Language:

Soesterberg Air Force Memorial

The connection between Soesterberg and the United States Air Force

The 32nd Fighter Squadron

For 40 years at Soesterberg Airbase

Garagesales and Barbecues

From garage sales, football matches to barbecues

F-15 Eagle

Lust and burden within Soesterberg's airspace

Halloween

To date a festival in Soesterberg

We cordially invite you to become a member of our community

After the Second World War there was a strong conviction in the Netherlands that 'this should never happen again'. In foreign policy, in addition to a commitment to European economic and political integration, there was a strong transaltantic orientation. During the Cold War, our alliance with the United States through NATO led to the presence of US military personnel in the Netherlands. At former Soesterberg airbase, the 32nd Fighter Squadron of the US Air Force was housed for 40 years, from October 1954 to July 1994. Together with the Royal Netherlands Air Force, the Americans secured the airspace of the Netherlands.

Many Americans lived with their families on or around the airbase. Neighborhoods were built expressly for these people, and given names including Apollo, Gemini and Mercury, references to the American space program. Unlike American military living quarters throughout the rest of Europe, these Soesterberg neighborhoods were completely accessible. American children attended local schools, creating a unique social situation for their parents. Marriages between Dutch citizens and American military also resulted from this unprecedented intercultural situation. When the 32nd Fighter Squadron was disbanded and the United States Air Force left Soesterberg Air Base in 1994, the impact was immense for all involved, in some cases even splitting up individual families.

To commemorate this 40 year long specific Cold War era - an extraordinary piece of the cultural history of our town - a group of inhabitants with special, personal ties to this period has initiated SAM: Soesterberg Air force Memorial.

This initiative is supported by a Committee of Recommendation, individuals both in the Netherlands and from abroad, who recognize the importance of this unique history.

SAM’s mission is to realize a memorial somewhere in the town’s center, a place where all can visit and appreciate the extraordinary four decades when the households and lives of so many Americans, with all their diverse backgrounds and customs, were such a vital part of life in and around Soesterberg.

If you would like to contribute financially, to help realize this memorial, please visit our donation page. Donation with banktransfer: Please account NL53ABNA0558531814, Foundation Soesterberg Air Force Memorial. Your donation is very much appreciated!

Should you welcome direct contact, please just let us know. All questions and comments are most welcome.

Donations

The monument is a citizen’s initiative and the realisation of the Soesterberg Air Force Memorial is only possible thanks to the generosity of donors. Residents, former Wolfhounds, large or small businesses, former suppliers or US companies that were once associated with this illustrious period are welcome on our donation page!

Expectations

The monument will strengthen the historical connection and awareness between Soesterberg and that memorable period between 1954 and 1994; Forty years when the 32nd Fighter Squadron of USAF provided an American presence in the village of Soesterberg.

Recommendation

  • Mr. Rob Metz (Mayor Soest)
  • Mr. Koos Janssen (Mayor Zeist)
  • Mr. Theo Ruijs (former director Figi Zeist)

Staff

  • Mr. Christopher Lorraine (Chairman)
  • Mr. Piet Taai
  • Mr. Cor Sukking
  • Mr. Carel Bense
  • Mr. Dick Wels
  • Mr. Gerrit van Rheenen
  • Mrs. Cynthia Wilson
  • Mr. Cor Brinkers
  • Mr. Wim Harmsen

 

1134 views
Artist Chris Rodenburg from Soest has designed three extraordinary panels for the park that is to be...

Read more