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

31 augustus 2017
28 augustus 2017

Memories of USAF

Artist Chris Rodenburg from Soest has designed three extraordinary panels as part of the monument that forms the entrance to the Flight Deck park on the roof of the tunnel over the Amersfoortsestraat. The panels show representations which include two of the aircraft that the Americans flew at Soesterberg, the F-86 Sabre and the F-15 Eagle. In addition, on the right side of the monument are figures representing Americans participating in typical American sports or customs, such as basketball, cheerleading, barbecuing or a yardsale.

This decorative addition to the more than 200 metre long, green flyover is a reminder of the presence of the United States Air Force on part of Soesterberg Air Base, Camp New Amsterdam (CNA). A number of residents of Soesterberg formed the Soesterberg Air force Memorial Foundation (SAM) and have worked towards fulfilling the plan for a memorial. With the cooperation of the city council and the Royal Netherlands Air Force, an Alouette helicopter is also standing on a pedestal on the square in front of the park.

This is the second aircraft that is placed in Soesterberg, the birthplace of Dutch and military aviation. A replica of the Brik aircraft was already placed at the centre of the Tammer roundabout on the Amersfoortsestraat, the Brik was built by aviation pioneer Marinus van Meel in 1913. The Brik was the first aircraft of the Army Aviation Deapartment.

Memorial
The SAM Foundation saw an excellent opportunity to place a monument in the park, a memorial to the American presence in Soesterberg. The airfield was a NATO base of the American 32nd Fighter Squadron from 1954 till 1994. A completely new housing estate was built for the Americans, unique in the Netherlands and probably in Europe. The end of the Cold War has a very special meaning for Soesterberg, and the monument is an expression of that special meaning.

Delivery
The monument was delivered on Wednesday 9 March 2022. The Flight Deck park, where the monument is located, enhances the green character of the village and is also a green connection between the two parts of the village, the village heart and Soesterberg-Noord and Park Vliegbasis.

Design
Those living around the park were also consulted in the design phase. The starting point was that the roof of the tunnel should not be too heavily loaded with building work. Therefore a choice has been made for a park where it will be possible to pause and take note as well as a place to walk for both children and adults. The positioning of a helicopter, the panels, the figures and the unusual park benches create a special place in Soesterberg. Across the street from the monument a distinctive metal fencing has been erected, designed by a group of creative employees of Design and Engineering Bureau ipv in Delft. It is made up of open metalwork panels in which along with many trees a number of aircraft can be seen.

Source: Soester Courant

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!

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. Wim Harmsen

 

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Artist Chris Rodenburg from Soest has designed three extraordinary panels as part of the monument th...

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