RAF Laarbruch

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RAF Laarbruch
Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) B-100
RAF Laarbruch is located in Germany
RAF Laarbruch
RAF Laarbruch
RAF Laarbruch (Germany)
Coordinates 51°36′09″N 06°08′32″E / 51.60250°N 6.14222°E / 51.60250; 6.14222 (RAF Laarbruch)
Type Military Airfield
Site information
Site history
In use 1934-1999
Battles/wars Western Front (World War II)

The former Royal Air Force Station Laarbruch, more commonly known as RAF Laarbruch ICAO EDUL (from 1 January 1995 ETUL) was a Royal Air Force station, a military airfield, located in Germany on its border with the Netherlands. The Station's motto was Ein feste Burg ("A Mighty Fortress").[1]

History[edit]

The British army built Advanced Landing Ground Goch (B-100) during World War II in preparation for the final push across the Rhine River in early 1945. The infrastructure was straightforward and simple: a 1180 meter (3600 feet) PSP runway with a parallel 983 Meters (3000 feet) grass emergency runway, refuelling was done with jerrycans, and there was enough space for two complete Wings.

It was only used between 4 March and late April. The first unit to fly from the airfield was 662 (Auster) Sqn, who remained at the airfield until 24 March. They were followed by the British 121 (Typhoon) Wing (20 March). Ten days later the Canadian No. 143 Wing joined them. The Hawker Typhoons of 121 Wing were exchanged for the Spitfires of Canadian No. 127 Wing by mid-April, but by the end of that month all Wings had left. This ended the use of B-100 airfield.

In 1954 the RAFG rebuilt the World War II airfield as RAF Laarbruch due to the outbreak of the Cold War. Laarbruch was home to various first-line squadrons, including II (AC) Squadron flying F-4 Phantom II; and 15 and 16 Squadrons flying BAe Buccaneers and 25 Squadron 'C' Flight with Bloodhound surface to air missiles in the 1970s, followed by Jaguars in the 1980s. These were replaced by Tornadoes with four squadrons (2, 15, 16,and 20) resident.

After the first Gulf War, many of the squadrons were relocated, No. 2 Sqn going back to RAF Marham; and 15, 16, and 20 becoming reserve squadrons. When RAF Gütersloh closed, the Harriers of 3(F) and IV(AC) squadrons moved in along with the helicopters of 18(B) Squadron. Laarbruch was also home to 1 and 26 Squadron RAF Regiment. 18 Squadron returned to RAF Odiham in 1997 with the remaining Harrier squadrons departing to RAF Cottesmore in 1999.

After closing in 1999 the airfield found a new civilian lease of life as the budget airline airport Flughafen Niederrhein (Lower Rhine Airport), now known as Airport Weeze after the nearest large settlement. Civil operations began in May 2003.

Laarbruch squadrons[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • RAF Laarbruch
  • Johnson, David C. (1988), U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO), D-Day to V-E Day; Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

External links[edit]