Vliegbasis Deelen, 1947 - 1995
In de luwte van de Veluwe
Fred Bachofner
Nederlandse versie

Author: Dick Lohuis, Gijs Dragt   
Publisher: Geromy
ISBN: 978-90-833122-3-1
Published 2024
384 pages, hardcover, Dutch language only
Price 52,80 euro.

"This book deals with Deelen Air Base in the period 1947-1995.
Attention is given to the genesis, based units, detachments and exercises, open days, squadron anniversaries and visitors. With more than 675 images in colour and black and white, including many previously unpublished photos from various public and private archives. A complete overview of a period in which Deelen Air Base played an important role: the era of the Cold War".
I know the base well. In the mid-1970s, I was allowed to serve with the 25th  Light AA guns stationed at Ede. There was a lot of practice on the Ginkel heath and we were often "harassed" by the aircraft (Alouette III, Piper super Cub and Beaver) that were stationed at Deelen. Often had exercises at the airbase itself. Of course, I was able to visit the various Open Days and spend a day with 300 Sqn and the Alouettes. So I was really looking forward to this book.

This publication by the publisher Geromy, the fourth in the series on Dutch air bases, certainly does not disappoint. With the well-known format of the previous three books, this is also a fine book about the period 1947 – 1995, the closing of the airbase.

In 10 chapters, 5 of which have a clear relationship with the airbase, Deelen is featured.
- In de luwte van de Veluwe.
- Gebaseerde eenheden.
- Detacheringen en oefeningen.
- Open Dagen, en Squadron Jubilea.
- Visitors.

A great tome of 384 pages, so if you start reading you certainly won't get bored for a long time. It is a photo book in which the photos literally thunder by in terms of size and quantity. Short pieces of text “glue” the whole together, just enough to make the book complete and interesting. Actually a very nice spotters book.

The field has been operational since around 1939 due to the stationing of 20 soldiers because of its strategic location. Due to the German invasion, the field was destroyed in 1940. The Germans immediately seized it and turned it into the largest Fliegerhorst in the Netherlands. With a few photos, the writers pay attention to it together with a piece of text.

Between the years 1947 and 1995 extensive attention is paid to the units/squadrons that operated from Deelen. From the LETS (Air Force Electronic and Technical School) to Base Flight, and the squadrons 298, 299,300 and 306.
306 squadron still with the Republic RF-84F Thunderflash. The other three squadrons over the years with a mix of Hiller Raven, Piper Super Cub, DHC-2 Beaver, Alouette III and the MBB Bo-105, as the Group Light Aircraft belonging to the Royal Netherlands Army, but flown by Klu pilots. Of course, you can't ignore the demo team "Grasshoppers" with their Alouette IIIs, preceded by the Popsey Black, four Piper Super Cubs. Two Bo-105CB were given a red, white and blue livery in 1990. Attention is also paid to the stored aircraft with the heading "preserved and stored".

The chapter Detachments and Exercises lists chronologically al the events (e.g. 323 squadron that stayed at Deelen for a month) and the exercise "Royal Flush" for reconnaissance flights, of course many foreign visitors which again yielded a variety of interesting photos. Certainly not to be forgotten the contribution that Deelen made to the film "A Bridge Too Far" by housing all the necessary aircraft and providing technical support to the film crew and repainting aircraft and of course the commemoration flights for Market Garden.

Open Days and anniversaries is a clear topic. Several times it was Deelen's turn for an Open Day and Deelen was assigned the 5-year crown years, including 75 years of KLu in 1988.

In the chapter "visitors" again a nice and interesting collection of photo material. In General the photos are of enormous variation, also in terms of layout. Very nice full-page color photos are interspersed with half pages up to 8x12. Every now and then a real spotter's snapshot if I may call them so. Excuse me for not counting them, but there really are a lot of pictures, 675 will undoubtly be right. The list of aviation enthusiasts consists of two pages and again contains many well-known names.  
The fourth book on, what I hope will be a series about all military airfields in the Netherlands.
A spotter's book full of beautiful photos, many of which have never been published in this way before. Because of the set-up, you will not only be treated to photo material relating to the squadrons at the base, but you will also find a wealth of foreign material.
The text is limited and superficial, but enough to make it an informative book.
I have read and browsed through it several times now and every time I see something new.
Modellers can also find fun and interesting photos in the book.
I can't wait for the next part where I hope that Leeuwarden, Soesterberg, Gilze Rijen, Woensdrecht, Ypenburg, the MLD air camps and of course the missing years will also get their turn. Together, they would form a wonderful piece of military aviation history. I read Deelen Air Base with great pleasure and interest.
I think I'll be browsing through it a lot.       

Geverifieerd door MonsterInsights