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AAF Station Schweinfurt

Schweinfurt Army Heliport
Schweinfurt Army Heliport
Location of Schweinfurt Army Heliport, Germany

Schweinfurt Army Heliport is a military facility near Schweinfurt, being part of the United States Army Garrison (USAG Schweinfurt). It is controlled by the 1st Squadron, 91st Cavalry, 173d Airborne Brigade Combat Team since 6 June 2006.[1]

The unit currently operates AH-64 Apache attack helicopters from the airfield. The facility will be closed because of changes in the US-military-spending priorities (estimated: 2015[2])

History

The facility's origins begin in 1936 as a Luftwaffe airfield, its primary mission being the home of light bomber (Dornier Do 17) and dive bomber (Junkers Ju 87) units until 1942.[3]

About 1940, the Luftwaffe began assigning anti-aircraft (FlaK) units to the area, in order to provide an air defense for the Schweinfurter Kugellagerwerke and other ball bearing factories in Schweinfurt, as the city produced most of these critical components.[3] The number of units assigned increased when the city became the target of American Eighth Air Force stragegic bombing beginning in 1943. Schweinfurt was bombed 22 times during Operation Pointblank by a total of 2285 aircraft. American bombing included the Second Raid on Schweinfurt on October 14, 1943, ("Black Thursday") and Big Week in February, 1944.

The United States Army 42nd Infantry Division entered Schweinfurt on 11 April 1945 and conducted house-to-house fighting in the seizure of the city and facilities. Twelfth Air Force B-25 Mitchell medium bombers conducted pinpoint bombing attacks during the battle on German defenses, the battle being one of the last (in addition to Nuremberg) major combat between the German Wehrmacht against American Army units during the Western Allied invasion of Germany. Elements of the USAAF IX Engineering Command were able to move into the airfield on 17 April and clear mines and destroyed aircraft, and made the facility serviceable for use by Allied transport aircraft by 18 April. It was designated as Advanced Landing Ground "R-25" and was put to use as a combat resupply and casualty evacuation airfield.[4]

Air Force Occupation units began moving into the airfield on 16 June 1945, the facility being renamed Army Air Force Station Schweinfurt.[5] The airfield became an occupation garrison for Air Force units and also became "Schweinfurt Air Depot", being used by Air Technical Service Command. It was redesignated as Schweinfurt Air Base on 1 August 1947, in anticipation of the Air Force becoming a separate branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. On 5 October 1947, control of the airfield was turned over to the United States Army as the Air Force consolidated its forces around the Munich area.[6]

Today, the U.S. Army Garrison Schweinfurt is home for roughly 11,000 people, including about 4,000 Soldiers, family members, Department of Defense civilian employees and their dependents, with the heliport being assigned to the Conn Barracks facilities.

See also

References

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