Soesterberg AFB

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In de summer of 1966, when I was 17 years old, I started my hobby at the "cradle" Soesterberg Air Force Base in The Netherlands, close to the city of Utrecht. Soesterberg AFB 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.


1954-1956 F-86 Sabre 
1956-1960 F-100 Super Sabre
1960-1969 F-102 Delta Dagger
1969-1978 F-4 Phantom II
1978-1994 F-15 Eagle

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.
This ex Portugese Air Force F-86F with the serial 5307 was painted up as USAF 52-5385 in 32FDS colors. Due to the support of Peter van Weenen it was parked for a very short period in the shelter area of the 32nd FS and finally moved to the new National Military Museum at Soesterberg AFB where it has been parked in front of the museum. 

Photos by Peter van Weenen. (The right photo shows the badge of the 32nd TFS on the nose)

The Royal Netherlands Air Force Museum (MLM) was established at Soesterberg Air Base in 1968 and moved to a location nearby the village of Soesterberg, called Kamp van Zeist, in 1980.
In 1969 the Greek Air Force received a squadron of Delta Daggers from the US Air Force, including this aircraft with serial 56-1052. The type was withdrawn in 1974, and this aircraft was stored at Elefsis in Greece. In 1997 this F-102A was taken over by the Friends of the Military Aviation Museum from the Greek Air Force and loaned to the MLM. The serial 61032 (56-1032) is of the commander aircraft of the 32nd Fighter Interceptor Squadron and it painted in a scheme that was used in the period 1960-1963. The real 1032 went to the USA on 3 July 1969 for service with the 132nd FIS Maine ANG, a year later it was transferred to the 159th FIS Florida ANG. In 1974 the unit received the F-106 and 1032 was placed in storage at Davis Monthan AFB. In 1979 it departed and was converted into a PQM102B drone.  
Photo June 2010 ©John Lekkerkerker.
In front of the new museum NMM Soesterberg on 11 July 2018 F-102A 61032. 
Unfortunately I do not have a camouflaged F-102A from the 32FIS in my collection. Therefore I added one from the 496FIS based at Hahn AFB in West-Germany. F102A 56-1061 visited Soesterberg AFB on 12 September 1969.
The 32FIS also had two TF-102As (two seater). This photo shows one from another unit. 56-2331 from the 526FIS based at Ramstein AFB in West-Germany made a visit to Soesterberg AFB in The Netherlands on 3 May 1968.
The 32TFS was flying with F-4Es during the period 1969-1978. 68-0442/CR was photographed on 20 September 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.
Photographed on the taxiway of Soesterberg AFB 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.

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

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

On August 27, 1956, Hunter F.Mk.4 with the registration N-122 was delivered by Fokker to the 324 squadron and flew consecutively with the 327, 323 and 325 squadron before it moved on 30 September 1958 to the Flight Service Squadron Leeuwarden. On 29 May 1959 it was written off after 227.5 flight hours and transferred for instructional purposes to the Air Force Technical School in Deelen. Since early 1984 it is part of the MLM collection.

Photo 11 July 2018 in front of the new museum NMM Soesterberg .

Photo gallery

Black and white

Belgium Air Force RF-84F FR-32 from the 42 smaldeel made a visit on 9 September 1969.
F-4E 69-0237/CR orange in 1974.
From Leeuwarden Air Base T-33A   M-54/51-17411. It belongs to 322sq.
Coming from RAF Woodbridge in England on 29 June 1972 is this F-4D 65-0721WR with red fin-tip from the 78TFS.
The 496FIS from Hahn AFB in West-Germany was equipped with the F-102A/TF-102A (two-seater). F-102A O-61063 (56-1063) visited Soesterberg AFB on 12 September 1969.
F-4E 69-0239/RS red from the 526TFS based at Ramstein AFB in West-Germany on his way to the runway to depart.
A second F-4D arrived from RAF Woodbridge in England on 29 June 1972. 65-0721WR with red fin-tip from the 78TFS.
TF-102A (two-seater)
O-62331 (56-2331) from the 526FIS based at Ramstein AFB in West-Germany made a visit on 3 May 1968. 
F-104G FX53 from the Belgium Air Force. Its homebase is the 1 wing at Beauvechain near Brussels.
T-33A M-21/51-17491 from the Royal Netherlands Air Force. Finally it went to the Turkish Air Force.
F-4E 68-0441/CR orange returns to the shelter area after a afternoon mission.
G-91T (two-seater) 34+05 from LEKG-43 and based at Oldenburg, West-Germany, ready to depart home. On one day I have seen 14 different G-91s.
After its active period with the Royal Netherlands Air Force this T-33A M-32/54-1583 continued it flying career in the Hellenic Air Force.
Another 496FIS F-102A, O-61096 (56-1096), made a visit.
Together with O-61063 (56-1063) F-102A O-61061 (56-1061) visited Soesterberg on 12 September 1969. It also belongs to the 496FIS based at Hahn AFB in West-Germany.


In connection with the deployment Coronet Meteor at Spangdahlem AFB in West-Germany this F-4D 66-7745/AL red visited Soesterberg AFB in de period 17-31 August 1985. 11 F-4Ds participated in this deployment and came from the 160TFS/187TFG with its homebase Montgomery ANG base in Alabama. 
F-4C 63-7453 from the MichiganAir National Guard (171FIS) arrived at Soesterberg AFB on13 June 1986 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 is 12-KI/42.
Belgium Air Force T-33A FT38. Photographed on 15 April 1971.
In August 1978 two Belgium Air Force F-104Gs (FX13 and FX44) visited Soesterberg AFB. They came from the 1 wing based at Beauvechain near Brussels. 
During the NATO exercise CENTRAL ENTERPRISE Danish F-104Gs from Esk726 based at Aalborg in Denmark were deployed to Soesterberg AFB in June 1983.
At the end of his career this T-33A was added with some more other T-33As to the base-flight of Soesterberg AFB. M-11/51-17466 was photographed in In August 1971.
After his active life this T-33A M-32/54-1583 went to the Hellenic Air Force. 
Due to runway repairs at Twente AFB NF-5A/Bs from 313 and 315sq were deployed to Soesterberg AFB.
Four NF-5A/NF-5B in a row photographed during their temporarily stay at Soesterberg AFB because of runway repairs at Twente AFB. This photo shows NF-5B K-4001 from 313sq.
In a experimental scheme is NF-5A K-3058 from 313sq.
Also in experimental scheme is NF-5B K-4005 from 313sq.
From 315sq NF-5A K-3028 back to the flight line.
In two-tone blue scheme and full color 315sq. badge is K-4030.
Seen here is F-4E 68-0388/HR white fin-tip from the 313TFS/50TFW based at Hahn AFB in West-Germany.
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 AFB came to Soesterberg AFB to practice with the 32TFS during the summer of 1984. 
Frequently F-4Fs from JG71 "von Richthofen"  based at Wittmund in West-Germany visited the 32TFS. Seen here is 37+40. 38+27 (right photo) was also there.
38+27 JG71.
Due to runway repairs a number of F-104Gs from Leeuwarden AFB were temporary based at Soesterberg AFB. D-8084 was photographed on 20-9-1974.
JG74 38+08 from Neuburg in Bavaria, West-Germany, made a early morning visit to the 32TFS.
G-91R 30+51 from LEKG-43 and based at Oldenburg, West-Germany, arrived for a fuel-stop.
XV480/X and more FGR.2s ready for a new mission together with F-15s from the 32TFS. The 92sq based at RAF Wildenrath in West-Germany arrived in August 1985 for a squadron exchange. 
On 5 April 1990 brand new Tornados F.3 from 23sq, based at RAF Leeming in England, arrived to train with the 32TFS in the DACT roll. 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. Photo July 1987.
43sq from RAF Leuchars, England, arrived in July 1971 for a squadron exchange with F-4Es from the 32TFS. The following FG.1s where present: XV571/A (photo); XV573/L; XV576/D and XV581/E. ©John Lekkerkerker. 
Also present during the squadron exchange in August 1985 was FG.2 XV462/U from 92sq.
In 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 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. 617sq disbanded on 1 April 2014. 
F-4E 74-1636/SP blue 23TFS from Spangdahlem AFB in West-Germany.
Also from the 23TFS is  F-4E 74-0653/SP blue in August 1984.
A reconnaissance version of the F-4 is the RF-4C. On 10 June 1982 69-0371/ZR from the 38TRS with green/white checks departed, based at Zweibrücken in West-Germany.
The F-4Es from Hahn AFB in West-Germany were replaced by  F-16C/Ds. 84-1288/HR red from the 313TFS was together with  84-1294/HR red.
Not often seen a F-4E with shark mouth. 68-0480/RS yellow/black arrived from Ramstein AFB in West-Germany. It belonged to the 512TFS.  
F-4E 68-0446/RS yellow carries a dart under the left wing to practice with the local F-15A/Bs of the 32TFS. This aircraft is from the 512TFS.
Based at Torrejeon AFB 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 410TFW from Torrejeon AFB. Their F-16ABs used the blue/white fin-tip colors.
The third squadron within the 401TFS is the 613TFS with the red/black fin-tip colors.
From RAF Lakenheath in England is F-111F 71-0890/LN yellow part of the 493TFS.
F-4E 69-0265/RS red, part of the 526TFS and based at Ramsteim AFB in Germany, made a visit on 15 April 1971.
F-15Cs 80-0035/IS and 80-0047/IS from the 57FIS based at Keflavik NAS on the island of Iceland during the period of 1985-1995, made a visit on 4 May 1990. Photos: ©John Lekkerkerker.

Slideshow with 70 images

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