Unit History: RAF Handorf

RAF Handorf
As 469 S.U.,the unit served as a Ground Control Interceptor (GCI). Its task was to plot aircraft movements in that part of West Germany, but primarily to control fighter groups by day and by night.
 
The station was situated a few miles N.E. of the city of Munster,close to the village of Handorf.
It was sited on a former important Luftwaffe base which had been heavily bombed at the end of WWII.
Since the former barracks and admin buildings had been made uninhabitable,a purpose built camp had been erected on the southern perimeter to house about 200 people.
 
A mobile radar station was in the centre of the old Flugplatz within walking distance of the campsite.
At that time it was Vampires, Venoms, and F84 Sabre Ds that were controlled during the day from such bases as Celle, Wunstorf & Wildenrath.It was NF11s & NF14s from Ahlhorn that got our attention at night.


Added on 02/12/2009

As a National Serviceman I was stationed at Handorf from January 1954 to August 1955, serving as a Radar Operator.
As 469 S.U.,the unit served as a Ground Control Interceptor (GCI). Its task was to plot aircraft movements in that part of West Germany, but primarily to control fighter groups by day and by night.
The station was situated a few miles N.E. of the city of Munster,close to the village of Handorf.
It was sited on a former important Luftwaffe base which had been heavily bombed at the end of WWII.
Since the former barracks and admin buildings had been made uninhabitable,a purpose built camp had been erected on the southern perimeter to house about 200 people.
A mobile radar station was in the centre of the old Flugplatz within walking distance of the campsite.
At that time it was Vampires, Venoms, and F84 Sabre Ds that were controlled during the day from such bases as Celle, Wunstorf & Wildenrath.It was NF11s & NF14s from Ahlhorn that got our attention at night.
Shortly before I left, the old mobile unit was replaced by a hard standing version.
I was given to understand that the base was later transferred to the Dutch military for the use of a missile unit.
Following recent research I made using Google Earth, it appears that some of the camp buildings are still standing,whilst the Flugplatz has become a public park. Th former bomb craters have become ornamental ponds!


Added on 11/04/2011

RAF Handorf was a former Luftwaffe airfield some 10 Km South East of Munster in the West German State of Westphalia.  It was a defensive surveillance radar site initially equipped with mobile CMS 10cm radar in a convoy.  From 1954 the station had a two level underground operations room designated as a ROTOR R3. The R3 was never intended to survive a direct hit from a nuclear weapon but was designed to withstand a near miss from Russian pattern bombing with 2,200lb armour-piercing high explosive bombs (BRAB) dropped from 35,000 feet.
 
I went there on detachment from REU RAF Henlow in 1955 to dis-assemble the mobile equipment.
 
Roy S. Perry
(formerly JT Perry 2713933)

Search for a name in our archive

Please enter a surname
3
Small Medium Large Landscape Portrait