1935 to 1945

The Fliegerhorst Sandhofen-Wald (the Eagles Nest) was planned to be built in 1935. Construction began later that year. In 1938 the grand opening ceremony, with such high ranking guests as Feldmarshall Hermann GŲhring took place, later that day he left Mannheim via the Rhein River on a Sailboat! The airfield was built in the homeland-style with red brickstones. Total building costs were about 44 millon Reichsmark! For building the Installation only the best materials known at that time were taken: eg hardwood floors and doors, ceramic tiles from Meissen etc! For amusement, a well equiped gym and an outdoor pool with a great terrace was planned. The pool was never flooded, since the war came across, but still today you can see some of the walls from the pool and where the pool was located. One of the buildings, BLD 17, was taken down in 1999 and so only BLD 17a in front of the sportfield is left.(see the picture pages). Modern buildings, such as an icehouse, were built. All buildings had central heating! also, a heating house with a self loading coal-bunker was built. The coal did not have to be shoveled from the train into the bunkers, it had a self unloading device!! For the Flying units, quarters with 2 man rooms and bath were built as well as a big maintenace(Warft) hanger with a paintshop and all kinds of metal shops .Today this hangar is used as the Gym and Shoppette. On the other side of the building (today 21) the commander and base operations building was constucted, and remains much the same to this day.

Well known fighter aces such as Moeders and Freiherr von Maltzahn were working out of this half round office! Right next to it the 4 hangers, each with capacities of 12 aircraft were built, of which, one is left today in its original structure! If you are standing at Colemanís old Maingate and look to your right, you see the Coleman Annex. This used to be the installation where the officers had their quarters. the 4 houses to the left of the gate were staff officer houses, and the last one was the commanderís house. This is also the only one which had a car garage - still there today! The two barracks buildings to the right of the gate were the single officers quarters and the yellow building straight ahead (MPs today) was the Officerís Club. It had an open fireplace and a big room for parties. Also, a kitchen for the mess was included. The terrace is the same as in old times, however, the interior was redone. The first military personel came in February/March 1937 from the Fliegerhorst Staaken. During the year 1937 more personel, mil and civ., came from Kassel and the Pilotschool Fliegerschule A/B from Detmold. On the 15.March 1937 the Jagdgeschwader 334 was formed here with 3 Groups and 9 Staffeln.The blooming time for the Eagles Nest was during the war against France (Phony war) and England. Almost hourly aircraft left to attack targets, and at the same time, aircraft were arriving with wounded soldiers, which were taken to the hospitals in the surrounding area.

The well known Jagdgeschwader II JG53 was founded here on the 1st May 1939. Other units that were here :

- II./JG52
- JG 133
- JG 334
- JG 53
- JG 72
- JG3
- JG51 Moelders
- ZG52
- 10.(Nj.)JG72
- V.(Z)LG1
- Arbeitsplatz Fliegerschule FFS A/B 121
- Arbeitsplatz FFS(C) 9
- Arbeitsplatz FFDS A/B 121
- 11./JG2
- 1., 2. und 3. Ergaenzungsjagdgruppe Sued

A fighter school was opend and due to this almost all of the aircraft ever flown in the third Reich were seen here, including the first jet aircraft, such as the Me262! Dogfighters were trained, and in the near by Rhein River, the Stukas (Ju87) were practicing Bombing runs with cement bombs on an old ship! Aces like Moeldes, von Maltzahn, Galland, and Hermann Graff were sent here, or were in Command of the units! ( more details in the book). A black day in our history was the 14th of August 1944. That day mission 552 from the USAF was carried out. This meant 72, B17 Bombers came around midday and destroyed 2/3 of the buildings and structures! (Eyewitness reports in the book) This lead to the errection of an SS Concentration Camp at the base. It was an outpost of the Concentration Camp Hinzert, and was called: SS Sonderlager Hinzert auf dem Fliegerhorst Sandhofen( SS specialcamp at Eagels Nest Sandhofen). This was forgotten and remained so until the 90ís, then forgotten again. I redescovered it and it is filling an entire Chapter in the book, including many eyewithness reports! On the 26 March 1945 the American 7th Infantry crossed the Rhein River at Sandhofen. A battle lasting two days began and many soldiers and civilians lost thier lives. Most of he German resistance was from the near by Flak units 1 and 5/636, the HJ, (Hitleryouth) and the Volkssturm. ( more details in the book).