The first considerations and plans for the construction of an air base in Roth-Kiliansdorf were probably made as early as 1934/35. In the spring of 1936, it was then decided to drain the wooded and swampy area, to clear it and to level the airfield. The work progressed well and the first aircraft, a Junkers JU-52, was able to land in Roth-Kiliansdorf as early as 1938.
In the same year, the first unit, the C 9 Aircraft Pilot School, began its service at the air base. During the war years, a wide variety of units with training, operational and maintenance tasks were transferred to and from Roth. Among others, the III. group of the fighter squadron 53 "Legion Condor", equipped with Heinkel He 111, flew missions in France from Roth during the western campaign in 1940. Towards the end of WW2, on 08 April 1945, the airbase was bombed by the US Airforce. 91 Consolidated B-24 bombers dropped 216 tons of bombs on the airfield, which was severely damaged.
Junkers JU-88 in Roth
Messerschmitt Bf 109 in Roth
On April 20, 1945, the air base was occupied by American ground forces. The American forces used the site for collecting and defusing munitions. A railroad track from the Roth - Hilpoltstein railroad line, branching off in Eckersmühlen, was laid to the airfield specifically for this purpose. It was not until 1956 that U.S. activity ended and German services were again able to use the air base. After the founding of the Bundeswehr in 1955, the run-down site was urgently needed and immediately repaired. The first recruits arrived as early as August 1956. In the years to come, the following flying units were stationed at Roth-Kiliansdorf:
1956 bis 1963: Herresfliegerstaffel 4
The Army Aviation Squadron was founded as early as 1956, but did not begin flying operations until 1961. The aircraft used were the Sud Aviation Alouette II and the Dornier DO-27.
Sud Aviation Alouette II
(Quelle: Bundesarchiv, Ludwig Wegmann, Lizenz: CC BY-SA 3.0 de)
(Quelle: Ralf Roletschek Lizenz: CC BY-SA 3.0 de)
1963 bis 1971: Heeresfliegerbataillon 4
During this time, the Dornier DO-27 is decommissioned. The DO-27 was the only fixed-wing aircraft in the Army Air Corps. In 1969, the Army Aviation Battalion receives the first two Bell UH-1Ds built under license at Dornier in Oberpfaffenhofen. The light transport helicopter, also known as the "carpet beater" because of its typical banging noise in flight, dominated the scene at Roth-Kiliansdorf Air Base until the late 1970s.
Bell UH-1D der Luftwaffe 1984
Bell UH-1D des Heeres in Roth 2013
1971 bis 1979: leichtes Heeresflieger Transport Regiment 20
The leHFlgTrspRgt 20 was formed from existing units on 01.04.1971. From 01.07.1974, the regiment provided a Bell UH-1D rescue helicopter under the radio call sign "SAR 74" at Nuremberg airport. As before, the transport of troops, wounded and material is the mission of the Rother Army Air Corps.
1974 bis heute: Polizeihubschrauberstaffel Bayern
The Bavarian Police Helicopter Squadron, founded on July 9, 1970 in Neubiberg near Munich, was given a branch office in northern Bavaria in 1974. Suitable conditions were found at the army airfield in Roth, and the branch was officially opened on June 1, 1974. In the early years, the police helicopter squadron in Roth was manned by three officers from sunrise to sunset. Over the years, more and more police pilots were trained at the Federal Police (then called "Bundesgrenzschutz") in Bonn-Hangelar. The number of helicopters also increased over time. Thus, in the mid-1980s, a total of 11 helicopters were flying in Bavaria under the "Edelweiss" callsign. In service were four MBB-Kawasaki BK 117s and seven MBB BO-105s of various types. In the mid-1990s, the Bavarian police helicopter squadron faced profound changes: The station in Neubiberg was closed and the helicopters were relocated to the then new Munich Airport in Erdinger Moos. In addition, the BK 117 and BO 105 were scrapped and replaced by the Eurocopter EC 135. Today, the service at the army airfield in Roth has grown to 30 duty stations and three helicopters. The Eurocopter EC 135s are available in various configurations (e.g. with rescue winch or thermal imaging camera) for missions around the clock. Even after the cessation of military flight operations at the end of 2013, the police helicopter squadron will remain at the Roth site for the time being.
Eurocopter EC 135
1979 bis 2014: Kampfhubschrauberregiment 26 "Franken"
In 2003, the regiment is renamed Combat Helicopter Regiment 26 "Franken". At that time, the stationing of 32 "Tiger" combat helicopters in Roth was still firmly anticipated. However, in the fall of 2011, as part of a new Bundeswehr reform, it was decided to disband KHR 26 "Franken" on June 30, 2014.
MBB Demo Video aus den frühen 1980er Jahren
Erfolgsmodell Bo 105 - Filmdokumentation mit den Heeresfliegern aus Roth
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