Neubiberg Air Base

Neubiberg Air Base
Neubiberg Air Base

Roundel of the German Air Force border.svg
Flugplatz Neubiberg

IATA: noneICAO: none
Airport type Military
Owner Unified Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Germany
Operator Luftwaffe (German Air Force)
Location Munich, Germany
Elevation AMSL 1,703 ft / 519 m
Coordinates 48°04′24″N 11°38′10″E / 48.073304°N 11.636236°E / 48.073304; 11.636236Coordinates: 48°04′24″N 11°38′10″E / 48.073304°N 11.636236°E / 48.073304; 11.636236

Neubiberg Air Base is a former German and United States Air Force airfield which was closed in 1991. It is located 9 km south of the city of Munich, Germany.

Today the area holds the campus of Bundeswehr University of Munich. Students live in Unterbiberg too. The runways are used as a recreation area and for scientific testing of vehicles. Some houses have already been built and there are plans to add parks and housing where the ground is still covered by asphalt.


World War II

Originally built in 1933 as a glider field, during World War II, Neubiberg was an active Luftwaffe air base, known as Unterbiberg. In 1944, the Messerschmitt Me 262 jet fighter-bomber was stationed there. It was bombed by 15th Air Force B-24s on 16 February 1945. American armored units captured the base in April 1945.

USAF use

F-47Ds of the 526th Fighter Squadron / 86th Fighter Wing - 1949
Republic F-84E-5-RE Thunderjet Serial 49-2133 of the 527th Fighter-Bomber Squadron

After Neubiberg's capture, the United States Army Air Force designated the base as Airfield R-85 Camp Rattle and stationed the 225th Anti-Aircraft Artillery searchlight battalion there on 16 June 1945.

357th Fighter Group

On July 21, 1945, the 357th Fighter Group transferred from its base at RAF Leiston, England, to Neubiberg to take on occupation duties. It remained there until inactivated in place on August 20, 1946.

Operational squadrons of the 357th FG were:

  • 362nd Fighter Squadron (P-51D)
  • 363rd Fighter Squadron (P-51D)
  • 364th Fighter Squadron (P-51D)

33d Fighter Group

On 20 August 1946 the 33d Fighter Group, which had been inactivated in December 1945, was re-activated at R-85 (Neubiberg) Air Base to replace the 357th Fighter Group. The 33rd FG remained at R-85 for a year performing various occupation duties.

Operational squadrons of the 33d FG were:

After serving for a year in Germany, the 33d was transferred to Bad Kissingen, Germany on 25 August 1947, then returned to the states, transferring to Andrews Field, Maryland briefly before moving to Roswell AFB, New Mexico as part of Strategic Air Command on 16 September 1947.

86th Fighter-Bomber Wing

The 86th Composite Group moved to Neubiberg on 12 June 1947 from Bad Kissingen, Germany, replacing the 33d FG. Operational squadrons of the 86th were:

  • 525th Fighter/Fighter-Bomber (F-47D, F-84E (1950) blue stripe)
  • 526th Fighter/Fighter-Bomber (F-47D, F-84E (1950) red stripe)
  • 527th Fighter/Fighter-Bomber (F-47D, F-84E (1950) white/yellow stripe)

The 86th Composite Group was activated at Bad Kissingen on 20 August 1946 and assigned to the United States Air Forces in Europe. The group was equipped inititally with low-hour P/F-47D "Thunderbolts" removed from storage at various depots in Germany.

Initially, the group performed mostly occupation duty, however escort missions were flown with Consolidated RB-24 Liberator reconnance aircraft along the borders of Czechoslovakia and the Soviet Zone of Germany, occasionally engaging with Soviet aircraft as they harassed the recon flights.

The mission of the 86th CG changed with the advent of the Berlin Airlift, to escort the cargo flights within the narrow air corridors between the American Zone and Tempelhof Air Base in West Berlin. When the airlift began, the 86th CG was the only tactical air group in USAFE.

In October 1950 the 27th Fighter-Escort Wing ferried ninety-one F-84E "Thunderjets" to Neubiberg from Bergstrom Air Force Base Texas. The F-47s were distributed to other NATO countries, and the wing was redisignated the 86th Fighter-Bomber Group.

In 1952 the 86th Fighter-Bomber Group became the 86th Fighter-Bomber Wing as part of an Air Force-wide reorganization. The lineage and heritage of the World War II 86th Fighter Group (inactivated on 31 March 1946) were transferred to the redesignated 86th FBW. In January 1953 the 86th FBW was transferred west of the Rhine to the newly-completed Landstuhl Air Base.

160th/38th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron

File:Rf80 38dtrs.jpg
Lockheed RF/FP-80A-5-LO Shooting Star Serial 45-8364 of the 38d Tactical Recon Squadron / 10th TRW
  • 27 January 1952 - 9 May 1953: 160th/38d Tactical Reconnaance Squadron (RF-80A)

The 160th Tactical Reconnaance Squadron was deployed to Neubiberg from Toul-Rosieres Air Base France. The 160th was part of the Alabama Air National Guard 117th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing which was activated during the Korean War. In 1952, Toul Air Base was unfinished at the time of the wings activation/deployment and not yet ready for jet aircraft. This meant only the Wing HQ was in France, and the two attached RF-80A squadrons were moved to Germany. The 160th to Neubiberg and the 157th to Fürstenfeldbruck.

At the time of their arrival, the 160th's aircraft were silver aluminum, with only the Buzz Numbers on their noses. Later, blue lightning bolts were painted on their vertical stabilizers, and yellow lightning flashes were painted on the center fuselage and wing tip tanks.

On 10 July 1952, the 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing was activated in place at Toul AB, absorbing the personnel and equipment of the deactivated 117 TRW. The 160th TRS was redesignated the 38d Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron and remained at Neubiberg.

The 38d TRS remained at Neubiberg until 9 May 1953 when the 10th TRW was transferred to the newly-opened Spangdahlem Air Base.

317th Troop Carrier Wing

Fairchild C-119C-25-FA Flying Boxcar Serial 51-2611 of the 317th TCW

The 317th TCW was moved to Neubiberg from Rhein-Main Air Base in 1953 to address an overcrowded condition. Flying C-119 Flying Boxcars, the Wing remained for almost four years before transferring to Evreux-Fauville Air Base France.

782d Troop Carrier Squadron

  • November 1953 - April 1954: 782d Troop Carrier Squadron (C-119)

In November 1953, the 782d Troop Carrier Squadron was sent to Neubiberg from Toul Air Base when the 465th Troop Carrier Wing was deployed from Donaldson Air Force Base South Carolina. Construction at Toul forced the deployment of the squadron to Neubiberg. The 782d stayed until April 1954 flying missions with the 317th TCW until enough construction was completed at Toul AB to allow the squadron to use the rebuilt facilities.

5th Tow Target Squadron

  • 1954 - 1957
    • B-26 [A-26]
    • B-29
    • C-47

The 5th Tow Target Squadron was reactivated on 16 December 1952 as the 7554th Tow Target Flight at Furstenfeldbruck Air Base. The unit moved to Neubiberg on 16 July 1954 and on 24 June it was redesignated the 5th TTS. Its mission was towing aerial targets for NATO Air Forces and Army Anti-Aircraft gunnery, and had detachments at RAF Sculthorpe, England (Det. A(1)), Bremen Germany, and North Africa.

Aircraft flown by the 5th TTS were Douglas TB-26B/C Invaders in Europe and a number of L-5 Sentinels. In North Africa, B-29s were used. Squadron markings consisted of Red and White horizonal stripes on the vertical and horizontaql stabilizer and red wingtips.

The unit was disbanded when Neubiberg was turned over to the German Air Force.

German Air Force use

Neubiberg was turned over to the German Air Force in 1958. Until the 1990s, it was used primary as a transport/cargo aircraft facility. It was closed for military use in 1991. It was still used by civil aviation and police helicopters till 1998. Today it is used as a leisure area.

See also


  • Endicott, Judy G. (1999) Active Air Force wings as of 1 October 1995; USAF active flying, space, and missile squadrons as of 1 October 1995. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. CD-ROM.
  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Ravenstein, Charles A. (1984). Air Force Combat Wings Lineage and Honors Histories 1947-1977. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-912799-12-9.
  • USAAS-USAAC-USAAF-USAF Aircraft Serial Numbers—1908 to Present [1]

External links

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