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Fritzlar Airfield

Military site : airfield

Detailed history

Construction of the airfield began in September 1935, although the Treaty of Versailles prohibited Germany to have an air force. The roofing ceremony was held on 17 September 1937.[1]

Luftwaffe use[edit]

KG 54[edit]

On 14/16 March 1939 the Staff and the first Group of the Kampfgeschwader 54 "Totenkopf" were established at Fritzlar Airfield.[1] It was equipped with Heinkel He 111 P. With the start of World War II the KG 54 left Fritzlar in September 1939. It never returned to its home base.

Junkers use[edit]

In August 1941 the hangars of the airfield were used by Junkers as maintenance and production site. They constructed barracks between the airfield and the town to house the forced laborers. In November 1943 the Junkers Ju 352 plane was designed and produced in the hangars. In 1944, after completing 44 planes, production was discontinued because of lack of material. Junkers left the airfield in October 1944.[1]

Effects of Eder Dam bombing[edit]

Destroyed Eder Dam
The bombing of the Eder Dam on 17 May 1943 had no significant effect on the production lines. Only light buildings like barracks were damaged, and a few weeks later the production lines were working like before.[1]

NJG 1 and NJG 101[edit]

A Junkers Ju 88
Between September 1944 and March 1945 the III. Group of Nachtjagdgeschwader 1 (III./NJG 1) were based at Fritzlar airfield. The group was equipped with Messerschmitt Me 110 G and Junkers Ju 88 G.[1]

In March 1945 a training squadron of Nachtjagdgeschwader 101 (Night Fighter Aviation School) was based in Fritzlar. The lack of fuel made the school unable to train new pilots, and so the aviation trainers were assigned for combat duty.[1]

USAAF use[edit]

The barely damaged Luftwaffe airfield were captured by parts of the 9th Infantry Division on 30 March 1945. A few grounded planes were captured undamaged.[1]

On 12/13 April 1945 parts of the 404th Fighter Group and 365th Fighter Group Hellcats moved to Fritzlar and supported ground troops with their P-47 Thunderbolts, until they reached the Elbe river.[1]

After V-E Day, both groups became part of the IX Air Defense Command.

In the postwar years, the following known USAAF units were assigned to Army Air Force Station Fritzlar:[4]
HQ, IX Fighter Command, July–September 1945
HQ, IX Tactical Air Command, 26 June – September 1945
27th Fighter Group, 20 August 1946 – 25 June 1947, P-47 Thunderbolt
332d Bombardment Group, June–September 1945, B-26 Marauder
365th Fighter Group, 13 April – 29 July 1945, P-47 Thunderbolt
366th Fighter Group, 14 September 1945 – 20 August 1946, P-47 Thunderbolt
370th Fighter Group, 6 August – September 1945, P-47 Thunderbolt
404th Fighter Group, 12 April – 23 June 1945, P-47 Thunderbolt

Air force operations were phased out on 14 September 1947, and the air base was turned over to the United States Army.

US Army use[edit]

In 1946 parts of the 14th Armored Cavalry Regiment (USCON) were based at Fritzlar Kaserne.[5]

The 14th ACR (USCON):[1]
Headquarters, Fritzlar
Headquarters Troops, Fritzlar
1st Battalion, Fritzlar
2nd Battalion, Schweinfurt
3rd Battalion, Coburg
24th Constabulary Squad, Hersfeld

The 1st Battalion left Fritzlar in 1951 and moved to Bad Hersfeld. In 1952 the HQ of the 14th ACR moved to Fulda, and the presence of US Forces at Fritzlar Kaserne came to an end.[1]

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

People

  • William Abraham

    Military | Captain | fighter pilot | 404th Fighter Group

  • James Hill

    Military | General | Fighter Pilot 1055 single engine/Squadron Commander | 365th Fighter Group
    CO 388th FS 365th FG 127 comabt missions 1944-45 with 5 air kills. ...

  • John Wainwright

    Military | Captain | Fighter pilot 1055-single engine | 404th Fighter Group
    Flight leader 508th FS 404th FG flying P-47D Thunderbolts ...

Aircraft

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
22 August 2015 05:32:24 466thHistorian Created entry with name, number, known as, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date, construction date and history
Sources

Battle Colors Volume III - Robert A. Watkins
Wikipedia.com

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