499 Concrete
08R/26L 3.569 1,088 Sod

Wunstorf Air Base is a German Air Force military air base, located 6 km south-southwest of Neustadt am Rübenberge or 4 km nort-northwest of Wunstorf in Lower Saxony, Germany. Wunstorf Air Base is the home to Air Transport Wing 62 (Lufttransportgeschwader 62). It currently flies the C-160D Transall transport aircraft.

HistoryEdit

The airfield was originally opened in 1936 for the National Socialist Luftwaffe. During the Second World War, it was seized by the British Army on 7 April 1945, in a fierce battle by elements of the 5th Parachute Brigade, 6th Airborne Division. During the battle, in which the 13th Battalion was also engaged, the 7th (Light Infantry) Parachute Battalion lost 6 killed, and 21 wounded, most from the initial ambush of the four leading trucks of B Company. The airfield was captured with 19 ME 109s, 4 FW 190s, 2 JU 88s, 2 JU 52s and much other valuable equipment.

After the battle, the base was taken over by the Royal Air Force, including Canadian (R.C.A.F.) Wing 126 of the British 2nd Tactical Air Force, and designated as Advanced Landing Ground B-116 Wunstorf. The airfield features heavily in the book "13 - Lucky For Some" which is about the history of the 13th (Lancashire) Parachute Battalion. There are many then and now photographs as well as maps and diagrams of battles that took place in the region.

It was later designated RAF Wunstorf and used by Royal Air Force Germany. RAF units assigned were:

  • 1947-1950: 2 Sq with Spitfire F 14/PR 19
  • 1950-1952: 4 Sq, 26 Sq with Vampire FB 5
  • 1950-1955: 11 Sq with Vampire FB 5, later Venom FB 1, later FB 4
  • 1952-1955: 5 Sq with Vampire FB 5, later Venom FB 1
  • 1952-1955: 266 Sq with Vampire FB 5, later FB 9, later Venom FB 1
  • 1954: 4 Sq
  • 1954: 93 Sq
  • 1955-1956: 79 Sq with Meteor FR 9
  • 1955-1957: 541 Sq with Meteor PR 10
  • 1956-1957: 5 Sq, 11 Sq, 266 Sq with Venom FB 4

In 1957 the base was returned to the control of the German Air Force and became a NATO Air Base.

Use by German Air ForceEdit

German Air Force first stationed Nord Noratlas which by 1971 were replaced by C-160D Transall currently still in use. Flight training for decades was executed using Dornier Do 28.

Expansion in 2010'sEdit

As preparation for 40 Airbus A400M to be stationed at Wunstorf Air Base, the airbase underwent (and as of June 2013 still undergoes) major expansion. Runway 08/26 was lengthened from 1,877 m to 2,499 m (45 m wide) mainly to the east. Parking positions were expanded, a dedicated maintenance hangar is under construction. A building to house the flight simulator has been added.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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