Lahr: Air Base

Base aérienne 139, Canadian Forces Base CFB Lahr, Langenwinkel

For historical information only, do not use for navigation or aviation purposes!
Cold War Airfields: Lahr
by Bert Kondruss
Coordinates: N482210 E0074940 (WGS84) Google Maps
Elevation: 511 ft
Location Indicator: EDFA (-1967), EDAN (1968-), EDTL
Operator: FAF, DND/RCAF/CF

Location

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

German Empire until 1918

Usage

Airship hangar.

During the Cold War

French military airfield

Usage

Bis zum Anfang der 1950er Jahre wurde von den französischen Streitkräften bei Lahr ein kleiner Flugplatz betrieben. Dieser wurde dann zu einer NATO-Basis ausgebaut.

Situation

Map of the French Lahr airfield 1953
The old French airfield in the state before the expansion on a map from 1953 - Directly in the south is the road to Langenwinkel as well as the small railway to Kehl. When flight operations are in progress, the traffic can be stopped by a traffic light (AMS M841 GSGS 4414, Courtesy Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University /BYU/)

NATO airfield of the French Air Force

Planning and construction

At the beginning of the 1950s, the French began to plan the construction or expansion of airfields in the Rhein plain.
Am 30. November 1951 wendet sich das Badische Ministerium der Finanzen an das Bundeskanzleramt und bittet darum, bei den Alliierten nachdrücklich für die Aufhebung des Flugplatz-Projekts Lahr einzutreten:
  • Die badische Regierung erhielt über das franzöische Landeskommissariat eine Karte mit dem zweiten Flugplatzprojekt in Baden im Landkreis Lahr. Vorgesehen ist das Gebiet Langenwinkel - Hugsweier - Schuttern - Kürzell, in einer Länge von 3,7 km und einer durchschnittlichen Breite von 1,6 km, ca. 600 ha.
  • Das Gelände besteht zu einem Fünftel aus hochwertigem Laubwald (Eiche und Esche) und zu vier Fünfteln aus Äckern und Wiesen (Kulturen). Auf dem Ackerland vornehmlich Tabackanbau, ist die Existenzgrundlage der Bevölkerung.
  • Von gleicher Wichtigkeit: Obstanbau, etwa 100 kleinbäuerliche Betriebe müssten ihre Existenz aufgeben, weitere würden stark beeinträchtig werden
  • Die Gemarkung Hugsweier würde von Gemarkungsteilen abgeschnitten werden und ihren der Holzversorgung dienenden Wald verlieren.
  • Die Stadt Lahr kann sich nur nach Westen ausdehnen, das Gelände bei Dinglingen wird für Industrie benötigt. Der projektierte Flugplatz würde die Fortentwicklung der Stadt zunichte machen.
  • Das vorgesehene Gelände wird auf 1,7 km von der Bundesstraße 36 durchschnitten, eine Umgehungsstraße würde erhebliche Kosten verursachen.
  • Der Platz berührt die Trasse der geplanten 220-kV-Leitung Eichstetten-Karlsruhe. Außerdem müsste die bestehende 110-kV-Leitung zwischen Schutterzell und Nonnweiler mit Kosten von 700.000 DM verlegt werden.
  • Die Rheinebene ist in den Landkreisen Lahr und Offenburg noch nicht hochwasserfrei. Der Grundwasserspiegel ist nur 1 m tiefer, daher sind für Vorflutbeschaffung und Hochwasserschutz erhebliche Arbeiten notwendig.
  • Falls die Besatzungstruppen auf einem Flugplatz im Raum Lahr bestehen sollten, so wird ein Standort östlich Wittenweier-Nonnenweier, westlich Kippenheimweiler, im Einzugsgebiet der oberen Unditz vorgeschlagen. Es besteht aus 2/3 Wald und 1/3 landwirtschaftlich genutzten Flächen. Es sollten dann vornehmlich die Waldflächen für den Flugplatz-Bau herangezogen werden.
  • Eine weitere Alternative wäre das Gebiet östlich von Schutter, südlich der Straße Schutterwald-Höfen-Dundenheim und nördlich der Straße Niederschopfheim-Ichenheim. Es besteht zu 1/5 aus Wald und zu 4/5 aus Landwirtschaftsflächen.
Source: Landesarchiv Baden-Württemberg
Map of planned Lahr air base and alternative locations in 1951
The three locations mentioned in the above text by the Baden federal government for the new / expanded Lahr airfield at the beginning of the 1950s - Blue the implemented field, red are two alternative locations. Turquoise is the location of the runway which already existed at this time. For orientation, the later built autobahn A5 is marked yellow. Source: /LABW 5-124626-121/ with additions

Usage

French Air Force base - Base aérienne 139 of the French Air Force (Armée de l’air). Until 1967/68, the location indicator was EDFA.

Situation

Map of Lahr airfield / Base aérienne 139 Lahr 1953
Lahr airfield on a map from 1953 - Shown is a radio beacon (R Bn) and a direction finder (DF)
French air base Base aérienne 139 Lahr on a map 1956.
The French air base Base aérienne 139 Lahr on a map from 1956. - The field has a beacon (star symbol) as well as a VHF direction finder (square with "V" underneath). Slightly to the south-west is a non-directional beacon, over which the airway RED SEVEN leads to the Rottweil radio beacon. The further north-east-listed radio beacon Herrenburg must presumably be correctly called Herrenberg. Lahr is surrounded by a control zone (dashed circle). For the Hornisgrinde mountain in the Black Forrest, a VHF direction finder is shown, which is the station FORENO ROUGE of the French FORENO chain. FORENO is a short form for the French Forêt-Noire, which means Black Forrest = Schwarzwald.
Lahr Air Base in 1963
Lahr in 1963 - In the meantime, about 12 km to the northeast is another Lahr radio beacon with ident LH. However, it is not aligned with the extended runway centerline, but has an offset of about 10° to the southeast.

Lights

The airfield had a beacon with morse code L.

1967 until 1994: Royal Canadian Air Force, Canadian Forces

Usage

Air base of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) and later of the Canadian Forces (CF). From 1968, the location indicator was EDAN.

Situation

Map with Lahr Air Base 1972
Canadian Forces Base Lahr on a map of the US Department of Defense from 1972 - The location in the Upper Rhine Plane and the proximity to the French border are well recognizable.

Overview

Map of Lahr Air Base with runway and taxiways
Lahr in 1984

Radio beacons

Data for the year 1990:
  • TACAN: CH39 "LHR", at field
  • NDB: 450 "LHR", at field
  • ILS

Radar

ASR/PAR (1990)

Images

Exercise Reforger '83

US Air Force F-15 Eagle of the 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Lahr Air Base Germany
F-15 Eagle aircraft from the 7th Tactical Fighter Squadron US Air Force are prepared for takeoff at Lahr Air Base during exercise REFORGER '83 - (21 September 1983) Source: DoD, Scene Camera Operator TSGT Jose Lopez

Exercise Cornet Phaser 1987

The following pictures were taken during exercise CORNET PHASER in May 1987. The 58th and 60th Tactical Fighter Squadron have been sent to Lahr from Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, for a Coronet Phase deployment. The Coronet Phaser program tests the readiness of U.S. based units to deploy to and operate in Europe.
Source: DoD, Scene Camera Operator SSGT Fernando Serna
Bilingual signs on the base, in English and French
The signs on the base are printed both in English and French
F-15 Eagle of 58 TFS approaches for landing at Lahr airfield, Germany
An F-15 Eagle aircraft of the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron approaches for a landing - In the background the Schuttern Abbey church
F-15 Eagle of the 58th TFS USAF in front of a hangar at Lahr Air Base Germany
An F-15 Eagle aircraft of the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron is serviced in front of a hangar. - There is an antenna field in the background
F-15 Eagle aircraft of the 60th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Lahr Air Base Germany
An F-15 Eagle aircraft of the 60th Tactical Fighter Squadron is backed up into ist hangar
USAF F-15 Eagle at Lahr Airfield Germany
An F-15 Eagle aircraft of the 60 TFS is backed up into ist hangar
F-15 Eagle aircraft of the 58th Tactical Fighter Squadron at Lahr Air Base
A crew chief with the 58th Aircraft Maintenance Unit wipes down the canopy of a 58 TFS F-15C Eagle aircraft
Lahr Airfield with F-15 of the 60 TFS USAF
An F-15 Eagle aircraft of the 60th Tactical Fighter Squadron taxies out of the center marguerite
F-15 Eagle aircraft of the 60 TFS takes off at Lahr Airfield
F-15 Eagle aircraft of the 60 TFS takes off
33rd Equipment Maintenance Squadron
33rd Equipment Maintenance Squadron - Wearing a protective suit as part of a chemical warfare drill, an officer of the 33rd Equipment Maintenance Squadron helps the pilot as he climbs out of the cockpit
Decontamination of an aircraft F-15 of the US Air Force at Lahr Air Base
A member of the 33rd Equipment Maintenance Squadron decontaminates a 58 TFS F-15 Eagle aicraft with a soapy water during a chemical exercise
Chemical exercise at CFB Lahr, Germany:  Decontamination of a F-15 of the 58 TFS
Members of the 33rd Equipment Maintenance Squadron decontaminate a 58 TFS F-15 Eagle aicraft with a soapy water during a chemical exercise
Decontamination of an aircraft F-15 at Lahr, Germany
An airman from the 33rd Equipment Maintenance Squadron decontaminates a 58 TFS F-15C Eagle aicraft following a simulated chemical attack
Integrated Combat Turnaround at Lahr Air Base
A crew chief of the 58th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron Unit marshals in a 58th TFS F-15 Eagle aircraft for an integrated combat turnaround
Aircraft F-15 pulled into hangar for integrated combat turnaround
Using a winch, this F-15 is pulled into its hangar for an integrated combat turnaround
Anti-aircraft guided missile system Blowpipe on stand by at CFB Lahr Germany
Two soldiers of the Canadian 129th Anti-Aircraft Defense Battery, wearing protective gear, stand by at a Blowpipe anti-aircraft guided missile system on the edge of the base.
Lahr Air Base, Germany: Blowpipe anti-aircraft guided missile system
Blowpipe anti-aircraft guided missile system
Lahr Air Base, Germany: 40 mm L40/60 Boffin automatic anti-aircraft gun of the 129th AAD Battery
Two soldiers of the Canadian 129th Anti-Aircraft Defense Battery man a 40 mm L40/60 Boffin automatic anti-aircraft gun on the edge of the base. In the background the Schuttern Abbey church

Today

Usage

Regional airport.

Image sources

Airfields in the vicinity

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