Mendig Airfield

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Mendig Airfield
Mendig Airfield.jpg

50 ° 21 '57 "  N , 7 ° 18' 55"  E Coordinates: 50 ° 21 '57 "  N , 7 ° 18' 55"  E

Height above MSL 174 m (571  ft )
Transport links
Distance from the city center 1 km south of Mendig
Basic data
opening 1958
operator Airfield Mendig GmbH
surface 187.4 ha
07/25 1615 m × 35 m asphalt
07/25 690 m × 30 m grass

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The airfield Mendig (until 2007 Army Airfield Mendig ) is located close to the city Mendig in Rhineland-Palatinate . Most of it is in the Mendig district and in Thür and Kruft . In 1914, troops of the German Empire initially built an airfield here to support the units advancing on the Western Front after the outbreak of World War I. With the remilitarization of the Rhineland by the National Socialists in 1939, an air base was built. After it was used by the Wehrmacht during World War II , it was taken over by the French Army until it was handed over to the Bundeswehr in 1957, which was stationed at the Army Aviation Airfield. Up to 1,300 soldiers and 200 civilian employees were employed here. The military use of the airfield, which has since been classified as a special landing site, ended in mid-2008.


First and Second World War

In August 1914, a military field airfield was set up on the so-called Bocksfeld south of Mendig. He served briefly in the 3rd Army's 3-stage aircraft fleet , which was responsible for logistics and replenishment for Field Aviation Departments 23, 24 and 29.

After the remilitarization of the Rhineland, planning began in 1938 to build an air base for the Air Force . However, in the course of the construction work carried out from the beginning of the war, only makeshift accommodation and a grass runway were built. In September 1939, a long-range reconnaissance unit with Do-17P reconnaissance aircraft moved to the site. The front troops used were:

  • I. / Destroyer Wing 26 (May 9 - May 18, 1940)
  • Staff / Remote Reconnaissance Group 123 (September 4 - September 25, 1944)
  • 4th / Remote Reconnaissance Group 123 (September 4 - September 25, 1944)

American troops occupied the airfield on March 9, 1945. The United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) used Airfield Y-62 , its allied code name, from 17 March 1945 to 11 May 1945. In April, here was 36th Fighter Group of the 9th Air Force stationed which the P- 47 flew.

The USAAF handed the air base over to the French occupation forces on July 13, 1945. Army l'Air units were only stationed here for a short time. The location was mainly used by a transport unit of the French army, for which buildings were built around the so-called Old Fort between 1946 and 1948. On January 7, 1957, the base aérienne 137 Coblence-Niedermendig was handed over by the French armed forces to the newly formed army aviation troops of the Bundeswehr .

Use by the Bundeswehr

The first phase of the use of the air base by the German armed forces from 1957 to around 1969 was used to set up army aviation associations and to create an improved airfield and barracks infrastructure. This period was characterized by the taking of Army Structure I (until the beginning of 1959) and II (1959 to 1970), which were mainly used for the stationing of the Army Aviation III. Corps in Mendig led.

When the Bundeswehr took over the airfield on January 7, 1957, Airfield Command (Heer) 841 was created, which was renamed Airfield Command (Heer) 843 on July 1, 1957. The Army Airfield Command 301 was formed in 1973 and remained at Mendig Air Base until 1994.

From January 7 to August 1, 1957, the Andernach site administration with its branch in Niedermendig was temporarily housed on the airfield before moving into an office building in Mendig.

On March 15, 1957, Army Aviation Command 801 was born at the site. In 1959 it was relocated to the Rhine barracks in Koblenz and renamed Corpsheeresfliegerkommandeur 3 in the same year. This corps unit remained in the Rhine barracks until it was reclassified to Army Aviation Command 3 on April 1, 1971. This command was stationed in the Gunther Plüschow barracks in Mendig. On April 1, 1994, the name was changed to Army Aviation Brigade 3 , which existed until December 31, 2007. In the 1980s, there was also a mobilization preparation group for the unit at the site.

On April 18, 1957, the first soldiers swore oath in the courtyard of the "Old Fort".

In 1957, Army Aviation Supply and Replacement Company 1 was set up on the Army Airfield, but was disbanded in the same year. On June 1, 1957, Army Aviation Supply and Replacement Squadron 834 was formed. On November 1, 1957, this unit was renamed Army Aviation Repair Company 835. On May 2, 1958, this association moved to Bückeburg to the local air base, which later became the Schäfer barracks. The Army Aviation Repair Company 835 existed there until 1961.

The Army Aviation Training Group was established in 1957 as the first training unit for Army Aviators at the Mendig site.

On July 1, 1957, Army Aviation Squadron 811 was set up at Mendig Army Airfield. Six Bell 47 G-2 machines had already been handed over for this purpose in April 1957. This association was renamed to Heeresfliegerlehrstaffel 51 on March 16, 1959 and moved to the Schäfer barracks in Bückeburg on January 12 and 13, 1960 . There this season lasted until April 1, 1966.

In 1958, the Army Aviation Repair Company 307 was formed at the Mendig Army Airfield. On May 2, 1963, this unit was renamed Army Aviation Repair Squadron 307 and on April 1, 1971, it merged with the 35th Army Aviation Transport Regiment.

Also in 1958 the Heeresfliegertransportstaffel 827 was set up, which was renamed to Heeresfliegertransportstaffel 303 on July 1, 1959. On November 1, 1962, this unit was absorbed into the new Army Aviation Battalion 300.

Heeresfliegerstaffel 301 was also established in the air base in 1958, but was incorporated into the new Army Aviation Battalion 300 on November 1, 1962. On April 1, 1971, the squadron became independent again, before it was finally transferred to Army Aviation Command 3 of III. Corps was incorporated.

On July 1, 1959, the Army Aviation School was established at the air base. However, this facility was moved to the Schäfer barracks in Bückeburg on January 12 and 13, 1960, where it continued until December 31, 2015.

1960, assigned to the air base barracks was named the Navy flier used in World War Gunther Plüschow .

On November 1, 1962, Army Aviation Battalion 300 of III. Corps formed. On April 1, 1971, the battalion was assigned to the 35th Army Aviation Transport Regiment of III. Corps reclassified. This regiment was renamed and restructured as the Army Aviation Regiment 35 on October 1, 1979. It existed until June 30, 2004.

In 1963 the decision was made to build new barracks, as the renovation of the old accommodation was considered uneconomical.

On December 1, 1964, Defense District Command 411 was created as a device unit, which remained here until it was dissolved on February 28, 1995.

In 1966 the topping-out ceremony for the new barracks building was celebrated and the facilities were completed in 1968.

Army Aviation Battalion 5 of the 5th Panzer Division , which was set up in the Georg Friedrich barracks in Fritzlar on October 1, 1969 , was transferred to the air base in Mendig on November 24, 1969. On April 1, 1971, Heeresfliegerstaffel 5 of the 5th Panzer Division was formed from him. The squadron remained at the site until it was dissolved on March 31, 1994.

The second phase of the use of the site by the Bundeswehr was marked by the introduction of Army Structure III and IV between 1970 and the fall of the Wall in 1989. During this time, the establishment of the Bundeswehr was completed.

On April 1, 1971, the Flying Department 350 was formed, which remained at the location until at least 1976. It was later followed by the Flying Department 351, which was stationed in Mendig until June 30, 2004.

The aircraft engineering department 360 was also established on April 1, 1971 and remained at the site until at least 1976.

Finally, on April 1, 1971, the Aircraft Technical Department 352 was created, which was in service until June 30, 2004.

The Geophysical Advice Center 301 started its work on October 1, 1975 and existed until June 30, 2004.

On October 1, 1976, the 301 Army Airfield Fire Brigade was set up and was in service until May 31, 2007.

From April 1, 1978 the Sergeant for Reservists 411 of Defense District Command 411 was set up at the location, which ceased to exist on January 31, 1995.

In the 1980s, there was also the Army Aviation Squadron 300 as a device unit and the Army Aviation Supply Squadron 355. At the same time, the home protection companies 4111, 4112 and 4113 existed as device units in the mobilization base of the barracks, which were assigned to the Defense District Command (VKK) 411. Also in the 1980s, the 7411 and 8413 security trains were stationed here as equipment units. Finally, in the 1980s, the geophysical groups 5, 300 and 335 existed as device units.

For training on the Sikorsky CH 53 transport helicopter, a flight simulator was used in the 1980s, for which a training group was created.

From July 1, 1980 to July 31, 1995, the Defense Command and Replacement Battalion 865 was set up as a device unit.

From April 1, 1981 to November 30, 1994, the telecommunications service group 421/14 was stationed at the site and the site telecommunications system 421/141 was set up.

The infrastructure and building repair group 7411 of Defense District Command 411 existed as a unit between January 1, 1982 and September 30, 1994.

The Mendig driving school group was established on January 1, 1986 and existed until March 31, 1994.

With the end of the Cold War , the army airfield increasingly lost its importance. The army structural reforms after 1990 led to the fact that the units, to whose support the army aviators served, such as the III. Corps and the 5th Panzer Division, were disbanded. Therefore, the army aviators in Mendig followed this development. This initiated the final phase of the military use of the air base. The stationed forces were replaced by significantly smaller units until the site was closed in 2008.

Telecommunications sector 405 existed at the site between October 1, 2000 and June 30, 2008.

Between 2002 and 2003, Army Aviation Support Squadron 7 was stationed at the site, reporting to Army Aviation Brigade 3. Their designation referred to the 7th Panzer Division .

In 2003, Army Aviation Supply and Reconnaissance Squadron 300 was set up in Mendig and was assigned to Army Aviation Brigade 3. This unit was dissolved on June 30, 2007.

From July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2008, Army Aviation Repair Squadron 300 still existed at Mendig Air Base.

The use of the site as an army airfield ended on March 15, 2007. On May 3, 2007, the soldiers said goodbye to the population on the Mendiger market square. Finally, on June 30, 2008, the federal service flag was hoisted one last time.

The medical area 41/19 was set up and equipped with material from July 1, 1972 to September 30, 1997 for medical care. From April 1, 1983 to September 30, 1997 there was also the medical center 414. The dental station (Terr) H 438 was set up on April 1, 1977 and renamed to the dentist group 414/1 on April 1, 1981. The group existed until December 31, 1998.

Conversion and civil use

From 1969 to 1971, the "Mendig Airfield Races" were held on a 3.590-kilometer circuit on the runways of the former army airfield.

After the Bundeswehr gave up the site, it was converted into civilian areas, which was completed with the sale to Triwo AG. A newly founded subsidiary of Triwo AG, Flugplatz Mendig GmbH, is the owner and leases the space. The sale of individual buildings and areas is not planned.

The special landing area is approved for aircraft up to 5.7 tons , helicopters up to 5.0 tons MTOW , self-launching motor gliders, gliders and non-self-starting motor gliders with take-off type aircraft tow and winch start (grass runway), air sports equipment, free balloons and parachutes.

Todays use

The airfield is managed by the Mendig e. V., used. Furthermore, various commercial enterprises have settled here and TÜV Rheinland has been operating the "Vehicle Testing Mendig" (VTM) test site since the beginning of 2008, which is now used as the "Test Event Area" (TEA) for testing production cars, racing cars and tires as well as for driver training .

In addition, various television broadcasters and production companies shoot TV reports on various car shows. In addition to the challenge at D-Motor, contributions to the programs Motor on DSF , Adventure Auto on Kabel eins , Grip on RTL II , VOX Automobil or SWR Rasthaus are filmed. Driver training courses can also be booked at various motorsport clubs and companies.

As an aviation location, Mendig is the home location of the company Roland Aircraft, which has established itself as a manufacturer of ultralight aircraft in the former halls for the liaison helicopters ( MBB BO105 ) on the north side.

After the operator of the Nürburgring did not extend the contract beyond 2014, the Rock am Ring festival was held at the airfield in 2015 and 2016. The festival has been taking place at the Nürburgring again since 2017.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Rebecca Quick: Josef Suwelack - aviation pioneer, designer and "civil war hero" (1888 - 1915). Approaches to an aviator myth. Verlag Ferdinand Schöningh, Paderborn 2018, p. 298 f.
  2. a b c d e f g h i Verbandsgemeinde Mendig: Mendig Army Airfield. Gunther Plüschow barracks. The history. Retrieved on May 22, 2019 (German).
  3. ^ Community Mendiger Heeresflieger / Leo Schmitt: The history of the Heeresflugplatz Mendig. Retrieved on May 22, 2019 (German).
  4. David C. Johnson / United States Air Force Historical Research Center - Research Division: Continental Airfields (ETO) D-Day To VE Day. A Guide to the Airfields Used by US Army Air Forces During World War II in the European Theater of operations From 6 June 1944 to 9 May 1945. Retrieved on May 22, 2019 (en-EN).
  5. a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad location database of the Bundeswehr in the Federal Republic of Germany as well as the training grounds used by the Bundeswehr abroad of the center for Military history and social sciences in the Bundeswehr.
  6. Bayerische Flugzeug Historiker e. V .: Army aviator. Retrieved on May 23, 2019 (German).
  7. Motorsport racetrack at the Niedermendig Army Airfield . In: KuLaDig, Kultur.Landschaft.Digital. Retrieved July 17, 2020
  8. We are the ring! ( Memento from September 20, 2014 in the Internet Archive ) on
  9. ^ Süddeutsche Zeitung: "Rock am Ring" turns 35: Anniversary with Green Day and Volbeat. Retrieved on May 23, 2019 (German).