Soesterberg Air Base

In de summer of 1966, when I was 17 years old, I started my hobby at Soesterberg Air Base in The Netherlands, close to the city of Utrecht. Soesterberg AB was very attractive for aviation enthusiasts. The Royal Netherlands Air Force (RNLAF) was based at the north-side of the field and the United States Air Force in Europe (USAFE) at the south-side called "Camp New Amsterdam". 

During all those years I photographed many based and visiting aircraft. In my photo gallery and slideshow you find the most attractive shots.

Volkert van den Berg.


Source: with thanks to J.D. Ragay/SOESTERBERG MOVEMENTS

Numbers per type served with the 32nd












ZULU-hangar preserved

Due to the support of Gerrit van de Veen the ZULU-hangar at Camp New Amsterdam will be preserved. He also found an ally in the Menno van Coehoorn Foundation, which is active in the field of military heritage. 

Mayor and Aldermen of the municipality of Zeist have decided on the 7th of October 2015 that they will put the ZULU-hangar (building A38, Dolderseweg 34, Huis ter Heide) on the list of municipal monuments. 

Source: Onze Luchtmacht nr 6-2015.

The official arrival date of this F-100C with the tail-serial 41877 (54-1877) for the 32nd was 9-Aug-1956. It departed the same year on 21-Dec-1956 to Sidi Slimane AB in Marocco (324FIS). Photo at Soesterberg AB by Gerald Fugere.

F-100C with the tail-serial 41890 (54-1890) was assigned to the 32nd in the period 08-Mar-1958 to 16-Aug-1960. Photo at Soesterberg AB by R. Feinberg.

F-102A 61032 (56-1032) in compagny with 60980 (56-0980) at the open house of RAF Weathersfield, UK in 1965? The red-white-blue band shows that it is the commander's aircraft. Photographer unkown.

The 32nd FIS also had two camouflaged TF-102As (two seater). This photo shows one from another unit. O-62331 (56-2331), assigned to the 526FIS and based at Ramstein AB in West-Germany, made a visit to Soesterberg AB on 3 May 1968.

The 32TFS was flying with F-4Es during 1969-1978. 68-0442/CR was photographed on 20 September 1974 and was assigned to the unit during the period of 27-Oct-1969 until 29-Nov-1974.

In 1976 the 32TFS received 23 brand new F-4Es of the fiscal year 1974 batch. They were all equipped with the Hughes ASX-1 TISEO pod to identify targets (a sort of big zoomlens in the left wing). 

74-0654/CR is one of them. It arrived on the 18th of March 1976 and departed for the 52TFW at Spangdahlem AB (West-Germany) on the 10th of October 1978.

The Eagles were permitted to carry the Royal Crown (inside the orange and green fin-tip) as they are committed to the air defence of Holland by Royal Chapter.

F-15A 77-0093/CR orange arrived the 18th of December 1978 and went to another unit on the 31st of July 1980.    

F-15B 77-0158/CR orange. Was assigned to the 32TFS on the 20th of November 1978 and stayed there until the 16th of August 1980.

F-15C 79-0032/CR orange with coloured WOLFHOUNDS under the cockpit.

F-15D 79-0004/CR orange with WOLFHOUNDS markings.

The number of F-15C/Ds increased and two flight colours appeared: orange and green, each outlined by the opposite. 

F-15C 79-0032/CR green. This aircraft was first noted with the 32TFS in November 1980 and finally departed on the 13th of September 1990 to the Air Force of Saudi Arabia and became 4217.

F-15D 81-0065/CR green. This aircraft was assigned to the 32TFS in the period February 1983 - August 1991.

The Royal Netherlands Air Force

Photographed on the taxiway of Soesterberg AB on 17 August 1971 is based RT-33A M-103/54-1522. Three RT-33As (photo reconnaissance version) served with the Royal Netherlands Air Force in the period 1953-1972.

T-33A M-21/51-17491 from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Finally it went to the Turkish Air Force.

At the end of his operational career T-33A M-11/51-17466 joined other T-33As with the base-flight of Soesterberg AB. It was photographed in August 1971.

After his active life T-33A M-32/54-1583 went to the Hellenic Air Force. 


Two RF-84Fs from the 42 smaldeel/Belgium Air Force made a visit on the 9th of September 1969. FR-31 and FR-32 (photo) used our favorite taxiway. 

From Leeuwarden Air Base T-33A M-54/51-17411. It belongs to 322sq.

Coming from RAF Woodbridge in the UK on 29 June 1972 is this F-4D 65-0721WR with red fin-tip from the 78TFS/81TFW.

The 496FIS from Hahn AB in West-Germany operated the F-102A and TF-102A (two-seater). F-102A O-61063 (56-1063) visited Soesterberg AB on 12 September 1969.

F-4E 69-0239/RS red from the 526TFS based at Ramstein AB in West-Germany on his way to the runway to depart.

F-104Gs  FX-53 (photo) and FX-17 made a visit on the 26th of May 1970. They are from the Belgium Air Force. The homebase of the 1 wing is Beauvechain near Brussels.  

G-91T (two-seater) 34+05 from LEKG-43 and based at Oldenburg, West-Germany, ready to go home. On one day I have seen 14 different G-91s.

Another 496FIS F-102A, O-61096 (56-1096), made a visit.

On the 29th of June 1972 four F-4Ds arrived from RAF Woodbridge in the UK all with red fin-tip colors. The following operated with the 78TFS/81TFW: 65-0710/WR; 65-0721/WR; 65-0731/WR and 65-0756/WR (photo).

In connection with the deployment Coronet Meteor at Spangdahlem AB in West-Germany this F-4D 66-7745/AL red visited Soesterberg AB in de period 17-31 August 1985. Eleven  F-4Ds participated in this deployment and came from the 160TFS/187TFG with its homebase Montgomery ANG base in Alabama, USA. 

F-4C 63-7453 from the Michigan Air National Guard (171FIS) arrived at Soesterberg AB on 13 June 1986 with "Retro43" for Battle Damage Repair Training. Its homebase was Selfridge ANGB in Michigan, USA.

In July 1977 there was a squadron exchange between the 32TFS and EC3/12 based at Cambrai in France. Here on the taxiway of Soesterberg AB is 12-KI/42.

Belgium Air Force T-33A FT-38 from Kleine-Brogel Base-flight. Photographed on 15 April 1971.

On the 21st of June 1978 two Belgium Air Force  F-104Gs, FX-13 (photo) and FX-44, visited Soesterberg AB. They came from the 1 wing based at Beauvechain near Brussels. 

During the NATO exercise CENTRAL ENTERPRISE Danish AF F-104Gs from Esk726 based at Aalborg were deployed to Soesterberg AB in June 1983. Present were: R-345; R-646; R-702 and R-703 (photo).

Due to runway repairs at Twenthe Air Base a number of NF-5A/Bs from 313 and 315sq were deployed to Soesterberg Air Base in the beginning of April 1985. The following four were photographed during their stay.

NF-5A K-3001 from 313sq in original colors.

In an experimental scheme is NF-5A K-3058 from 313sq.

From 315sq: NF-5A K-3028 back to the flight line.

Also in experimental scheme is NF-5B K-4005 from 313sq.

Later NF-5B visitors

In two-tone blue scheme and full color 315sq badge is K-4030.

This photo shows NF-5B K-4001 from 313sq.

In September/October 1984 the 32TFS with F-15Cs participated in the annual exercise William Tell Meet at Tyndall AFB in Florida. To prepare for this exercise F-4Es from Hahn and Ramstein AB came to Soesterberg AB to practice with the 32TFS during the summer of 1984. 

Seen here is F-4E 68-0388/HR white fin-tip from the 313TFS/50TFW based at Hahn AB in West-Germany.

Frequently F-4Fs from JG71 "von Richthofen" based at Wittmund in West-Germany visited the 32TFS. Seen on the 4th of April 1985  were 37+40 and 38+27 (photo right).

38+27 JG71.

Due to runway repairs a number of F-104Gs from Leeuwarden AB were temporary based at Soesterberg AB. D-8084 was photographed on the 20th of September 1974.

JG74 38+08 from Neuburg in Bavaria, West-Germany, made a early morning visit to the 32TFS on the 9th of October 1975.

A squadron exchange took place from the 28th of June untill the 4th of July 1985 with 92sq based at RAF Wildenrath in West-Germany. Present were the following FGR.2s: XV435 /R; XV424; XV462 /U (photo); XV468/P and XV480/X (photo right).

FGR.2 XV480/X.

On 5 April 1990 brand new Tornado F.3s from 23sq, based at RAF Leeming in the UK, arrived to train with the 32TFS in the Dissimilar Air Combat Training (DACT) role. Seen here is ZE809/EZ. ZE812/EA was also present.

31sq Tornado GR.1 ZD740/DA arrived from RAF Brüggen, West-Germany, close the Dutch border near Roermond on the 14th of July 1987 and departed on the 17th of July.

Four FG.1s from the 43sq, and stationed at RAF Leuchars in the UK, were present in the period of 13-21 July 1971 for a squadron exchange with the based F-4Es. The following FGR.1s were present: XV571/A (photo); XV573/L; XV576/D and XV581/E. ©John Lekkerkerker. 

G-91R 30+51 from LEKG-44 and based at Leipheim, West-Germany, arrived for a fuel-stop.

On the 14th of April 1981, late in the afternoon, 26+72 (photo) and 26+75 both from MFG-2 arrived from Eggebek, West-Germany. 

Practicing - touch and go - at Soesterberg AB is P-3C number 305 from 320sq Kon. Marine and based at Marine Vliegkamp Valkenburg which was closed in July 2006. The P-3Cs have been sold to Germany and Portugal.

Tornado GR.1 ZA593/F from 617sq "Dambusters" based at  RAF Lossiemouth in the UK arrived on the 14th of July 1987 and departed on the 17th. 

F-4E 74-1636/SP blue 23TFS/52TFW from Spangdahlem AB in West-Germany made a visit on the 17th of June 1983.

Also from the 23TFS/52TFW is F-4E 74-0653/SP blue in August 1984.

A reconnaissance version of the F-4 is the RF-4C. On the 10th of  June 1982 69-0371/ZR from the 38TRS with green/white checks departed, returning to his homebase Zweibrücken AB in West-Germany.

The 313TFS part of the 50TFW and based at Hahn AB in West-Germany transferred from the F-16A/Bs to the F-16C/Ds in 1987 and obtained the orange tail stripe. 84-1288/HR (photo) and 84-1294/HR made a visit on the 30th of January 1987.

Not often seen a F-4E with shark mouth. 68-0480/RS yellow/black arrived from Ramstein AB in West-Germany. It belonged to the 512TFS.  

F-4E 68-0446/RS yellow carries a dart under the left wing for practicing with the local F-15A/Bs of the 32TFS on the 21st of July 1978. This aircraft is from the 512TFS, Ramstein AB in West-Germany.

Based at Torrejeon AB in Spain close to Madrid was the 401TFW. The 613TFS with F-16A/Bs used yellow fin-tip colors. 82-0948/TJ was in company with 82-0957/TJ. They were on a cross country flight.

The 612TFS was also part of the 401TFW from Torrejeon AB in Spain. Their F-16ABs used the blue/white fin-tip colors.

The third squadron within the 401TFW is the 614TFS with the red/black fin-tip colors. F-16A 82-0920/TJ was seen in September 1986.

From RAF Lakenheath in the UK is F-111F 71-0890/LN yellow from the 493TFS part of the 48TFW. Photo the 9th of August 1984. 

F-4E 69-0265/RS red, part of the 526TFS and based at Ramsteim AB in Germany, made a visit on the 15th of April 1971.

The 57FIS operated from Keflavik NAS on the island of Iceland during the period of 1985-1995. 

F-15Cs 80-0035/IS (photo left) and 80-0047/IS made a visit on the 4th of May 1990. Photos: ©John Lekkerkerker.

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