Karlsruhe: Airfield

Karlsruhe Army Airfield

For historical information only, do not use for navigation or aviation purposes!
The history of the Cold War airfields: Karlsruhe
by Bert Kondruss
Coordinates: N490140 E0082247 (WGS84) Google Maps
Elevation: 375 ft
Location Indicator: EDIL (1990)

Location

Federal State of Baden-Württemberg.
Germany during the Cold War
Map

General

Karlsruhe airfield was built on the parade ground of a barracks area in the northwest of the city. After the First World War, the field was initially closed before it was reopened in the mid-1920s as a commercial airfield and integrated into the air traffic network. At that time, the airport's facilities were located in the south-western corner of the site.
From the mid-1930s onwards, the airport was expanded, the movement area was extended to the north and airfield facilities were built on the east side. A flight school of the Nationalsozialistischen Fliegerkorps (NSFK) was established at the field. In World War II, the airfield was occupied by individual units.
At the end of World War II, the airfield was occupied by US troops. Later, the US Army takes over and used it with individual aircraft and helicopters. In 1993 the site was closed and the US Army withdrew completely until 1995. Today the airport is a nature reserve.

German Empire until 1918

Images

Aerial photograph First World War
Aerial photograph, probably from the end of World War I. - The picture shows the south-western corner of the field, facing southeast. /LABW 1-851356-1/
Landing-T?
Enlargement: Landing-T?
Aircraft and arrow
Enlargement: Aircraft and arrow
Hangars
Enlargement: Hangars
Warehouse or hospital
Enlargement: Warehouse or hospital?
Barracks
Enlargement: Barracks
Barracks
Enlargement: Barracks
Barracks
Enlargement: Barracks
Traning troops
Enlargement: Traning troops?
Sheds
Enlargement: Sheds

During the 1920s/1930s

Operator

Magistrat der Landeshauptstadt Karlsruhe, Karlsruhe.

Administrator

Badische Luftverkehrs-G. m. b. H.‚ Karlsruhe, Drahtanschrift: Badenflug Karlsruhe.

Transport company

Badisch-Pfälzische Luft Hansa A. G., Werft Karlsruhe, Drahtanschrlft: Badenpfalzflug Karlsruhe.

Situation

Karlsruhe landing ground on a map from about 1928
Karlsruhe landing ground on a map from about 1928

Overview

Karlsruhe airfield - installation map 1928
Map with installations from about 1928
Aerial view ca. 1928
Aerial view ca. 1928 - looking west-northwest
Aerial view with buildings
Enlargement: Buildings - In comparison to the aerial photo from the First World War above, a large hangar is now visible.
Karlsruhe airfield in the mid 1930s
Karlsruhe airfield in the mid 1930s on a US military map from 1952 - Compared to the map of 1928, it is evident that the field has been expanded to the north (AMS M841 GSGS 4414, Courtesy Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University /BYU/)

Airfield characteristics at daytime

White inscriptions "Karlsruhe" on the roof of the hangar. On request at the administrator, landing sign is laid out and smoke oven is lit. Windsock on the hangar.

Airfield characteristics at night

No permanent night lighting. On request at the administrator landing lights of green, white and red fires in a row parallel to the wind direction. It is to land from green over white to red, right of the row. In the south and southwest of the runway, several chimneys, barracks and hospital unlit.

Runways, taxiways, aprons

Good sod on sandy soil. Shortest rolling length: 800 m in west-northwest-east-southeast direction.

Hangars

1 aircraft hangar 30,0 x 21,0 m, door width 30.0 m.

Workshops

Contains all machines and tools necessary for the repair of wooden and metal aircraft. Electric current: 220 volts alternating current. Spare parts for Junkers-F 13 aircraft models as well as for the most suitable engine types are available.

Fuel equipment

For 5000 l petrol and 2000 l benzene. In addition, 3000 litres of standard fuel from Deutsche Luft Hansa are always in stock.

First aid in the case of accidents

Provided by the administrator, first-aid kit and stretcher available; nearest doctor in Town Hospital (0.5 km distance).

Customs, post office, passport:

Customs and post office with telephone and telegraph available. Passport control by police department.

Accommodation of passengers

In the city

Connections

Feeder car available at the airfield. Taxi cabs on request at the administrator. Tram stop in the immediate vicinity

Timetable

Spring/Summer 1939

The timetable for spring/summer of 1939 shows the following scheduled flights:
(Days: 1=Monday ... 7=Sunday)
36 Cologne (Butzweilerhof) - Frankfurt (Rhein/Main) - Mannheim (Neuostheim) - Karlsruhe - Freiburg
  • Deutsche Lufthansa, Junkers Ju 52:
    123456– | Cologne 10:30 - 11:20 Frankfurt/M 12:15 - 12:40 Mannheim 12:50 - 13:10 Karlsruhe 13:20 - 14:00 Freiburg
  • Deutsche Lufthansa, Junkers Ju 52:
    123456– | Freiburg 16:45 - 17:25 Karlsruhe 17:35 - 17:55 Mannheim 18:05 - 18:30 Frankfurt/M 18:50 - 19:40 Cologne
113 Karlsruhe - Frankfurt (Rhein/Main) - Hannover (Vahrenwald) - Bremen (Neuenland) - Wangerooge - Langeoog - Norderney
  • Deutsche Lufthansa, Junkers Ju 160, Ju 52:
    123456– | Karlsruhe 06:20 - 07:00 Frankfurt/M 10:20 - 11:45 Hannover 12:00 - 12:30 Bremen 12:40 - 13:15 Wangerooge 13:25 - 13:40 Langeoog 13:50 - 14:00 Norderney
    (01 May - 23 June. & 01 September - 07 October 1939: Karlsruhe -Bremen, Ju 160; 24 June - 31 August 1939: Karlsruhe - Norderney, Ju 52)
  • Deutsche Lufthansa, Junkers Ju 160, Ju 52:
    123456– | Norderney 14:50 - 15:00 Langeoog 15:10 - 15:25 Wangerooge 15:35 - 16:10 Bremen 16:20 - 16:50 Hannover 17:10 - 18:35 Frankfurt/M 18:50 - 19:30 Karlsruhe
    (01 May - 23 June. & 01 September - 07 October 1939: Karlsruhe -Bremen, Ju 160; 24 June - 31 August 1939: Karlsruhe - Norderney, Ju 52)
Departures and arrivals by time
DaysTimeDep/ArrRouteOperatorAircraft typeto/from
123456–06:20Dep113Deutsche LufthansaJunkers Ju 160, Ju 52Frankfurt/M - Hannover - Bremen - Wangerooge - Langeoog - Norderney
123456–13:10Arr36Deutsche LufthansaJunkers Ju 52Cologne - Frankfurt/M - Mannheim
123456–13:20Dep36Deutsche LufthansaJunkers Ju 52Freiburg
123456–17:25Arr36Deutsche LufthansaJunkers Ju 52Freiburg
123456–17:35Dep36Deutsche LufthansaJunkers Ju 52Mannheim - Frankfurt/M - Cologne
123456–19:30Arr113Deutsche LufthansaJunkers Ju 160, Ju 52Norderney - Langeoog - Wangerooge - Bremen - Hannover - Frankfurt/M

During World War II

Usage

Airfield.

Situation

Map with Karlsruhe Airfield Germany in World War II
Karlsruhe Airfield in World War II on a US map from 1944 - (McMaster University Library Digital Archive, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 CC BY-NC 2.5 CA /MULDA/)

During the Cold War

Usage

US Army airfield.

In the 1960s

Overview

Map of Karlsruhe Army Airfield, Germany 1967
Map from 1967 - The airfield has two runways with grass surface. The "propeller" marks the landing spot for helicopters. The installations in the northeast have a railway connection.

In the 1970s

Situation

Karlsruhe Army Airfield (AAF) Germany on a map of the US Department of Defense 1972
Karlsruhe Army Airfield (AAF) on a map of the US Department of Defense from 1972 - (ONC E-2 (1972), Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin /PCL MC/)

Runways

Data for the year 1971:
  • 03/21: 900 m x 51 m Grass
  • 18/36: 1200 m x 46 m Grass

In the 1980s and early 1990s

Overview

Karlsruhe airfield 1984
Karlsruhe in 1984 - The runway 03/21, which still existed in the 1970s, has meanwhile disappeared. The airfield facilities are located in the southeast corner of the field.

Runways

Data for the year 1990:
  • 18/36: 1200 m x 46 m Grass

Installations

The airfield covered an area of 80 ha.

Today

Usage

Closed.

Images

Pictures from 2017

The following pictures were provided by Christian, whom I thank very much!
Beginning of former runway
Numbers "36" laid out with stones at the southern beginning of the former runway
View to the north over the former runway
View to the north over the former runway

Image sources

Bibliography

  • Ries, Karl; Dierich, Wolfgang: "Fliegerhorste und Einsatzhäfen der Luftwaffe" Motorbuch Verlag Stuttgart, 1993 - Alliierte Planskizze
Do you have historical material (stories, maps, photos) or current photos of Karlsruhe Airfield or of another airfield - to be published on mil-airfields.de? Then I'm glad to hear from you: Contact

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