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Military site : airfield

Detailed history

USAAF use[edit]

The Army Air Force took over the base on 7 April 1945 and engineers from the IX Engineering Command inspected every corner above and underground. Every door was carefully examined; there was still a chance that some booby-traps might be found. After inspection, they sealed (welded) all doors of cellars that were not going to be used. Generally those doors were found in the few sub-basements.[1][better source needed] Once confirmed suitable for operational use, the airfield was designated as Advanced Landing Ground "R12" Kassel/Rothwesten.[2][better source needed]

A 5000' Pierced Steel Planing runway was laid down for combat aircraft and on 17 April, the Ninth Air Force 48th Fighter Group moved in with P-47 Thunderbolts and commenced combat operations. The 48th moved out in a few days, and was replaced by the 36th Fighter Group on 21 April and continued operations from the airfield until the German Capitulation on 7 May.[3]

After V-E Day, the airfield was redesignated as Army Air Force Station Kassel/Rothwesten and was used as an occupation garrison by the Air Force. In addition, the Air Technical Service Command arrived and established "Kassel Air Depot" whose mission was to maintain and service the combat aircraft remaining operational in Germany. The 36th Fighter Group remained until November 1945, and ATSC became the main organization at the facility. In September 1946, the Air Force was consolidating its forces in the Munich Area, and the facility was turned over to United States Army personnel of the 1st Constabulary Regiment.[4]

United States Army[edit]

Under Army control, the facility was incorporated into the Rothwesten Kaserne and was used primarily as an intelligence facility.

During the Cold War the 319th Army Security Agency (ASA) Battalion was responsible for an area that stretched from the Baltic Sea to Southern Germany and from near the Dutch border to the East-West German border. The 319th Battalion had Company level units at various locations throughout Germany. The ASA unit at Rothwesten was a main intercept and MARBURG- equipped special identification techniques (SIT) site during the Cold War.

It was also a mainstay of the European direction finding (DF) network.

Also on the Kaserne was a battery of Hawk Air Defense Missiles. This was "Charlie" Btry, 6th BN, 517th Arty. Their barracks were directly behind the EM club. Their missiles were deployed on the hill along the long sweeping curved entrance to the Kaserne's main entrance.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known



  • 48th Fighter Group

    48th Fighter Group

    The Group moved to England in March 1944 and were stationed at Ibsley where the pilots trained in P-47s in preparation for the Allied invasion of Normandy. The wartime motto was in Latin 'vulneratus non victus' (Unconquered even though wounded). ...

  • 2018th Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon

    2018th Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon

    Unit departed New York Port of Embarkation on 8 October 1943 on the S.S. Thurston arriving at Courock, Scotland on 17 October 1943.


Date Contributor Update
25 July 2015 03:11:26 466thHistorian Created entry with name, number, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date, construction date, closure date and history