GATE GUARDS VOLKEL AIR BASEOne of our tasks is to prepare and maintain the gate guards located alongside one of the main roads at Volkel Air Base.
F-84G THUNDERJET K-85
This Thunderjet was originally assigned to 311 Squadron. After a belly landing on July 4, 1957, it was transported via Avio Diepen to DVVM II. There, all the armament and electrics were removed from the aircraft.
On December 13, 1957, it was written off and transported to Volkel Airbase on April 11, 1958, for rescue exercises. On 11 April 1958, it was assigned to the fire brigade of Volkel AB to be used for live fire drill exercises. It was assigned to the fire brigade and put on display in front of the Volkel Air Base fire brigade on April 23, 1958. Around that time it got the 312 Squadron number DU-25. This code number (DU-25) was painted on the nose section of the aircraft. The fire brigade logbook says “at 1630 hour the DL-3B has landed at Volkel”.
In 1960 the aircraft was painted in camouflage colors and put on display as a gate guard close to Volkel Air Base’s main gate (photo). In July 1963 Colonel Benjamins became Volkel Air Base’s new base commander and he decided to remove the aircraft as a gate guard.
In March 1965, the DU-25 was displaced from the main gate to the fire brigade. There it got painted green. This was done to perform in a parade by the special “Kolendampcommando” of the 311 Squadron welcome ceremony in honor of the first eight Starfighters arriving at Volkel Air Base.
For several years the aircraft was hauled all over the air base for all kinds of happenings. Finally, it came to its rest in April 1972 when it was set on fire by the fire brigade.
F-84F THUNDERSTREAK P-248
At first, we received the Thunderstreak with registration P-171. It was planned to be placed on the pedestal. But during the work, it soon became clear that the state of this aircraft was bad. In consultation with the air base officials and the MLM, it was decided that the P-171 would be replaced by the much better P-248.
The P-248’s history at the Royal Netherlands Air Force starts on November 1, 1955, when it was accepted by the RNLAF. Via a so-called Hi-Flight, it was flown to Eindhoven Air Base on June 22, 1956. Due to an accident on August 14, 1968, it was put out of service on September 25, 1970. During the period from May 1971 to June 1973, it was used as an instruction aircraft by the LETS. After that, it was stored at the former Military Aviation Museum (which is now embedded into the National Military Museum) in Soesterberg. And after being stored there for quite some time it finally got transported to the HVV at Volkel Airbase.
The aircraft has been left intact as far as possible. During the conservation of the wings, we discovered that there was a major crack in a main-beam. Moving the aircraft to the paint shop and to the pedestal was impossible.
After the repair was completed, the rest of the plane was closed to prevent water to come in and birds to nest. When this was done, the aircraft was transported to the paint shop.
Back from the painter, all decals were put on the aircraft and finally placed on its pedestal at 6 May 2014.
The unveiling took place on 2 June 2014 by PC-LSK Gen. Maj. E. v. Duren.
F-104G STARFIGHTER D-8279
After a “target fixation” on March 2, 1978, the D-8279 was damaged beyond repair. It lost his flying status and was assigned to be a Volkel Air Base gate guard. So in 1980, a group of volunteers prepared it for its final mission. There is little known about the way they carried out this project, but in the end, it was placed in the same spot as where the F-84G Thunderjet K-85 was placed before.
In 2005 the Starfighter D-8279 was removed from its pedestal near the main gate for repainting and a service check and thereafter replaced at its new location on September 22, 2005. This job was performed under the supervision of the HVV.
F-16A FIGHTING FALCON J-240
The J-240 was one of the surplus OCU (Operational Capability Upgrade) aircraft and got delivered to the Royal Netherlands Air Force on May 4, 1981. It originally got assigned to 315 Squadron but was reassigned to 312 Squadron on September 22, 1994, to be finally transferred to 311 Squadron in June 1995. On July 1, 2001, it’s service for the RNLAF came to an end, and the J-240 was decommissioned as an operational aircraft. After its last flight to Soesterberg Air Base, on 24 October 2001, it was dismantled as a weapon platform.
The HVV received a request to prepare this aircraft for outside display. To do so, the aircraft was transported by road to the HVV at Volkel Air Base. There the J-240 was stripped of all internal equipment, wiring and tubing, and prepared for mounting on one of the three pedestals alongside Volkel Air Base’s main road. After being fully prepped as a gate guard it was placed on its pedestal on October 30 2008.