Maldegem Flugplatz

Updated April 22 2007, March 6 2008

The Maldegem Flugplatz is situatied near the 'Ringbaan' which is now largely an industriel area.  It is expected, due to the rapid expantion of the factories that many buildings which are still there now will be gone in 10 years time.  The former Belgian airfield, which was still beeing constructed in 1940 was occupied by the German and Italian Air force during WWII.  Later on it was used by the Canadian liberators.  One of my witnesses told my the Germans returned for a short while on the first of January 1945.  It was also here that Queen Wilhelmina landed and returned to here country during the liberation days.  During WWII the Germans constructed many bunkers and anti aircraft shelters, some of them in wood which are all gone by now.  Only a few bunkers remain and some of them still exist but houses have been build on them.  However thanks to my to witnesses I managed to visit some bunkers and aircraft hangars.  Strangely, although the airfield has been bombed many times some of these hangars are still intact and serving very well.

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An amunition storage bunker and some other bunkers near the highest point of the former Maldegem Airfield.
According to my witness there were several anti aircraft guns installed here.

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Above: Two houses which were meant for Kitchen and Sleeping area.
One has been demolished after the war and the brick stones were used for building new houses.

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One of the two airfield bunkers which are still intact.  The left one was used for FLAK and search light according to my eye witness.

The bunker on the right had a gun installed on the roof.  It is probably a L15 or L14.
See also here:

 http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?p=1146712&sid=4bc7606610a719f0a5097aec6c28d011
or here
 http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=115150&postdays=0&postorder=asc&start=15

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Four bunkers close together, now used for giving shelter to horses.

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Left: Building used by the pilots.  Right: Commandatur with at the right side the Fire Brigade Hangar which is still as it was in 1945.

Overview of the airfield.  This is part of the airfield which hasn't been build over by industry buildings.  But for how long ?

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The surviving aircraft hangars.  One of them has been altered by farmers.  The others are mainly intact and left as they were in 1945.

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Proof that it has been used by three Armies: Germans: 'Rauchen Verboten'.  Italians: 'Vietate Fumare' and Canadians: 'No Smoking'.
They just copied the same text almost on the same place.  Apparently the German text survived much better than the Italian and Canadian text.
The quality of the paint was probably much better.
Below right the sign of the Fire Extinguisher which can be seen in other bunkers as well(for example one of the huge casemats of the Oldenburg battery.)
The rectangle was used for entertaining...  The Germans used it for playing football when the hangar was empty.

One hangar which hasn't survived intactly but now beeing used for something else and altered in some way.

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The same thing here: 'Rauchen Verboten'...

The place were visitors needed there badge for entering the airfield.

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German building at the other side of the road to 'Aalter'.  In fact this was the 'official entrance' of the 'Flugplatz Maldegem'.

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Open Door at the 'Commanderie' during the 'Vlaanderen Erfgoeddag' on April 22 2007.

Inside the 'Commanderie'.  The roof is magnificent.

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Some artifacts from BAHAAT.
If you want to know more about BAHAAT here's the link:

 http://users.pandora.be/airwareurope/home.html

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Left: The only left-over dummy man of the arfield Maldegem.  Right and below: Re-enactment of German Soldiers.

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The origianal 'ringroad or ringbaan'  now only used by farmers to enter there hangar.

To be continued.

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