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Welcome to The Wolf Stories

Stories written by Retired U.S.A.F. Colonel and Author 

WOLFGANG SAMUEL

Author of   GERMAN BOYI ALWAYS WANTED TO FLY and THE WAR OF OUR CHILDHOOD

 


DECEMBER / JANUARY 02-03 WOLF STORIES


For those of you who flew out of Fassberg from 1948 to 1949 during the Luftbruecke maybe you would like to know a little about the history of the airbase.  Fassberg didn't come into existence as a community or an airbase until 1933.  In August 1933 the German airstaff approved construction of four training schools, Fassberg among them.  Completion was set for December 1934 - a pretty ambitious construction program.  These were bad times in Germany and work was hard to come by, so they didn't have any problems finding willing workers.  The first construction workers appeared at the site (nothing but heath and pine forest) in November 1933.  A rail line was run into the area and daily trains brought laborers to the site from throughout the region.  It is interesting to note that what you remember as the main gate at Fassberg, was actually intended to be nothing but a side entrance.  A large reception building was constructed across from the intended main gate.  But they hadn't tested the soil of the area outside the main gate where the town of Fassberg was to arise - and the soil wouldn't support the structures planned for that area.  Ergo, the side gate became the main gate and the town was built where it has been ever since.
 
By April 1, 1934 Kampfgeschwader 154 (wing) was established at Fassberg with three Staffeln (squadrons)  flying Arado 66, Heinkel 45 and 46 two-seaters.  By summer of 1935 all construction was completed including the eight hangars which many of you must remember.  The main entrance to the base was of course known as the Hermann-Goring-Wache - what else?  Fassberg remained a training base throughout the prewar and war years, also supporting operational deployments of course.  Here pilots, navigators and gunners were trained in their art.  Over the years Fassberg saw nearly every aircraft flown by the Luftwaffe.  I especially remember the many four-engine Heinkel 177s and twin-engine Junkers 88s which sat throughout the forests surrounding Fassberg until they were cut up in 1947 to be resurrected as pots and pans.  By the time the airlift began only a few remnants of old planes remained on the airbase itself.  All the others had been removed by then.  Among aircraft that operated out of Fassberg was the truly revolutionary Messerschmitt Me 262 night fighter.  The base remained a virtual secret to the Allies until the very end of the war.  Was only strafed and bombed lightly in the final days - it was very well camouflaged and not shown on any maps.  Of course right next to the airbase was the Trauen Versuchsanstallt - research facility for V1 and V2 rockets.  During the airlift German workers were housed there in a tent city.  They were the guys in the brown uniforms (GSLO) which loaded the trucks and then unloaded them again into your C-54s.
 
There was of course an elaborate officers club on the base - to the left of the gate.  But there was also a hunting lodge not far from the base, used by Goering occasionally, which during the Luftbruecke served as an officers club and was known to you intrepid airmen as Flynn's Inn.  On April 16, 1945, Fassberg was captured by a British armored unit.  In subsequent years it served as an RAF base and was turned over to the new German Luftwaffe in 1956.  Today it still serves as a training base for the Luftwaffe, including a helicopter (Huyes) flying school.  During the latter part of the Cold War my son flew occasionally out of Fassberg for several years in his A-10.
 
This is the last of my Wolf Stories.  I hope you enjoyed reading about yourselves and about the truly decisive impact your commitment back in 1948/49 had on the shape of our world today.  I part with an old German flyer's greeting - Hals und Beinbruch.  (Flying today isn't all that dangerous anymore as it was back in those days).  Cheers, Wolfgang W. E. Samuel, Colonel, U.S. Air Force (Retired).
 


 


 


 


 


 

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12/31/2003 11:25:56 AM