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Deelen Air Base

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NL |

Public | DutchGerman

Source: NASA

Deelen Air Base is a military air base in the Netherlands in the province of Gelderland. Though once an active air base, it is now mostly used as a helicopter training site. Being one of the oldest airports in the Netherlands, many buildings on the airfield are now listed as monuments.
Deelen Air Base was founded in 1913 as a base for border patrol missions. When the Netherlands surrendered to Germany in World War II, the Luftwaffe started using the field, significantly expanding and upgrading the base. The Focke-Wulf Fw 190, Messerschmitt Bf 110 and Junkers Ju 88 were operated from the airfield, and anti-aircraft guns were installed. A railway from the nearby town of Wolfheze was constructed, initially to facilitate the transport of building materials for a Luftwaffe command bunker and later to supply the base with munitions. In 1944 in preparation for the Battle of Arnhem the airfield got bombed extensively by allied forces and flying activity from the base was suspended by the Germans. The base was reduced to an auxiliary airfield and turned into a depot for V-1 flying bombs. After the war, up until 1950, the Dutch military used Deelen as a storage facility. In 1950, the decision was made to restore Deelen back to an operational air base, and from 1957 to 1963 was the base for the Royal Netherlands Air Force Republic RF-84F Thunderflash photo reconnaissance aircraft. Between 1964 and 1995 the field was used by various lighter aircraft, such as the de Havilland Canada DHC-2 Beaver, Piper J-3, Hiller OH-23 Raven, Aérospatiale Alouette II / Alouette III and Bölkow 105. In June 1995 Deelen was used for the world premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen's Helikopter-Streichquartett.


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