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Google Map of Airfield Penzing after an air raid in spring 1945

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With the re-establishment of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) in 1935, locations for air bases were selected throughout the entire country. The Penzing area was selected for one of these bases because of the suitable geographical, navigational and other technical aspects. Land was procured in 1935 and by spring of 1936 the construction of Landsberg Air Base was well underway. A small detachment of airmen arrived on 10 February 1937 and a full complement had arrived by 1 March. The Luftwaffe unit was designated Combat Wing 255.

The first assigned aircraft were Dornier 17E and 17M bombers. On 1 August 1939 the Do-17s were replaced by the Heinkel 111, and the unit was designated as Combat Wing 51. During World War II, this unit saw combat on all war fronts. Landsberg, meanwhile, was utilized primarily for pre-flying and general training.

Late in the war, two attacks by American B-17 Flying Fortress bombers knocked out three of the base's hangars, all the runways, and damaged many of the grounded aircraft. Toward the waning days of the war, most of Germany's best radar technicians were sent to Landsberg Air Base.

In 1945, a U.S. Armored Division swept into the this area. On 28 April the base was occupied.


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