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-   -   RAF Wildenrath these days (photos) (https://www.pprune.org/military-aviation/524910-raf-wildenrath-these-days-photos.html)

grunticus 4th Oct 2013 12:08

RAF Wildenrath these days (photos)
First let me introduce myself: I live in Roermond. I am not a pilot, but always had an interest (with varying intensity) for military aviation (was a grunt myself, in the Dutch army). These days I prefer to swing my metaldetector over fields, looking for relics and coins. Anyway, bare with me.

Last week I was driving around in Germany looking for a suitable field, and found one, which turned out to be adjescent to RAF Wildenrath! The compound is freely accessible so I went to have a look. As a kid, me and my friends went there by bicycle, to watch the daily traffic of Jaguars and Lightnings....fond memories....Most of the time we were sodded-off by RAF police though :o)

Unfortunately there's not much left, but some. I felt rather sad seeing it. I thought some of you might like to see some photos.

P.s., any hints on where to metal-detect on the base?

davec482 8th Dec 2013 18:22

I lived on the old RAF Wildenrath married quarters from 2008 - 2012. It has now been closed down and finally handed back to the German authorities.

Both my Mother and father were stationed there during the 60's and this is where they met.

There are plenty of areas to metal detect around the old RAF station, but I would think the most interesting areas would be at the ends of the runway (certainly at the Dutch end) and in the woods on the far side from the hangers...This is where the ammo bunkers and gun test ranges were.

I suppose that any area within the old station perimeter will provide some finds.

Of interest would be the old WW2 German defenses to the West of the the staion. If you head South from the new roundabout (where the main entrance used to be) then take the 1st right, you will see a wood line on your right hand side..park anywhere along that road and walk into the woods and you will find old trenches and bunkers...the line is part of the Western Wall (Siegfried Line).

NutLoose 8th Dec 2013 23:07

If they close Bruggen the place to look would be around hill 60 that was off to the side of the main runway at the Roermond end, that is where they used to dig up the odd German from WW2, though this area is in what was no mans land... I would avoid the woods as although they had lots of shell craters etc in them, there was supposed to unexploded ordnance from the war as it was part of the German defences. Again the Siegfried line

Tankertrashnav 8th Dec 2013 23:59

Grunticus - your pictures are just showing up as those annoying little boxes with a cross in them - don't know whether thats just my problem or is anyone else getting it?

Anyway, bare with me.

Thought it was the Germans who were into naturism ;)

(Sorry, your English is 100% better than my Dutch and better than many Brits who post on here - but I couldn't resist it!)

Tiger_mate 9th Dec 2013 06:23

I would rather that then 'bear' with him! :E

bosnich71 9th Dec 2013 11:03

Crikey we used to go sledging ... or should that be tobboganing (?) ..... on Hill 60, especially during the Winter of 62/63. Good job we didn't know about the 'unexploded ordinance'. :ooh:

NutLoose 9th Dec 2013 11:15

No, they were supposedly in the woods the other side of the perimeter road, On some days I used to walk around to the Sqn during the summer months and you could still see the shell craters indentations on the ground between the trees.

Navaleye 9th Dec 2013 19:18

Never went to either of them. Did go to Gatow. What an interesting place.

Motleycallsign 9th Dec 2013 21:40

Unable to view any pics, but didn't the airfield at Wildenrath become the Deutsche Bundesbahn test track for new rolling stock?

NutLoose 9th Dec 2013 23:46

Yes, google wildenrath on satellite images. if you go to Gutersloh a lot there, apparently when building the Chinook hanger on of the German drivers stated that it was on part of the site where they buried a lot of axis aircraft after the war, I believe some was found when digging the foundations, but not the main site?

bosnich71 10th Dec 2013 05:13

Nutloose ..... the Squadron lines were on the camp side of the base in my day,only the QRA area and bomb dump over the other..... as far as I knew.
RAF Gielenkirchen was reputed to have an ex WW2 bunker in the woods which supposedly still contained bodies from the fighting in the area and had had earth bulldozed over it. By some accounts the Snoops dogs wouldn't go near the area.

NutLoose 10th Dec 2013 18:28

Bos... in the early 80's you would have a squadron off each corner of the runway, on the far side from the domestic area next the QRA and the golf course was 20 Sqn when the jags were there, same side other end of the runway past the bomb dump was 14 Sqn.. Domestic side down by 431 MU / hill 60 end was 31 Sqn, up the other end near the Cinema / SHQ end was 17 Sqn.

bosnich71 10th Dec 2013 21:38

Nutloose .... I was at Bruggen in the olden days when the RAF had real airyplanes , Canberras,not those little toy thingummies as in the 80's.

bosnich71 10th Dec 2013 21:43

SAMXXV ... I spent a Summer at Wildenrath on detachment from Bruggen with 213 sqdn. and the rumour was that the Pembrokes flying into Berlin sometimes contained someone with a Box Brownie.
While this may seem to be a silly rumour the RAF did use Chipmunks as part of their surveillance tools in Berlin and there were occasions when a returning flight would be met by an RVT vehicle before arriving back on the pan.

NutLoose 10th Dec 2013 22:14

And curtains, the Pembroke had curtains :)

BEagle 10th Dec 2013 23:14

and the rumour was that the Pembrokes flying into Berlin sometimes contained someone with a Box Brownie.

One night in the OM bar at Valley in 1975, I casually mentioned to an ex-Pembroke navigator (I think he was an air trafficker or the stn nav?) that no doubt the PR Pembrokes at Wildenrath did rather more than just fly VIPs around RAFG...such as having a good look at the Berlin corridors. He went white, marched me out into the corridor and asked how the hell I knew about it. I told him that it was a pure guess (which it was), but his behaviour had now confirmed it. "Just forget you even mentioned it", he told me, "and never mention it again!". So I didn't - and the operation was only declassified some 25 years later.....

bosnich71 11th Dec 2013 08:19

SAMXXV .... " to my knowledge Pembrokes never ever used cameras". Neither did Chipmunks but they did take pictures.
I was a groundie on Canberras so no flying thank you very much !
As our Squadron detachment flight line was adjacent to Air Movements we obviously noticed things happening on the airfield. The arrivals/departures of the daily British United trooping flights was always a highlight, not from an aircraft point of view just for any 'birds' aboard.
One thing that a few of us did notice however was that the Pembrokes arriving from wherever did not always taxy straight into Comms Flt. but would sometimes stop on the taxiway after clearing the runway, an RVT truck would approach, doors would open and close, the RVT truck would drive off and the Pembroke would continue it's journey to the Flt. Line.
None of us at the time knew anything about Brixmiss but years later my Wife did tell me that she had nursed senior Russian Army officers whilst serving in the QA's at BMH Rinteln.Until I read about Brixmiss some years later I just thought that she was a tad delusional.

bosnich71 11th Dec 2013 08:35

Beagle .... Thanks for the link to Operation Hallmark. Blimey the things that were happening in those days and all of us young lads thought it was all about beer and Bratwurst.
Given that the Pembrokes used to be met, on occasion, by an RVT truck ... I believe that the letters stood for Radio Vehicle Transport ... we always thought that it may have been secret squirrel stuff/black boxes etc. that was being removed.

zetec2 11th Dec 2013 08:37

60 Sqd Pembrokes
Camera's in the Pembrokes, oh dear, lift the carpet & floorboards & what have we here ?, not box brownies but something much better to photograph you with, yes they did , (PH, 60Sqd 1968-1970), been done before on another post !.

zetec2 11th Dec 2013 08:49

Further to my earlier post, might be some ex members of No 1 MPHU (Mobile Photographic Unit) J*hn L**k*tt where are you ?, on here, they were based alongside 17Sqd (PR) Canberra's hangar where all those funny black boxes were delivered after the Pembroke flights up & down to Gatow had landed (we did Templehoff & Tegel as well), they would no doubt be able to advise what & where it was all about. On the trips to Gatow after taxying in & after refuelling & oiling we were usually towed into the top hangar to unload away from the prying eyes on the watch towers on the far side of the airfield, very clandestine !.

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