Wevelgem Airport/flugplatze 1940 - 1945

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Lid geworden op: 02 mar 2007, 20:28
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Wevelgem Airport/flugplatze 1940 - 1945

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Zoals jullie weten woon ik in een klein dorpje genaamd Wevelgem. in de beide 2 wereldoorlogen hadden wij een actief vliegveld op ons grondgebied staan. die nu nog steeds bestaat. afgelopen jaar werd 90 jar vliegveld gevierd. de kleine flugplatz opgericht in 1917 door de duitsers is nu uitgegroeid tot een klein internationale airport.

dit topic zal ik wijden aan de periode 1940-1945. omdat er nogal wat over te vertellen is. er is ook een boek hierover verschenen en ik zal hier enkele stukjes uit publiceren.

allereerst hetgeen ik online op het net heb gevonden: (het is in het egnles omdat dit topic eerst op een engelstalig forum stond)

A piece about wevelgem airfield viewed from No. 151 Repair Unit.

The Merlins, Alisons and Griffons roar,
The Sabres Rattle,
The Wasps Sting,
The Cyclones Blow,
and
The little Lycomings purr away.
These engines left our good unit for those on high, flying above and around us.
In their going out and their coming safely back, the Aircrew thanks go to 151.
The story of 151 enshrines the past,
As leaf by leaf,
So day by day,
Year by year,
Reunion after reunion,
The stories of our lives unfold.
Our eyes grow dim, our hair turns grey,
Could we, but have read when 151 began
That the story of our works would stand?
Through all our days and all our nights
Until the enemies were put to flight
- Epitaph to No. 151 Repair Unit (Aircraft), 2nd Tactical Air Force,
Wevelgem, Belgium, 1944-45, by Harold E Jacobson, ex. 151RU(A)

In September 1944, three Queen Mary lorries, each loaded with an aircraft engine test bench, and a Hillman Utility loaded with emergency rations, arrived at Wevelgem Airfield, near Brussels in Belgium. This was an advance party from No. 151 Repair Unit (Aircraft) - or 151RU(A) - a detachment of the 2nd Tactical Air Force.
Wevelgem itself had had a pedigree flying history, having been used by German flying ace Baron Von Richthofen during WW1, and from 1942 by the 'Top Guns of the Luftwaffe', the JG26, under the jurisdiction of legendary Jagdgeschwader General Adolph Galland.
But in 1944, Wevelgem was back under Allied control, initially under a Free French squadron of Spitfires. By the time the main unit of No. 151 Repair Unit (Aircraft) arrived in October 1944, the advance party had already established three aircraft engine test benches in position and ready for work. Eventually, there were six benches;

1. two for the Merlins
2. one for Wright-Cyclones
3. one for a Pratt and Witney Twin Wasp
4. one for a Lycoming
5. one for Griffon engines (for the Spitfires of 610 Squadron)

In addition, a Hawker Typhoon EJ693 was adapted by 151 RU (Repair Unit) as a test bench for Napier Sabre engines. All in all, the unit was able to service nine aircraft of the 2nd Tactical Air Force, four British and five American.

1. Spitfire (British)
2. Typhoon (British)
3. Mosquito (British)
4. Tempest (British)
5. Mustang (US)
6. Boston (US)
7. Mitchell (US)
8. Marauder (US)
9. Auster (US)

Standard propellers were used with a depression box to take the engines up to their rated altitudes. Notably, this was the only engine test bench facility in the 2nd Tactical Air Force and played a vital role in keeping the aircraft flying. And from the first engine test in November 1944, the two Merlin benches worked three shifts a day, day-in, day-out, until beyond VE Day, 8 May 1945.
During that period, at Christmas 1944, the men of 151RU(A) gave a festive party for the 2,000 or so children of Wevelgem. It was the same time as the Ardennes Offensive.

'We served the children carrying our Sten Guns and two clips of ammunition, whilst serving the children with currant bread and cocoa as the Germans dropped their troops behind our lines. One of the young children, Anny, sang God Save The King, in English. She is now is a very close friend of ours, and her husband Etienne Vanackere is now curator of the Wevelgem Airfield Museum.'
- Harold E Jacobson

Harry Jacobson formed part of the advance party arriving at Wevelgem from RAF Odiham in September 1944. With his wife Min, and uniquely for an English couple, he was invited to and attended a Luftwaffe reunion from 12-15 May 1994, there meeting up with members of the old JG26 who had used Wevelgem from 1942-44. The speech he gave, whilst exchanging plaques with ex-JG26 Luftwaffe flier, Gottfried Schmidt, at the reunion was approved by then British Prime Minister, John Major.
Harry also revisited Wevelgem Cemetery on 18 May 1997, laying there a wreath to commemorate those who lost their lives during WW2. Over 2,000 RAF and Commonwealth aircrew are buried in Belgium, some of whom share the same Flanders soil as their relatives who died in 1914-18.


I will try to post some pictures of airmen who died in Wevelgem or who are buried in the cemetery starting with this commemeration plaque not far from the airfield:

http://img68.imageshack.us/img68/6836/i ... ui6.th.jpg
http://img68.imageshack.us/img68/215/imag2148vt5.th.jpg
http://img407.imageshack.us/img407/7353 ... fy8.th.jpg

in Moorsele (where there was an airstrip too) there's another one like the previous one for a blenheim-crew.

http://img409.imageshack.us/img409/9822 ... xv9.th.jpg

a bunker from the fake german airstrip. this was originally placed in ww1 but failed to do it's job. a new use in ww2 as a flak-bunker and reserve airstrip (no airplane has ever been recorded to take off from that airstrip)

http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/6567 ... gt6.th.jpg

some better pictures about the dummy airfield of wevelgem:

Wevelgem dummy airport.

German activitey on the airfield: Jagdgeschwader 26

II. Gruppe:

Gruppenkommandeure:

* Hptm. Werner Palm, 1.5.39 - 27.6.39
* Hptm Herwig Knüppel, 28.6.39 - 19.5.40
* Hptm Karl Ebbighausen (acting), 29.5.40 - 31.5.40
* Hptm. Erich Noack, 1.6.40 - 24.7.40
* Hptm Karl Ebbighausen, 25.7.40 - 16.8.40
* Hptm Erich Bode, 17.8.40 - 3.10.40
* Hptm Walter Adolph, 3.10.40 - 18.9.41
* Hptm Jochen Müncheberg, 19.9.41 - 21.7.42
* Hptm Karl-Heinz Meyer, 22.7.42 - 2.1.43
* Maj Wilhelm-Ferdinand Galland, 3.1.43 - 17.8.43
* Hptm Hans Naumann, 18.8.43 - 8.9.43
* Obstlt Johannes Seifert, 9.9.43 - 25.11.43
* Maj Wilhelm Gäth, 26.11.43 - 1.3.44
* Hptm Hans Naumann, 2.3.44 - 28.6.44
* Hptm Emil Lang, 29.6.44 - 3.9.44
* Hptm Georg Peter Eder, 4.9.44 - 8.10.44
* Maj Anton Hackl, 9.10.44 - 29.1.45
* Obstlt Waldemar Radener, 30.1.45 - 22.2.45
* Hptm Paul Schauder, 23.2.45 - 1.5.45

Formed 1.5.39 in Bönninghardt from II./JG132 with:

Stab II./JG26 from Stab II./JG132
4./JG26 from 4./JG132
5./JG26 from 5./JG132
6./JG26 from 6./JG132

On 1.10.43 increased to 4 staffeln:

5./JG26 from the old 4./JG26
6./JG26 from the old 5./JG26
7./JG26 from the old 6./JG26
8./JG26 from the old 10./JG26

8./JG26 was disbanded 15.2.45.


they've been in Wevelghem from 15.10.41 untill 22.12.41.


III. Gruppe:


Gruppenkommandeure:

* Maj Ernst Freiherr von Berg, 1.11.39 - 10.6.40
* Maj Adolf Galland, 11.6.40 - 20.8.40
* Maj Gerhard Schöpfel, 21.8.40 - 5.12.41
* Hptm Josef Priller, 6.12.41 - 10.1.43
* Hptm Fritz Geisshardt, 11.1.43 - 6.4.43
* Hptm Kurt Ruppert, 7.4.43 - 13.6.43
* Hptm Rolf Hermichen, 15.6.43 - 4.7.43
* Maj Klaus Mietusch, 5.7.43 - 17.9.44
* Hptm Paul Schauder, 18.9.44 - 26.9.44
* Hptm Walter Krupinski, 27.9.44 - 25.3.45

Formed 23.9.39 in Werl from parts of I. and II./JG26 with:

Stab III./JG26 new (1.11.39)
7./JG26 new
8./JG26 new
9./JG26 new (1.11.39)

In 1.10.43 increased to 4 staffeln (the old 8./JG26 had been renamed 4./JG26 on 21.9.43):

9./JG26 from the old 7./JG26
10./JG26 from the old 9./JG26
11./JG26
12./JG26

III./JG26 was disbanded on 25.3.45.

they've been in Wevelghem from 7.4.42 untill 14.5.43.



12. Staffel:

Formed 11.4.43 in Wewelghem from parts of III./JG26. Attached to III./JG26 and on 1.10.43 officially became part of III. Gruppe.
For bases, see III./JG26.

Ergänzungsgruppe:
Gruppenkommandeure:

* Olt Baron Hubertus von Holtey, 26.9.40 - 17.5.41
* Hptm Fritz Fromme, 17.5.41 - 27.1.42



the gentlemen called josef "pips" priller took down 101 enemy planes in his fighter career.

a short overview of the victims taking of from Wevelgem.

-
12.4.1942
- Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 Boulogne Not confirmed 63
12.4.1942
13:45 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 N Gravelines Spitfire of 41 Sqn, RAF 64
16.4.1942
18:26 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 5km N Calais Spitfire of 118 or 129 Sqn, RAF 65
25.4.1942
16:54 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 10km W St Étienne - 66
27.4.1942
12:25 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 S Ardres Spitfire of 65 Sqn, RAF 67
27.4.1942
12:30 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 15km NW Gravelines Spitfire of 65 Sqn, RAF 68
28.4.1942
12:00 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 Dunkirk-Gravelines Spitfire of 401 Sqn, RAF 69
1.5.1942
19:30 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 5km N Calais Spitfire of 457, 485 or 602 Sqn, RAF 70
5.5.1942
15:40 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 11km SW Ypres Spitfire Vb (BM261) of 313 Sqn RAF flown by Sgt Karel Pavlik, killed 71
9.5.1942
13:40 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 3km N Gravelines Spitfire of 118 of 501 Sqn, RAF 72
17.5.1942
11:33 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 S Guines-Audembert Spitfire of 313 Sqn RAF flown by F/Lt Stanislav Fejfar (5.833/1/3 victories) 73
1.6.1942
13:45 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 5km N Blankenberghe Spitfire of 350 Sqn, RAF 74
22.6.1942
12:10 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 30km N Gravelines Spitfire of 64 Sqn, RAF 75
15.7.1942
15:38 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 8km NE Dover Spitfire of 402 Sqn, RAF -
30.7.1942
19:00 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 Gravelines Not confirmed 76
21.8.1942
11:10 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 50km N Gravelines - 77
29.8.1942
11:46 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 15km NW Cap Gris Nez - 78
9.10.1942
10:35 B-24 Stab III./JG 26 SW Roubaix-Wevelgem B-17 “Snoozy II” of 367 BS, 306 BG, USAAF flown by Capt John Olsen 79
4.12.1942
14:40 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 20km N Calais Spitfire of 401 or 402 Sqn, RAF 80
6.12.1942
12:10 Spitfire Stab III./JG 26 5-6km S Lille - 81
20.12.1942
12:01 B-17 Stab III./JG 26 Baie de la Seine B-17 of 91 BG, USAAF 82
20.1.1943
12:35 Spitfire Stab/JG 26 N Canterbury Spitfire of 332 Sqn, RAF 83
8.3.1943
14:15 Spitfire Stab/JG 26 8km NW St Valery-en-Cause Spitfire of 340 Sqn, RAF 84
5.4.1943
15:12 B-17 Stab/JG 26 20km W Ostend B-17 of 306 BG, USAAF 85
4.5.1943
18:42 Spitfire Stab/JG 26 Westerschelde-NW Antwerp - 86
13.5.1943
16:24 B-17 Stab/JG 26 Near Amplier-5km E Boulogne B-17 of 91 BG, USAAF 87
13.5.1943
16:46 Spitfire Stab/JG 26 5km NW Étaples Spitfire of 416 Sqn, RAF

source:Aces of the Luftwaffe - Josef Priller

hauptmann Joachim Müncheberg did even better shooting down 135 enemy planes.

a short overview from his actions taking of in Wevelgem:

57
13.10.1941
14:33 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 Samer - 58
8.11.1941
13:07 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 Loon Plage Spitfire of Digby Wg or 412 Sqn, RAF 59
8.11.1941
13:15 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 NNE Dunkirk Spitfire of Digby Wg or 412 Sqn, RAF 60
8.12.1941
14:17 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 W Boulogne - 61
16.12.1941
16:01 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 NW Dunkirk Spitfire of 411 Sqn, RAF 62
16.12.1941
16:04 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 N Gravelines Spitfire of 411 Sqn, RAF 63
13.3.1942
16:17 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 Wirre Effroy Spitfire of 124 Sqn, RAF 64
24.3.1942
16:30 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 NW Rue-Cambron Spitfire of 412 Sqn, RAF 65
24.3.1942
16:35 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 Cambron Spitfire of 412 Sqn, RAF 66
4.4.1942
11:46 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 W Calais - 67
10.4.1942
17:50 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 NW Etaples Spitfire of 340 Sqn, RAF 68
25.4.1942
16:40 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 SW Crécy - 69
25.4.1942
16:43 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 SW Rue - 70
26.4.1942
18:05 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 WNW Calais Spitfire of 485 Sqn, RAF 71
26.4.1942
18:06 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 10km W Cap Gris Nez Spitfire of 485 Sqn, RAF 72
27.4.1942
14:47 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 NE Dunkirk Spitfire of Tangmere Wg or 340 Sqn, RAF 73
27.4.1942
16:06 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 N Mardyck Spitfire of 303 Sqn, RAF 74
29.4.1942
16:04 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 Le Touquet Spitfire of Northolt Wg or 317 Sqn, RAF 75
30.4.1942
19:36 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 W Somme Estuary Spitfire of 222 Sqn, RAF 76
1.5.1942
19:31 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 SW Calais Spitfire of 122 or 222 Sqn, RAF -
1.5.1942
19:40 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 5km N Calais not confirmed 77
6.5.1942
18:53 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 NW Cap Gris Nez Spitfire of 303 Sqn, RAF -
9.5.1942
13:43 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 15km S Gravelines Spitfire of 118 or 501 Sqn, RAF / not confirmed -
9.5.1942
13:44 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 15km S Gravelines Spitfire of 118 or 501 Sqn, RAF / not confirmed -
17.5.1942
17:35 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 Guines-St Omer not confirmed 78
31.5.1942
19:37 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 S Crécy Forest Spitfire of 485 Sqn, RAF 79
31.5.1942
19:41 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 Quend Plage les Pins Spitfire of 302 Sqn, RAF 80
2.6.1942
11:01 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 SW Abbeville Spitfire of 403 Sqn, RAF 81
2.6.1942
11:07 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 15km W Étaples Spitfire of 403 Sqn, RAF 82
20.6.1942
15:44 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 S Ardres Spitfire of 118 or 501 Sqn, RAF 83
20.6.1942
15:47 Spitfire Stab II./JG 26 E Boulogne Spitfire of 118 or 501 Sqn, RAF

after that he was send to the russian front.

source: Aces of the Luftwaffe - Joachim Müncheberg

mochten jullie meer info hebben hierover dan is dit zeker welkom. volgend eweek ontvang ik het boek dus dan kan ik verder passages aangeven aan jullie.

vriendelijke groet arne(ken)
it's not how many you write but what you write in the books of history
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