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Coleman Army Airfield, Sandhofen
USAREUR Aviation

Looking for more information from military/civilian personnel assigned to or associated with the U.S. Army in Germany from 1945 to 1989. If you have any stories or thoughts on the subject, please contact me.



41st Trans Bn (AAM)

70th Trans Bn (AVIM)

56th Avn Co

45th TAAM Co

295th Avn Co

240th ATC Co

Det 11, 7th WS

CH-47 Simulator

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Coleman AAF, Sandhofen, 1990s (Mike Smith)

Which units used the above hangars at Coleman AAF (photo 1990s)?
If you have information on which units used any of these hangars, please contact the webmaster.

Coleman AAF, Sandhofen - date unknown (Alain Dailloux)

Coleman AAF, 1962 (Michael von Aschberg)
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, May 7, 1963)
Coleman Army Airfield is the busiest Army airfield in USAREUR. Army aircraft from units in Germany, France, Italy and from military advisory assistance groups (MAAGs) in Greece, Turkey, Iran, Pakistan, India, Ethiopia and the Congo fly into the airfield for depot-level repairs at the Army Aviation Maintenance Center (located at Coleman).

The airfield's Air Traffic Control Section handles up to 150 aircraft each day, over 3,500 a month. Each plane or helicopter landing at or taking off from the airfield is handled separately by the ATC section. In addition, aircraft passing though the airfield's control zone must be cleared by the section to avoid possible collisions with other airplanes or helicopters operating in the area.

Coleman Airfield GCA (ground control approach) handles as many as 500 of the 3,500 aircraft every month. This section guides aircraft during landings at the airfield during bad weather or when fog (or smog) envelopes the airfield.


Flight Operations, Army Avn Maint Cen, 1962 (Michael von Aschberg)
(Source: STARS & STRIPES, May 22, 1963)

Army Aviation Maintenance Center

  The Army Avn Maint Cen (AAMC) provides depot-level maintenance and repair of Army aircraft in USAREUR and several MAAGs.

AAMC was originally established in 1955 as the Army Aircraft Supply Center. At that time, the unit was a direct support outfit that provided third echelon maintenance and supply to Army aviation units in the field (7th Army). In the past eight years, AAMC has grown to an organization capable of supporting all Army aircraft throughout half of the Free World.

For more, see Page 4 - Aviation Maintenance & Supply Organizations, Army Aviation.

Photo: Entrance to base operations building, Coleman AAF, 1962.

(Source: Email from Joe Masterson)
I received your web page from a friend in my search for information.

I was stationed at Coleman from June 1970 to June 1971. I was a GCA Radar Repairman assigned to the Radar at the Air Field. I guess I'm getting old because I can not remember the Unit Designation at that time. If you could help with that information I would greatly appreciate it.

The radar was an AN/FPN-40 Fixed Navigational Radar. It was painted Orange and White and was installed off the side of the runway next to the railroad tracks. There were two orange and white trailers that housed the radar equipment and other storage. There was also room for a small support shop included.

It was staffed by German and American Military Radar Controllers and the maintenance and repair of the radar was done by American Military.

I recently joined the HONOR GUARD in eastern Tennessee. We provide the necessary people for Full Military Funerals in our area. I am in the process of re-constructing my old Dress Uniform for this assignment. I am at a loss for recalling the unit designation and the unit patch that I wore during my tour at Coleman. If you have any information please send it to me.


Fixed-wing and rotary aircraft next to Hangar 1375, 1971 (Ed Whinnery)

Another view of aircraft parked next to Hangar 1375, 1971 (Ed Whinnery)


Fixed-wing aircraft parked in front of Hangar 4A, Coleman Barracks (Benno Knorr)

CH-47 belonging to the 582nd Trans Co (Acft Maint)(GS) (Benno Knorr)

A CH-47 lifts off from Coleman Airfield (Benno Knorr)

1. U-21 UTE


Sign at entrance to Coleman AAF, Sandhofen, mid-1980s (Keith Eades)

Entrance to the airfield at Coleman Barracks, Sandhofen (Keith Eades)

A U-21 utility aircraft, probably of the 56th Avn Co (Keith Eades)

The German Kantine on the left with the 7th Sig Bde dining facility (Keith Eades)
(Source: Keith Eades, 295th Aviation (Cyclones) Mannheim, Germany - CH-47 Chinook FB)
I was stationed at Coleman Barracks from Jan 1985 - May 1987 and assigned to the 295th Aviation Company as a Crew Chief / Flight Engineer.


2. Co B, 70th AVIM hangar

3. Bldg #25

4. MP Barracks
To see more photos submitted by Keith on the 11th Aviation Battalion Page, click here.

45th Transportation Army Aviation Maintenance Company
Frescaty Army Airfield, Metz, France
(Source: Email from Edward Landry, 45th OLAM, 1952-54)
I joined the 45th Ord Light Avn Maint Company (OLAM) at Fort Bragg NC, in the spring of 1951, fresh from Fort Sill. as a newly minted Army Aviator, as well as an AF Liaison Pilot.   The 45th OLAM, commanded by Captain Frank O Perry was assigned to a Fort Bragg Ordnance Bn. I was assigned as the Executive Officer.  

The company was alerted for a USAREUR assignment during the summer and we trained in the old Balloon Hanger area in the vicinity of Pope AFB.. The company consisted of about 93 aviation personnel at the time, most of which had significant experience in aviation field maintenance. Ordnance POM staff personnel told us that we were training for a very important aviation mission in USAREUR.  

During the winter of 1951 I took the Advance Party of the company, consisting of 4 senior NCOs’, to USAREUR to arrange for the arrival of the main body in the spring of 1952. Upon arrival, the company was assigned to an Ordnance Bn. in Germany, but with duty station at the USAREUR Advanced Communications Zone Command (ADSEC) in Verdun, France. At that time, ADSEC was commanded by Brigadier General W. W. Ford, one of the early founders of Army Aviation and known then as the “Father of Army Aviation.”  

Ed Landry, 45th OLAM, in an L-17 at Frescaty Airfield

The 45th OLAM was initially quartered in the Gribevaul Caserne in Verdun, France and upon arrival, much to our dismay, it was determined that the unit did not have an aviation mission. Rather, it was a time when the Army was moving all its depot facilities west of the Rhine. Since we did not have an aviation mission, company personnel were utilized as stevedores, moving ordnance material and equipment into new depot facilities. Morale immediately plummeted and it was determined that immediate action was needed if the company was to survive as a unit.  

Capt. Frank O. Perry, the CO. verbally discussed this situation briefly with the Ordnance Bn. Commander in Germany and as a result, by Company Order, moved the company from Verdun in the early dawn of a spring morning to the Frescaty Airfield in Metz, ostensibly on an extended field maneuver .  

The Frescaty Airfield was a NATO airfield under construction and consisted of a single runway and taxiways suitable for a squadron of French Air Force Mystere fighter jets. Vertical construction on the American assigned side of the airfield consisted of a dilapidated warehouse and separate hangar where a small detachment of U. S. Army personnel were maintaining 21 L-5 aircraft in flyable storage as the USAREUR war reserve.   The company pitched tents in a field adjacent to the airfield and took on the mission of maintaining the war reserve aircraft and improving the hangar and warehouse facilities sufficient to conduct aviation field and general support maintenance. Company moral immediately soared.  

Additional personnel were assigned to include the commander of the detachment, Lt. Ned McCord, Lt. Ray Cumb and two second liutenants, Lendrum and Forester. Shortly thereafter the 45th OLAM assumed a USAREUR aviation general support role, providing back up support for the 93rd OLAM in Echterdingen and the 30th OLAM in Hoppstätten, Germany.  

During this period the USAF provided Army Aviation depot maintenance and supply support from their depot in Chateauroux, France. The 45th OLAM interfaced with the USAF Chateauroux depot and early on established a 45 day level of aviation spare parts at Frescaty from which the 93rd and 30th OLAM sister companies drew their 30 day level of spares. As the hangar facility became viable, the 45th OLAM began line hauling boxed H-13 model helicopters from the USAF Chateauroux Depot facility to Frescaty where they were assembled, test flown and issued to the 93rd and 30th OLAM companies for subsequent distribution to 7th Army units. More than 35 H-13 model helicopters were assembled during the period and the crates the helicopters came in were modified and became general support maintenance service facilities alongside the hangar.

During this same time period, responsibility for Army Aviation logistics transferred from the US Army Ordnance Corps to the US Army Transportation Corps and the company and its sister companies in Germany became US Army Transportation Army Aircraft Maintenance Companies (TAAMs).

During the 1953-1954 period, the company provided general support maintenance for aircraft and components that were beyond the capability of the 93rd and 30th TAAM companies. During this same period, all the USAREUR war reserve L-5 aircraft were replaced with new L-19 model aircraft. The older L-5s were flown to Erding AB in Germany by company personnel, where they were disassembled and subsequently returned to CONUS. Twenty one new L-19 aircraft consisting of the USAREUR war reserve were received and maintained in flyable storage at the Frescaty airfield facility until late 1954 when they were flown by company personnel to a small airfield at Laroche-Sur Yon in southern France.

During the 1953-54 time period the 45 th TAAM personnel, in conjunction with the USAREUR Headquarters Logistics Division, established a contract with Sabena Aircraft Corporation at Brussels to provide depot maintenance for all the old war-weary L-17 model aircraft in USAREUR. USAREUR. L-17s from Germany and Austria were flown to the 45th TAAM where they were prepared for a one-time flight to Brussels. These aircraft then received a complete overhaul known as the Depot Inspection Record (DIR) , and the aircraft were restored to “like new” condition. This is probably one of the last contracts of its type as shortly thereafter USAF and U.S Army depot maintenance policy was changed to the “Inspect, Repair, Only as Necessary" (IROAN) concept. Approximately 25 L-17 aircraft were inducted into this program.  

I left the 45th TAAM in the fall of 1954 and I understand that shortly thereafter the unit was relocated to Sandhofen, Germany where it became part of the USAREUR Army Aviation Depot as it was subsequently known.   I had the good fortune to be subsequently assigned to the U.S. Army Transportation Command in St. Louis commanded by Gen. Bill Bunker. This command became the nucleus of the first U. S. Army Aviation Logistics Command and free from the USAF yoke for logistics support. At the attachment is yours truly and one of the war weary L-17s inducted into the DIR program.

Coleman Army Airfield, Sandhofen, Germany
(Source: Email from John Mueller)

I have searched for info on this unit (45th TAAM Company) that I was stationed with from the Fall of 1953 until Jan of 1955. We were stationed in Metz, on its outskirts. I believe they called the airstrip Frescaty.

I was a draftee and spent most of my time keeping records on Helicopters and Fixed Wing planes in the Maintenance Office. At one time our Battalion Commander was a Col Bowen.

Right before I left for home we moved the whole outfit to Mannheim, Germany. I never did much in Mannheim as I was about over my tour of duty.

I see that Manheim is listed as Army Aircraft Maintenance Co but nothing before 1955. I will try to find something in my old papers but don't count on it.

I also remember a Lt. Forster who was a pilot.I was a Corporal.

I really enjoy reading some of the history. By the way I took my training in San Marcos Air Force Base in San Marcos, Texas. It has of course been closed for a while.

(Webmaster note: Once in Sandhofen, the company was reorganized and redesignated as a Transportation Army Aircraft Heavy Maintenance and Supply Company.)

240th Air Traffic Control Company

CH-47C Flight Simulator, Coleman AAF (Mannheim Messenger)
(Source: Mannheim Messenger, July 31, 1981)
The 240th Air Traffic Control Company at Coleman Army Airfield was named the Army ATC Facility of the Year for 1981 as well as winning the USAREUR ATC Facility of the Year award.

Detachment 11, 7th Weather Squadron (USAFE)
(Source: Messenger, July 26, 1985)
Army pilots depend on AF at Coleman

By Marie Emest

Within the midst of Army motorpools, an airfield, and a dining facility at Coleman Barracks, lies a rather small but efficiently operated weather station - the U.S. Air Force 7th Weather Squadron, Detachment 11.

Although it is not the first instance of integrating two branches of service, the 12 airmen assigned there are sometimes overlooked because of the small size of their detachment.

Nevertheless, they have secured an important role in the smooth operation of neighboring Army units. Pilots of the aviation units and air traffic controllers depend on them for the condition of the skies. Ignoring their minority status at Coleman, the Air Force servicemen are faithful to their designated duties.

More than 20 years ago, Detachment 11 was established at Coleman. Their basic purpose is the same as that of any weather service - to provide environmental and meteorological support to the Army, Air Force and all other agencies as directed by the Department of Defense.

The first weather service was established by Congress as part of the Army Signal Corps in 1870. When the Air Force became a separate service in 1947, Air Weather Service went along with it.

There are 15 weather detachments and 12 operating locations that provide a weather support to Army units in Germany. Heidelberg has 24-hour operationis thought to be the largest such detachment working alongside the Army. Other examples are in Illesheim and Fulda.

Partnership with Army

The airmen in Detachment 11 seem to enjoy their partnership with the Army. "Army assignments are a fact of life for the people in Air Weather Service;" says Tech. Sgt. James Foster, station chief. "This is my second assignment with the Army. The experience has been different. Most of us have met lifetime friends among Army soldiers."

AF Staff Sgt Gregory Green, Det 11.
  As with any individual branch of service, regulations differ. However, this detachment doesn't feel hampered by the Army's way of doing things.

"Most detachments receive pretty good Army support," Foster says. "Here at Coleman, we receive excellent support."

Part of that support was evident when Lt. Col. Julian Sullivan, commander of 70th Transportation Battalion and Coleman's installation coordinator, provided the unit with a remodeled facility and supplied the necessary logistical support when needed.

Pros and cons

Since most weather detachments are small, numbering anywhere between 11 and 20 people, there is a question of advantage or disadvantage while working with such large Army units.

Foster explains, "There are no more advantages as far as being stationed on an Army base, but there is an advantage as far as unit cohesiveness and getting to know your people better."

So, the integration of USAFE and USAREUR continues. There's a lot to be said in favor of it. It runs smoothly. It's commonplace. Whenever there is an Armv airfield, you'll find Air Weather Service. The two interchangeably dependent on each other. And best of all, it works for them and the Army.

CH-47C Flight Simulator

CH-47C Flight Simulator, Coleman AAF (Mannheim Messenger)

CH-47C Flight Simulator, Coleman AAF (Mannheim Messenger)

Location of the CH-47C Flight Simulator on Coleman AAF (BING)
(Source: Mannheim Messenger, Nov 19 & Dec 31, 1982)
The CH-47C Flight Simulator at Coleman AAF, officially dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the airfield on Dec 9, 1982, was the first CH-47 simulator in Europe, and only the third in the entire world.

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