Lindsey Air Station
7100th Air Base Group
Named in honor of Capt Darrel R. Lindsey, who received the Medal of Honor posthumously for heroism in aerial combat as a member of the 394th Bomb Gp, 9 Aug 1944. Capt Lindsey led a formation of 30 B-26 bombers in an attack on the strategically important L'Isle Adam railroad bridge over the Seine River.
Origin/WWII American Capture
The land on which the airfield stands was originally the Wiesbaden course for horse races built in 1910. In 1929, it was converted into an airfield and in 1936 the German Luftwaffe took over the base. One unit stationed there was Jagdgruppe 50, a fighter group of Messerschmitt Bf 109's. On 17 August 1943, the unit intercepted American bombers taking part in the ill-fated Regensburg Strike targeting the Messerschmitt factory in Regensburg and the ball bearing plants in Schweinfurt.
The airfield was captured when the U.S. 80th Infantry Division took Wiesbaden on 28 March 1945. Subsequently, the U.S. Army Air Force gave the base the temporary designation Y-80 and used it for its operations in Germany.
European Air Transport Service
Beginning in September, 1945, the European Air Transport Service operated passenger and cargo service from Wiesbaden daily to London, Munich, Bremen, Vienna and Berlin. From Berlin an EATS plane made weekly flights to Warsaw, Poland. Flights originated from Vienna for Bucharest, Belgrade, Sofia and Budapest.
EATS originally was composed of left-over wartime troop carrier squadrons, glider and fighter pilots, B-17 crewmen and other available personnel.
In addition to regular flights which service the Army of Occupation, EATS also operated special flights such as providing transportation for diplomatic officials, evacuating sick or wounded, performing mercy flights, aiding the Graves Registration Service in returning the remains of American soldiers and rushing supplies to needy areas.
In 1948, the facility served as a hub supporting the Berlin Airlift with around-the-clock flights from Wiesbaden to Tempelhof Airport. Airmen from Wiesbaden distinguished themselves in support of "Operation Vittles". C-47s and C-54 "Skymasters" of the 60th Troop Carrier Group flew missions daily from Wiesbaden to Tempelhof in the beleaguered city of Berlin. During one day's operations more than 80 tons of food and supplies were airlifted from Wiesbaden. The streets on Wiesbaden Air Base were named after servicemen who gave their lives during the Berlin Airlift.
On 4 July 1956, a U-2A stationed in Wiesbaden flew over both Moscow and Leningrad as part of Operation Overflight, missions to spy on Soviet military bases.
USAFE Headquarters Relocation
In 1973, HQ USAFE was relocated to Ramstein Air Base near Kaiserslautern. The Air Force moved most personnel out of Wiesbaden in 1975 as part of Operation Creek Swap, in which most Army facilities in Kaiserslautern were turned over to the Air Force, in exchange for the facilities at Wiesbaden.
Strategically, in the mid-1980s the base facilitated flights of the F-117 "Stealth Fighter." Although not officially acknowledged by the U.S. Air Force until 1988, the F-117 became operational in 1983 and the Wiesbaden airbase would "go dark", turning off all airfield and perimeter lights, whenever "stealth" flights were landing or taking off.
Handover to the Army
From 1975 to 1993 Wiesbaden was a joint Army/Air Force community with a service-wide reputation for excellence that was enhanced by the strong bonds that developed between these organizations. In 1993, Wiesbaden Air Base was officially renamed Wiesbaden Army Air Field.