Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Netherlands

Province of Gelderland

This collection of airfields is © 2010-2012 by RonaldV
(Disclaimer).


Oldebroek Updated 24 Oct 2012 - Teuge Updated 13 Aug 2011 - Nieuw Milligen Updated 7 Sep 2012

Terlet - Deelen Air Base Updated 7 Sep 2012 - Doetinchem Added 26 Jun 2011

Malden Updated 13 Jul 2012 - Malden (B-91) Updated 13 Jul 2012 - Ermelo Added 24 Oct 2012

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Oldebroek

 

52°22'25"005°54'32"E

 

runway 04/22 - 220 meter - Grass

runway 10/28 - 220 meter - Grass

runway 16/34 - 220 meter - Grass

 

Airfield Oldebroek (Dutch: vliegveld Oldebroek, also known as vliegveld 't Harde) is a small army airfield located in the forest south of the villages 't Harde and Oldebroek.

It was built before 1920 as an exercise forward airfield for artillery observer aircraft of the Royal Netherlands Army.

Not much is known about the airfield before World War II except that it was used once (in 1927) by a KLM Fokker F.VVIIa (H-NADX) diverting for bad weather (source in Dutch).

After World War II the airfield was used exclusively by the Group Light Aircraft (Groep Lichte Vliegtuigen, or GPLV) of the RNLAF on behalf of the army.

At the time it consisted of three runways on a triangular field with approaches cut out in the forest.

Approaches and takeoffs were challenging, with the runways having barely enough room to land and take off.

On 10 Nov 1955 this resulted in the crash of a Piper Cub during landing, in which the aircraft was completely destroyed, but fortunately with only light injuries to the crew.

The airfield also had a single blister hangar and a small platform in front of it.

When the RNLAF stopped using fixed wing observation aircraft around 1970 the airfield was only used by observation helicopters (Alouette-III and Bo-105)

 

Photos of the airfield while in use could not be located.

 

Somewhere in the 1990s it stopped being used as an airfield altogether.

However, in July 2012 I received an email reporting:

Access to the terain is still restricted, although the paths and roads around it are freely accessible.

All the entries are clearly marked as 'Access Prohibited'.

From the road on the south side it is possible however to get a good overview of the field.

To my amazement I discovered a fairly large and well maintained hangar.

The grass was cut and there is a windsock at the field.

The ends of what used to be runways are now overgrown, restricting the fields use to helicopters.

The sandy roads around the airfield appear to be well used, considering the many tracks on them. (...)

I did not see anything land on the airfield, but considering its well kept state, it seems to be still in use.

 

airfield Oldebroek in 2005 (Google Earth)

 

The airfield and its blister hangar photographed from the southern fence in September 2012 (RonaldV)

 

Thanks to Marcel in the Netherlands for originally pointing out this airfield!

 

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Ermelo

52°17'25"N 005°40'03"E

 

runway: 01/19 - 350x60m (estimated) - dirt/moor

runway: 11/29 - 350x60m (estimated) - dirt/moor

runway: 15/33 - 350x60m (estimated) - dirt/moor

 

Ermelo airfield name was a small army airfield located on a military exercise area on the moor east of the village of Ermelo

It was used as an exercise forward airfield for artillery observer aircraft of the Royal Netherlands Army.

The airfield was used exclusively by the Group Light Aircraft (Groep Lichte Vliegtuigen, or GPLV) of the RNLAF on behalf of the army.

Ermelo airfield consisted of three runways on a triangular field, laid out roughly in an arrow shape.

As with other similar airfields, the airfield at Ermelo was not to be taken lightly.

At least one pilot and his observer are known to have died due to a mishap at Ermelo.

 

4 Piper L-21Bs at Ermelo airfield in 1968 (Gerrit van der Veen, via MijnAlbum.nl).

 

L-21B R-117 (54-2407) and an unidentified Augusta Bell (I)UH-1B of the Koninklijke Marine at Ermelo airfield in 1968 (Gerrit van der Veen, via MijnAlbum.nl)

 

Ca. 1970 map displaying the three runways of Ermelo in the red circle (Eric Blom, via email)

 

Although fixed wing aviation at the airfield ended when the KLu withdrew the Pipers, helicopter use continued until the early 1990s.

The whole Ermelose Heide (Ermelo Moor) was then returned to nature.

 

The former runways were still recognisable in 2005 (Google Earth)

 

Thanks to Eric Blom for pointing out this airfield!

 

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Teuge

 

52°14'41"N006°02'48"E

 

runway 09/27 - 1,199meter/3,934feet - concrete/asphalt

runway 03/21 - 700meter/2,297feet - grass (limited availability)

 

Teuge Airport (Dutch: Vliegveld Teuge) or Teuge International Airport (ICAO: EHTE) is a small general aviation airfield 4.5 nautical miles (8.3 km; 5.2 mi) west of Deventer and 3.5 nautical miles (6.5 km; 4.0 mi) northeast of Apeldoorn.

It is located near the village of Teuge, part of the Voorst municipality in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands.

The airport was founded as Deventer-Teuge in 1935 when Deventer businessmen decided they wanted their own airport.

On 2 August 1945 crown princess Juliana (later Queen Juliana of the Netherlands) used the airport to return to her country after a forced stay abroad because of World War II

Next to general aviation, the airfield is also used extensively for skydiving and glider flying.

Although no scheduled international flights take place from the airport, customs services are available upon request, hence it still having the title of international airport.

Several companies at the airport specialise in aerial photography, and it is the home airfield of aerobatics pilot Frank Versteegh, a former Red Bull Air Race participant.

The runway was hardened in 1979, followed by growth in the number of companies using the airport.

Teuge overview

 

Teuge before and after the runway was lengthened in the easterly direction in 2009

 

In 2009 the runway was lengthened to its present length, and the construction of a new control tower was started.

 

 

International Airport Teuge

 

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Nieuw Milligen

 

52°14'41"N 06°02'48"E

 

Nieuw Milligen (ICAO: EHML/EHMC) was a small airfield exactly halfway between the cities of Apeldoorn and Amersfoort, and two kilometers (1.25NM) east to the village of Garderen.

It existed between 1913 and 1940 to the west of a cavalry camp.

The airstrip was located exactly on the border of the municipalities of Voorthuizen and Apeldoorn on a moor known as the Meerveld.

The airstrip was oriented NE/SW and had a hangar tent to support aircraft of the Militaire Luchtvaart Afdeeling (Army Aviation branch of the Dutch Army)

Just before the war broke out the airfield was made unusable by the army by digging trenches.

During the occupation years the Germans left it, instead focusing on Fliegerhort Deelen, just north of Arnhem.

 

After the war, the Netherlands set up one of its first radar sites using a convoy of old English radar trucks -type AMES 13, 14 and 15.

They were parked northwest of the army camp, just under one mile north of the former airstrip.

Because the true nature of the resident radar unit (Air Defense) was classified, it was officially known as a Naviation Station.

The airstrip was never reactivated, but the radar unit did get their own helicopter pad.

A large underground bunker was built, capable of protecting from nuclear detonations and fallout.

The bunker held the radar site, part of the NADGE (NATO Air Defense Ground Environment) Early Warning chain from Norway to Turkey.

After several name and functional changes the site is now known as AOCS (Air Operations Control Station) Nieuw Milligen.

It currently hosts the following units:.

Military Air Traffic Control Center (MilATCC) "DutchMil".

Control and Reporting Center "Bandbox".

National Data Management Cell (NDMC) .

NATO Deployable Air control centre, Recognised air picture production centre, Sensor fusion post (or DARS for short).

 

In 1963, Minister of Defense P. de Jong paid a visit to Nieuw Milligen by Alouette II. The radar is an FPS-8 search
radar, belonging to the MilATCC (NIMH)

 

Medium Power Radar (MPR) at CRC/SOC Nieuw Milligen in 1974. This radar allowed to read the altitude of aircraft,
eliminating the need for seperate Height Finder radars (NIMH).

 

By 1979 the MPR had received a weather protective dome, protective earth walls and camouflage paint. It remained
that way until at least 2012 (NIMH).

 

The entrance to the main bunker at Nieuw Milligen in 1995. To the Dutch, this bunker was the equivalent to NORAD's
Cheyenne Mountain. It was replaced with an above ground facility in 2009 (NIMH)

 

The site currently only has a helipad at the Convooi (Convoy) area (move your mouse over the image to get pointers).

 

F-104G D-8053 gatekeeper at Nieuw Milligen (photo Milspotters.nl).

 

Although the moor had become a forest since the end of World War II, the old runway was still very recognisable in 2012.
Since 2009, minor changes have occurred at the Convooi site, near the helipad (Bing Maps).

 

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Terlet

 

52°03'24"N 05°56'19"E

 

Airfield Terlet (Dutch: Nationaal Zweefvliegcentrum Terlet, also known as National Glider Center Terlet - ICAO:EHTL) near Arnhem is an airfield solely intended for gliders.

It was founded in 1930 at the Terlet moor, as part of the Royal Netherlands Association for Aeronautics (Dutch: Koninklijke Nederlandse Vereniging voor Luchtvaart) KNVvL.

 

Terlet has several small grass runways.

 

Terlet Glider Center is located north of the city of Arnhem, along the A-50 motorway between Arnhem and Apeldoorn, in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands.

The airfield is used exclusively (motor-)glider flying.

The airfield is owned by the National Gliding center Terlet Foundation (Dutch: Stichting Nationaal Zweefvliegcentrum Terlet, or SNZT)

 

The Stichting Zweefvliegers Terlet is the main user of the field, with over 450 particpants.

Other users include the Delftsche Studenten Aeroclub and the original first user of the airfield, the Gelderse Zweefvliegclub (since 1932)

The airfield also has a registered flying school for powered gliders (motor gliders)

 

National Glider Center Terlet

 

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Deelen

 

52°04'0"N 05°52'0"E

 

Deelen Air Base

 

runway 02/20 - 2400meter/7200feet concrete/asphalt

 

Airfield Deelen (Dutch: vliegveld Deelen, vliegbasis Deelen, or Militair vliegterrein Deelen, also known as Fliegerhorst Deelen, Deelen Air Base or Military Aviation Terrain Deelen, ICAO: EHDL) was an air base north of Arnhem.

The airfield opened as an auxiliary airfield in 1913 to support flying operations of the Luchtvaartafdeeling (LVA) in Soesterberg.

Along with the airstrip at Nieuw Milligen, it was intended to suppport patrols along the Dutch-German border during World War I.

The original airfield was situated north of the Vrijland estate

Its unpaved runways were ploughed under in early 1940, in order to disable them for possible use by invading German troops.

 

The German occupying forces greatly expanded the airfield to the north, partly in the municipality of Ede, and partly in National Park "Hooge Veluwe".

They renamed the airfield "Fliegerhorst Deelen" (code named Alster) and built an 'A'-shaped runway system and facilities, adhering to the most modern standards of the Luftwaffe.

It included measures such as bomb protection and far going camouflage (the so-called "Heimatschuetz"

From 1942 the Fliegerhorst had it's own railway connection, the so called "bomb-line", which connected the line Arnhem-Utrecht with the Fliegerhorst.

On the south side of the airfield two storage halls and loading and offloading platforms were constructed.

A branch ran into the "Hooge Veluwe" park, where fuel and ammunitions were stored, another branch split off to the Grossraum-Gefechtsstand "Diogenes", the German Air Defense bunker (type Ceasar).

Between 1940 and 1945 the following units were stationed at Fliegerhorst Deelen:

4e Gruppe Jagdgeschwader 54 (Focke-Wulf Fw 190)

3e Zerstörergeschwader (Messerschmitt Bf 110)

2e Gruppe Nachtjagdgeschwader (Junkers Ju 88)

4, 7 and 12 Flak Gruppe

In the buildup to Operation Market Garden (The "Bridge too Far) the Fliegerhorst was bombed several times, causing the Luftwaffe units to leave the airfield.

It remained open however, for use as an auxiliary field, and to store V-1 flying bombs.

By March 1945 all military activities at the airfield had come to a halt.

 

Deelen, photographed on 17 Apr 1943 by a Spitfire of 541 Sqn RAF (NIMH).

 

Fliegerhorst Deelen during World War II

 

Focke Wulf Fw-190A of Jagd Gruppe 1 at Deelen in 1943

 

Deelen, photographed in September 1944. A large number of craters is visible on the tracks, making it very
clear that German air operations could no longer be performed from this airfield (NIMH).

 

Between 1945 and 1950 the airfield was used as storage area.

Mostly Canadian (Canada left some 37,000 vehicles, motorbikes and trucks at the airfield), American and English war supplies but captured German stocks could also be found.

After 1950 the Netherlands government expressed their wish to reuse the airfield, and all stocks were removed from the airfield.

Some of it got buried at the airfield however, where they remain to this day.


Between 1957 and 1962 Deelen Air base became the home of the RF-84F Thunderflashes of 306 Sqn.


After the conversion to RF-104G Starfighters, 306 Sqn, now based at Volkel, continued to use Deelen as a dispersal airfield.

306 were followed up by the Light Aviation Group (Dutch: "Groep Lichte Vliegtuigen" or GPLV) with 299Sqn and 300Sqn (along with two inactive wartime squadrons: 301Sqn and 302Sqn) and their associated logistics group.

299Sqn and 300Sqn flew the following aircraft types:

Hiller UH-12 Raven

De Havilland Beaver.

Piper Cub.

Sud Aviation (Aerospatiale) Alouette-II.

Sud Aviation (Aerospatiale) Alouette-III

MBB Bo-105


From the late 1970s, the base was home to the Grasshoppers, the official RNLAF helicopter demonstration team.

The airbase also supported the nearby Air Force Electronics and Technical School LETS (Dutch: Luchtmacht Electronische en Technische School) and the Royal Non-Commissioned Officer School KKSL (Dutch: Koninklijke Kader School Luchtmacht)


In December 1988 Deelen made national headlines when militant pacifists broke into the air base and set fire to a number of helicopters.

Although 4 helicopters were a total loss, nobody died or got injured during the attack.

 

RF-104Gs of 306Sqn RNLAF at Deelen AB in 1965(NIMH).

 

The Grasshoppers, in their original 'Zebra' scheme, passing Deelen tower in 1979 (NIMH).

 

The end of the Cold War signalled the end for the Air Base, which closed in 1995.

It was thought to be largely returned to nature, but events took a different turn.

Deelen was redesignated a Military Aviation Terrain, in support of the nearby Air Manoeuvre Brigade.

As such, it is occasionally used as a forward operating base (or FOB) for helicopters and C-130 Hercules transports.

 

The airbase was used by the RNLAF without changing much of the original German buildings.

As a result, it is one of very few places in Europe where the German "Heimatschutz Architektur" is well preserved.

Therefore the Dutch Ministry of Culture put the entire complex and its surrounding complexes -a total of 251 objects- on a heritage protection list

Its sheer size makes the Air Base the largest National Cultural Monument in the Netherlands.

The "Heimatschutz Architektur" meant that bunkers and hangars were camouflaged to make them look like Dutch farms.

In fact: some of the off-base buildings are in use at farms today.

Only if you inspect them up close you will notice walls are a meter (3 feet) thick, windows and doors are actually painted on walls, hatches are made of thick steel, and German texts can still be found all over the Air Base.

The Germans did make a mistake though: instead of using the local Gelders traditional style of building they used the Holland style.

For the purpose it did not matter: the camouflage worked.

 

Deelen today, composite image from Bing.com

 

Complexes around the Air Base:
Klein Heidekamp (german: Klein Heidelager): the former officers camp. Served multiple roles after the war, is now being renovated for use as barracks.
Groot Heidekamp (german: Gross-Heidelager): the former enlisted camp. Served for decades as the LETS, until that was merged with all other Air Force Schools at
Air Base Woensdrecht (EHWO). It is now a part of the Oranje barracks of the Army, and houses the school battallion of the Air Manoeuvre Brigade.
Vrijland: during and after the war the technical workshop of the Air base, currently in use by the Military Aviation terrain detachment and a private security team.
Kop van Deelen: During and after the war the command center of the air base. from 1995 till 2004 in use to house asylum-seekers, then sold to a private initiative.
Also the location of the former NCO mess, now a museum dedicated to the Air Base.
Bunker "Diogenes", a former Air Defense Bunker (now a depot of the State Archives).
Several Waermehalle (heated hangars).
Several Splitterboxen (protective revetments for aircraft).
Several Flakstelle (FLAK stations).
A compensatingdisc (a disc to check on board compasses).
Teerosen I, II and III (radio listening points to aid intercepts of Allied bomber raids) at Terlet, Rhederheide and Imbosch
Kaderschool, the former Luftwaffe Helferinnen (female Luftwaffe personnel) camp, later Air Force NCO school, later Air Manoeuvre barracks, currently abandoned without a mission.
Zeven Provinciën, built during World War II by the Germans, it became the medical complex of and integrated with the NCO school, currently abandoned without a mission.

 

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Malden

 

51°47'07"N 005°52'51"E

 

runway 11/29 - 1250meter - Grass

runway 03/21 - 950 meter - Grass

 

Glider airfield Malden (Dutch: Zweefvliegveld Malden) is situated in the forest between the towns of Malden and Groesbeek and the city of Nijmegen airfield solely intended for gliders.

It was founded along with the Nijmegen Aeroclub in 1954.

 

Malden has two grass runways.

The airfield is used exclusively (motor-)glider flying.

 

Glider field Malden

 

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(estimated) 51°57'24"N006°18'59"E

 

runway ../.. - ....meter - Grass

 

Airfield Doetinchem (Dutch: vliegveld Doetinchem, also known as vliegveld Groenendaal or vliegveld Misset) was an airfield near Doetinchem, northeast of Arnhem, the Netherlands.

It was founded by the owner of the Misset printing company of Doetinchem and opened in April 1936.

The airfield was a minor player, being home to only 4 aircraft: Missets own Koolhoven FK43 PH-CMD, National Flying School owned Pander PH-AIB, a Cierva (PH-HHH) and an unknown KLM owned Fokker F.VII.

Additionally the airfield hosted a glider owned by the Doetinchem Glider Club.

The airfield did not have a runway, but was located on a flying circle, allowing starts into any direction the wind would be blowing.

 

Airfield Doetinchem-Groenendaal before World War II

 

The airfield, like most other airfields at the time, was closed by the Germans after the invasion of May 1940.

Around 1941 however it reopened, because in that year it became the airfield for the German company Dittrich from Emmerich (just across the border).

The company had taken over the Dutch wood working plant Nemaho near the Doetinchem airfield, and used it to repair and (re)assemble German aircraft.

Aircraft from the Nemaho plant were Schulgleiter-3 (SG-3 gliders, built by Pander in the Hague) and DFS230 gliders of the Hitlerjugend and Bucker Bü131 Jungmann double deckers (built by Fokker in Amsterdam).

Repaired Bucker aircraft were test flown from the airfield by a Fokker test pilot, the German Emil Meinecke (Fokker facilities and personnel were used by the Germans throughout the war).

This activity ended around 1944, when repairs of aircraft were replaced by repairs of German trucks and lorries.

As a result of its activities for the Wehrmacht the plant was bombed by the RAF in 1945.

 

After the war the airfield did not reopen.

Mr. Misset and his family were arrested on charges of collaboration with the Germans.

The issue was never proven, but the discussion lasts until today, as Mr. Misset was a very philantropical person and well liked amongst the average population of Doetinchem.

Besides founding the airfield he was responsible for the founding of the city swimming pool, a sportscomplex and a fund for poor people that could borrow money for their first home at very low rates.

The airfield does not exist anymore, but the Misset printing company became part of the Reed-Elsevier company, and exists to this day.

Nehamo also still exists.

The airfield remained visible until at least the summer of 1953, when Dutch Touring Club Magazine "De Kampioen" (in Dutch) reported seeing its flying circle on an overflight from Maasticht to Teuge.

 

The Dutch website missetinoorlogstijd.nl has some video of the airfield.
On the website, click on the books to the right of the telephone. The movie will show the airfield after about two minutes.

 

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Air Base Malden, near Nijmegen, province of Gelderland

51°47'48"N 005°51'11"E

 

runway 01/19 - 1400x40meter - PSP (Steel)

 

Malden Air Base (also known as airfield B-91 or B-91 Kluis, in Dutch: Vliegveld Malden or Vliegveld 'De Kluis') was an allied air base just north of Malden near Nijmegen, in the province of Gelderland.

The airfield was constructed in just a few days by the British 23 Airfield Construction Group in March 1945

 

B-91 had one steel plated runway

 

By the end of September 1944 Operation Market Garden (the notorious 'Bridge too Far') had drawn to a close.

The plan to bring a rapid end to the war in Europe had failed, despite the great efforts and heroism of the allied forces involved, leaving a salient in the German line centred on Nijmegen.

Two of the main reasons for the failure of the operation had been identified as:

1. inadequate flak suppression during the initial airborne landings, and

2. the absence of 2nd TAF air support during the bitter fighting that followed.

With the conclusion of the German Ardennes offensive (the "Battle of the Bulge") in January 1945 the Allies could once again plan to cross the Rhine.

The overall plan was code-named 'Veritable', the airborne element 'Varsity'.

As a result of the lessons learned from the failure of Market Garden it was decided to build a landing strip in the Nijmegen area prior to the attack.

It was designed specifically to provide a base for the Typhoon and Tempest squadrons of 2nd TAF (164, 183, 198, 609, 33, 222 and 274 squadrons) that had been selected to provide flak suppression for operation Varsity.

They were later to be joined by a detachment of Gloster Meteor jets of 616 Sqdn for their first continental deployment.

Within a few days the 23 Airfield Construction Group had completed a new landing strip to be known as B-91 (B=British) Kluis near Nijmegen.

 

Malden Air Base (B-91) on an aerial photo of today

 

During its short existence, the airfield was 'home' to over one hundred RAF fighters from 123Wing and 135Wing (84Group), including the Gloster Meteor Mk.III

Both wings had a ground support role, and had followed the army though France and Belgium into the Netherlands, while hopping from temporary airfield to temporary airfield.

The airfield was in use from 21 March 1945 until 20 April 1945

After the war it was used once, in early May 1945 by HRH Prince Bernhard in his personal small plane (probably his Stinson PH-PBB)

After the war the airfield was dismantled, many of its PSPs ended up being used as fences by local farmers.

It took about three years before farmers began using the land again, and as late as 1949 the outlines of the runway were still visible from the air.

 

(most of the story about this airfield has been reconstructed with the help of Mr Jaap Been's excellent research on these pages).

 

Today nothing remains visible from the airfield, although the area is still littered with wartime remains.

 

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If you have any information about airfields (listed and unlisted) in the province of Gelderland, email RonaldV.

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