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© 2004-2017 Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

Air-Minded: Soesterberg Photoblog, April 1961

My friend Peter van ____, who was the 32nd Tactical Fighter Squadron’s Dutch military liaison officer when I flew F-15s at Soesterberg Air Base from 1978-1982, just sent me a batch of NATO archival photos taken there on 5 & 6 April 1961. The occasion was either a NATO exercise or possibly the production of a newsreel about NATO operations in the Netherlands.

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Some of the photos show a Zulu alert scramble of 32nd TFS F-102As (Zulu is code for 5-minute air defense alert, one of the NATO missions assigned to the 32nd at Soesterberg). Peter tells me the alert barn in these photos, which looks to me like the same one I sat alert in almost two decades later, burnt down some time during the 1960s, almost taking two F-102s with it, and that the alert barn of my time was its replacement.

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Other photos show RNLAF Hawker Hunter fighters, along with visiting RAF Gloster Javelins and Luftwaffe F-86 Sabres (in my day we were frequently visited by Belgian F-16s, F-104s from Canadian bases in northern Germany, Luftwaffe Alpha Jets and F-4s, FGR2 Phantoms & SEPECAT Jaguars (and the occasional Buccaneer) from British bases in the UK & northern Germany, and a mix of F-4s and F-15s from USAF bases in Germany).

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These are just some of the photos. Hold the mouse over the thumbnails to see descriptions. Click on the thumbnails to see the larger originals in my Vliegbasis Soesterberg album on Flickr.

© 2017, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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3 comments to Air-Minded: Soesterberg Photoblog, April 1961

  • Paul, nicely done. remarks: ref Zulu is not a code!it’s military time or Zulu time is often used in aviation and military as another name for UTC … “Zulu” Military Time is a fixed time zone that never observes Daylight Saving Time …for war operations. kind of a “time hack” for all involved.
    ref. the Hanger used to be twice as big. I’ll send you a separate picture that I have on file of that.
    The left side had 2 Hunters on alert, the right side 2 F-102As. I’ve got an eye witness report from an F-102 pilot involved in the fire that I’m going to use in EHSB history booklet I’m working on.
    Great job,
    Peter

  • Bob Clarke

    Hello Paul,

    Great photos from yesteryear! As a hoot, I recall the AZANG @ Tucson had F-102s. They were spotless & looked like shiny pennies.

    Some of the Hunters (the ones we the 2-digit nose numbers) look like they may be Belgian. The planes w the “P-XXX” nose-codes are Dutch I think. Gotta use my useless pile of knowledge for something! The Hunter @ Pima is one handsome airplane & must have been a blast to fly.

  • Hello Bob,
    The ones with the 2-digit nose numbers are RAF look at the RAF roundel on them and on the Javelins. The planes with N-xxx are Dutch…N for Netherlands and have RNLAF roundels
    Thanks,
    Peter

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