Haysom-Jackson Military History Books - Royal Air Force Uetersen

Royal Air Force Uetersen: the story of an unusual station, by Peter Jackson

2005. 602p.,
illus., maps. 30 cm.

RAF Uetersen was a very unusual station, a jack of all trades with no fewer than 36 different units spending time there in the ten years of the RAF and RCAF occupation from 1945 to 1955. It began life in 1935 as one of the first airfields to be built when the German government decided to defy the Versailles Treaty and begin re-arming. In May 1945 the first RAF units arrived, soon to be joined by five Royal Canadian Air Force squadrons, equipped with Spitfires. The Canadians went home the following year but the RAF remained for ten years, returning the base to the German authorities in 1955, after which, in 1956, the Luftwaffe, returned. It is still there, a flourishing station which houses the Luftwaffe NCO Training School. At its peak in the late 1940s it accommodated over 3000 RAF and civilian personnel, but a steady decline in the 1950s saw its numbers drop to just 300 as the end approached. The base’s 36 units ranged from a continuous stream of RAF Regiment squadrons, through the Missing Research Enquiry Unit, the German Language School, 317 Supply and Transport Column, to the top secret 365 and 755 Signals Unit, as well as the five RCAF squadrons flying Spitfires. After the Canadians had departed, there were still a few aircraft, used mainly for communications flying, but sometimes a aeroplane diverted from another airfield arrived, including some on the Berlin Air Lift. The author carried out research in the UK National Archives and other sources, and also drew heavily on the memories (and photographs) of those who served there, most of whom have very fond memories of what they regard as a perfect posting.

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