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* Unveiling of the National Memorial to the Soviet Armed Partisans in Belgium - 1944 - 2019 *

Airfields in Belgium during WWII

Koksijde RAF Air Base - B71

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Last update: 29/07/2019

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Elegy to
the Heroes of Silence


airfields in Belgium

Situation

The airbase of Koksijde is located in the Flemish province West-Flanders, and is situated at the Belgian westcoast.
It all began in 1915 in the field next to the "Ten Boogaarde" farm (which still exists) at the South-western edge of today’s airbase. After the first world war, the airfield was changed again into farmland.

WWII: Germans's use

During the second world war, the German Luftwaffe build a new airfield to use it as divertion field enroute to the UK.

WWII: Allied's use

In September 1944, when they arrive there, RAF services discovered that the 2 runways were impraticable, due to 320 bomb craters.
When tha base B71 was declared operational, on 8 Marsh 1945, 136 Sqd arrived followed by 605 Sqd.

Post War

In 1946 the Royal Air Force handed over the airfield to the Belgian Air Force.
On 1st of January 1948 the Belgian Air Force started the fighter school at Koksijde airfield. On the 1st of July 1958 the airfield was renamed "Basis Koksijde" and was then used as storage airfield, administrative base for air-and sea rescue and regrouping airfield. The first of April 1961, the heliflight was formed and the first helicopters arrived at Koksijde. On the 30th of October 1974 the unit was renamed into their current name: '40th Squadron'. From 1961 till 1976 Search and Rescue duties were done by the sikorsky HSS-1 and in 1976 the Westland Sea King MK.48 took over.
In 1971 the Navyflight was formed and operates 3 Alouette III helicoptes. In 2004 the Alouette III helicopters were transfered from the Navy to the Air Force and were merged into the 40th Sqn. The Westland Sea King MK.48 and Alouette III helicopters will be replaced by 4 Eurocopter NH-90NFH from 2014 on.





Sources:
www.sbap.be/events/2014/005wevelgem2014
www.mashpedia.net
www.sgkoksijde.be/index.php
http://www.airhistory.org.uk
https://www.27sqn.be/
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