|The former barracks area at the Oesterstrasse (Napier Barracks) is a very large area to redevelop, and this could take a long time to plan and organize.|
During the First World War it had been used for Pilot training. After the war plans weremade for it to become an Airport, with Airmail traffic starting in 1921.
The Airfield was known as Dortmund - Brackel.
An Air Traffic Company was set up and furnished a small office in the Barrack in 1921,with regular flights to Bremen, Frankfurt, Rotterdam and London.Passenger flights came along in the following years.
In 1934 the German Military started to use the Airfield for their on purposes and plans for the new Air Base began. In 1936 Staff and 1 Group of the Destroyer Squadron "Refuge Wessel", later renamed ZG26 took over operation with BF 109's and 110's.
In 1938 it received its concrete runway, which was also used by civilian Airlines.
During the Second World War the Air base was used by different combat forces, defence and maintenance staff. In 1941 1,000 soldiers were accommodated in the barracks. Beside the Destroyer Squadron there were also fighter pilots stationed there. Before the end of the war, on the 28th March 1945, the last air units leave the Airfield, except for about 70 who remained for defence.
Before their departure the last German troops blew up the runway, hangers and other technical buildings. On the 12th April a American Tank Unit occupies the area, and two months later the area is seized by the British Armed Forces.