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Flughafen Tempelhof: Inside Berlin’s Abandoned Downtown Airport

1 During my trip to Berlin this past March, I had the opportunity to visit one of Europe's most historic and interesting airports. Having served as the center of the Berlin Airlift during the Cold War and more recently as one of Berlin's main commercial passenger airports, Flughafen Tempelhof (Tempelhof Airport) now sits abandoned just a few miles from the city center. The crazy thing is that the airport grounds are actually open to the public and serve as a massive green space for Berliners to enjoy. They also offer limited tours of the terminal and other airport buildings and I just happened to be there on a day that an English tour was being given. Needless to say, I was in. Situated within Berlin's city limits, Tempelhof Airport opened in the early 1920's and served as one of Europe's main regional airports with frequent flights to cities within Germany as well as London and Paris. Built about a decade later, its iconic quarter-circle terminal, complete with a roof that aircraft can literally park under, is one of the largest buildings in the world. The airport had two relatively short (about 6,000 foot) parallel runways that required low approaches over nearby neighborhoods and city buildings. The advantage of this was that it only took about ten minutes to reach the center of Berlin from the time your flight landed. Beginning in the late 1940s, Lufthansa ceased passenger operations at Tempelhof and the airport was transformed into a military base. At the end of World War II, the airport was given to the United States Army by the Soviet Union. Just a few years later, Tempelhof served as the focal point of the Berlin Airlift when the Soviets closed off all access to the Western-controlled sections of Berlin. It was then that American and British forces flew tons of food and other essential supplies into Tempelhof on thousands of flights from western Europe in what was probably the most famous strategic operation of the Cold War. After the fall of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, American troops left Tempelhof and the airport restarted commercial passenger operations. The airport actually became one of the busiest in Europe at the time with links to the United States on American Airlines, Paris on Air France and BEA to London, among several others. PanAm even had a domestic German hub at here at one point, with flights to cities such as Frankfurt, Munich, Stuttgart and Cologne. To the dismay of many Berliners, the airport ceased all operations in 2008 when the last flight departed for Mannheim. As I mentioned, the airport today is mostly abandoned except for the runways and surrounding land being open to the public as a giant park. Thousands of locals can be found at the park every weekend roller skating, kite-flying, running, or enjoying a picnic. You can find a few rotting aircraft scattered across the airport grounds if you look hard enough. When I was there, people seemed oblivious to the fact that the massive park they we're playing football in was once one of the most important airports in Europe. Anyway, let's have a look inside Flughafen Tempelhof...
Photo by Kyle Dunst

Photo by Kyle Dunst

Photo by Kyle Dunst

Photo by Kyle Dunst

Photo by Kyle Dunst

Photo by Kyle Dunst

The terminal building & air traffic control tower. (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

The terminal building & air traffic control tower. (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Hangars (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Hangars (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Photo by Kyle Dunst

Photo by Kyle Dunst

The terminal building (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

The terminal building (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Site of the former U.S. Army Air Base (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Site of the former U.S. Army Air Base (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

An aircraft that never made it out before the airport closed. (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

An aircraft that never made it out before the airport closed. (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Runway 09L (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Runway 09L (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Photo by Kyle Dunst

Photo by Kyle Dunst

The passenger terminal and other airport buildings are one of the most well-preserved examples of Nazi-architecture remaining in Europe. The circular shape with a massive accessible roof overlooking the aircraft parking ramp was designed such that the airport could serve as a giant theater. And it wasn't a theater to showcase some of Germany's newest hit musicals or operas. The airport was to serve as a massive gathering spot for Hitler and his Nazi party rallies where thousands of onlookers could be in attendance (see first photo below). Viewed from above, the airport buildings are in the shape of a flying eagle, a symbol of the Nazi party.
A sign detailing the Nazi party rallies that took place at Tempelhof

A sign detailing the Nazi party rallies that took place at Tempelhof

An entrance to the terminal building (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

An entrance to the terminal building (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

The aircraft parking ramp as viewed from the rooftop terrace (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

The aircraft parking ramp as viewed from the rooftop terrace (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Inside the terminal (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Inside the terminal (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Check-in counters (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Check-in counters (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Stairs leading from the terminal to the aircraft parking ramp. Tempelhof was the only airport in the world where the airplanes could actually park under a roof so that passengers wouldn't be exposed to the elements (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Stairs leading from the terminal to the aircraft parking ramp. Tempelhof was the only airport in the world where the airplanes could actually park under a roof so that passengers wouldn't be exposed to the elements (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Passport control - the airport still had international service at the time it closed in 2008 (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Passport control - the airport still had international service at the time it closed in 2008 (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

The departure concourse is almost 1 kilometer long (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

The departure concourse is almost 1 kilometer long (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

The massive check-in and baggage claim area. It was designed to also serve as a ballroom (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

The massive check-in and baggage claim area. It was designed to also serve as a ballroom (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Car rental booths (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Car rental booths (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

The airport's main entrance. The sign translates to "Central Airport" (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

The airport's main entrance. The sign translates to "Central Airport" (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

One of the stairways in the terminal. If there's a haunted airport out there, this is probably the one (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

One of the stairways in the terminal. If there's a haunted airport out there, this is probably the one (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Inside the terminal (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Inside the terminal (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Inside the terminal (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Inside the terminal (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

This is the only commercial airport I can think of with a basketball court. It was built during the time it was occupied by the U.S. Army (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

This is the only commercial airport I can think of with a basketball court. It was built during the time it was occupied by the U.S. Army (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Basketball court (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

Basketball court (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

The passenger lounge - not exactly the Admirals Club (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

The passenger lounge - not exactly the Admirals Club (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

A bomb shelter built within the terminal walls. Funny poems were written on the walls to help "lighten the mood". (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

A bomb shelter built within the terminal walls. Funny poems were written on the walls to help "lighten the mood". (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

There's not too many places where the entrance to the airport is on a city block (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

There aren't too many places where the entrance to the airport is on a city block (Photo by Kyle Dunst)

  Tips for visiting Flughafen Tempelhof: Whether or not you are an aviation enthusiast like myself, I'd strongly recommend stopping by Tempelhof if you ever find yourself in Berlin. It is a great place to get some fresh air as well as learn about one of the most historic and important airports in world history. The area can be reached by taking the U-bahn (subway) train "U6" to the Tempelhof, Paradestrasse, or Platz de Luftbrücke stations. The Tempelhof station is also served by several S-Bahn (regional train) lines, including the loop that goes around central Berlin. The park itself is open from 6 AM or 7 AM (depending on the season) until sunset and entrance is free. You must be on a tour in order to access the terminal and other buildings. They are offered at 1:30 PM & 3:30 PM on Wednesdays and Fridays, 3 PM on Saturdays, and 2 PM on Sundays and last about two hours. Tickets cost 13 Euro. I recommend getting there fairly early as the tour sold out about 20 minutes ahead of time on the day I was there. The ticket office & tour meeting point are located in the General Aviation Terminal (GAT). More details can be found here. Also, if anyone has any personal photographs of or experience with Flughafen Tempelhof, I'd love to hear from you. Feel free to comment here or contact me.

43 Comments

  1. Tom Housworth Tom Housworth
    May 30, 2015    

    Very Interesting and educational……thanks!

    Tom

  2. S.S. McDonald S.S. McDonald
    May 30, 2015    

    I flew in and out of Templehof in 1970. Today’s photos show the absence of the great awning under which airplanes parked.

    • Kyle Dunst Kyle Dunst
      May 30, 2015    

      Unfortunately, we couldn’t actually go onto the ramp as they were preparing for an event. It was hard to get a good photo of the massive awning from inside the terminal. If you happen to have one from when you flew through there, I’d love to include it.

      Thanks for reading,
      Kyle

      • Steve Gawrylewski Steve Gawrylewski
        May 31, 2015    

        Templehof is a great place to visit. However a few corrections. I was stationed at Templehof in the US Air Force(64-67). It was occupied and controlled by the USAF from 1946 to 1989. The US Army had a small wing there for helicopters about 60 solders. The USAF population varied from 600 to 1200 airmen depending on the cold war.
        The basic layout was designed from the German Eagle. Curved hangers with the buildings, the front facing North East built to complete it. The roof was designed to support spectators but was never completed. It has a vast underground network of buildings. The field itself had an underground factory that built ME 109s during ww2. It also had an underground railroad that ferried aircraft and supplies . The RR was used up until the USAF left after 1989. The reason why the USAF was there for nearly 40 years, was due by treaty by the four powers – US France GB and the USSR. However the main benefit was its location in East Germany and a intelligence gathering listening post into East Germany, Poland and USSR.
        There are also underground networks leading from Templehof to other areas of Berlin. Most unexplored due to cave ins and water. I have been back to Templehof many times , I miss the terminal, and quite frankly still hear the voices in the long halls of American GIs who served their country in one of the most interesting, historical and imposing USAF air bases in the world. To all who read this please visit Templehof , the Airlift Memorial, and the remnants of Berlin Brigade the main US Army post in Berlin. Thanks

        • Jim Murray Jim Murray
          May 31, 2015    

          I joined the Army Air Corps in late 1947 and started training at Lackland in San Antonio, the Army Air Corps training site. Three weeks after beginning training, on September 18, 1947, I woke up in the United States Air Force. Until then it was only the Army Air Corps at Templehof. “Off we go into the wild blue yonder,…”

          Jim Murray
          Saint Paul

        • Carolyn Taylor Carolyn Taylor
          June 5, 2015    

          I was stationed at Weisbaden USAF Hospital 1974-5. My parents came to visit and we took the Troop Train into Berline. When inside the East, the train stopped at rail stops and the train was inspected by the Soviets. I remember the big mirrors they used to look under the trains with. It was rather frightening.
          At Tempelhof we met a young airman that was in the area and he told us some history of the airport, and told us that the lower levels were flooded, on purpose. I haven’t seen this mentioned. Does anyone know anymore about this?
          He also spoke of airplanes being brought up on platforms from lower levels. It was very interesting as I flew into Tempelhof in 1966 on a vacation from the States.

        • Christian Christian
          June 8, 2015    

          I was stationed there in the final years of USAF occupation and explored much of the underground you write about. Fascinating building to live in, and yes, very much haunted.

  3. Bob Black Bob Black
    May 31, 2015    

    i flew in to THF in Feb 1956 on a Pan Am DC 4, one of some fifty aircraft movements they operated daily to/from the cities in West Germany. The big overhang canopies were very impressive and the short trip to downtown as well. Berlin was a fascinating city then as it is now. The tour of Communist East Berlin was a real contrast to bustling West Berlin and Check Point Charlie was very much a check point, indeed

    • Kyle Dunst Kyle Dunst
      May 31, 2015    

      I can’t imagine what it would have been like to fly through there during that time. I’m jealous that you got to fly through such a unique airport.

      Kyle

  4. Alfred C. Mierzejewski Alfred C. Mierzejewski
    May 31, 2015    

    Thanks for the excellent article. I was last at THF in July 2014. I recognized many of the views that you took from the airfield and of the exterior of the building. They are very evocative of the place. There is also a nice aviation oriented store right across the street called Der Fliegerladen, at Tempelhofer Damm 2. Tempelhof is definitely worth a visit for anyone interested in aviation or German history.

    • Kyle Dunst Kyle Dunst
      May 31, 2015    

      I’m glad that you’ve also had the chance to visit Tempelhof. There really isn’t anywhere else like it. I’ll have to check out Der Fliegerladen next time I’m in Berlin.

      Thanks for reading,
      Kyle

  5. Dave Heathcote Dave Heathcote
    May 31, 2015    

    My dad was sent to Tempelhof twice in 1943, but he did not land. He was flying a RAF Lancaster.

    • David Underwood David Underwood
      June 1, 2015    

      I just had to tell you that your comment literally made me chuckle out loud. COL, as it were. God bless the RAF.

  6. David Perry David Perry
    June 1, 2015    

    I was an Air Force security policeman stationed at USAFE headquarters in Wiesbaden, Germany from 1966-69 and I flew on a few SAM C-118 and 131’s flying the German Chancellor to and from his meetings in Berlin, as well as other foreign dignitaries and U.S. officials. Back then there were only 3 air corridors in and out of Berlin. When the weather was clear we could see the Mig fighters sitting on the tarmac at Russian bases. Occasionally they would send the migs up just to make it clear we knew they were there. On one trip we took the troop train out of Berlin to Frankfurt. We were all armed and I was more than a little nervous because the Russian’s would stop the train and go thru every car and check our documents. The troop trains had a young Army lieutenant in charge and he didn’t look any older than myself. It was at night and the Russian military guys were walking back and forth on the sidewalks in front of the homes. No lights ion anywhere in the houses, and no civilians out and about. That train ride reinforced just how lucky we are to be living in a free country. I took my wife back there a few years ago and we stayed in the old “East Berlin”.

  7. June 5, 2015    

    I was there a couple of weeks ago for an experience of a very different kind. They used the huge parking ramp & tarmac area to setup a temporary race track for the new Formula E race series. Unfortuantely I forgot to charge my camera the night before, so only had my smartphone with me to take a few shots (see website), and they were all from my vantage point on the grandstand. But here are some professional ones of the event, some of which contain shots of the airport buildings etc: http://www.fiaformulae.com/en/gallery/behind-the-scenes-dhl-berlin-eprix.aspx

    The rental car desks were used as ticketing counters, the “ballroom” departure hall was used as a merchandising area (assortment rotating on the baggage belt), the departure/arrival boards were used to show the timetable of events for the day, and the checkin counters were used for driver autograph sessions, with the airline signs replaced with team names and driver mugshots! Nicely done, I thought. Under the big awning on the parking ramp (which the track actually passed under – see a lap of it with great views of THF prior to the safety barriers going up here: https://youtu.be/sDMR_7MjMwk) they had food & drink stalls, an electric motocross demonstration, and a few other things. One of the planes used during the airlift was also in the paddock area for inspection by VIPs and of course the drivers. Nice to see the facility being used in creative ways, without impacting on the preservation of the site as an historic monument.

  8. Joe Vaillancourt Joe Vaillancourt
    June 5, 2015    

    I flew the Berlin Corridor USAF C-130B in 1963-1964 while TDY in Everoux-Fauville Airfield, France. Weather was always IFR: they shot down a B-66 ahead of us who aparently wandered out of the Corridor. While making a GCA approach to Templehof, a voice VERY similar to our controller was giving us heading “corrections” in an attempt to lure us out of the Corridor. Also, I recall how loud it was on the ramp in front of the curved terminal which seemed to focus the noise on the source. Had a substantive briefing that evening!

  9. Rick Helfand Rick Helfand
    June 5, 2015    

    Traveled in and out of Tempelhof in the 1980-1990 time period. It was a pretty nice experience. Also worked there a little on the air traffic control system when the airport traffic was winding down. It is an impressive architectural building and worth a visit.

  10. Kevin White Kevin White
    June 5, 2015    

    I flew an Air Guard C-130 into Templehof the day before Reunification. The military still recognized the corridor, thus I was required to get a “corridor checkout”. I believe I was the last pilot to fly the corridor.

  11. June 5, 2015    

    In 1981 I was the troop commander (as the senior ranking officer – a maj.) on an Army train from Frankfort to Berlin. We were abunch of F-16 fighter pilots without airplanes to fly yet, so they sent us w wives “to show the flag and preserve US rights into East Germany”. The rails were so rough and badly maintained across East Germany that we could not sleep. To avoid this the return trip was plied with many liters of Russian Vodka, about the only thing you could buy in East Berlin. Check point Charlie freightened the wives mostly, as they were virtually strip-searched much to the delight of the Russian and German soldiers no doubt.
    We got the full classified tour of the intel gathering underground facilities and all of the operations on the West Berlin German side. Toured East Germany, inclujding Templehoft and the little German tour guide bragged about how the same hot water heating system was still being used as it was designed and built in the 1920s. The ME-109 and other aircraft manufacturing facilities underneath the main airport, plus all of the extensive bomb shelters were intact.
    At a East German resturant, where we (about 20 went to dinner) we joked about how the pepper shaker probably had a microphone in it and we were not far from the truth. Where we gathered to figure out the rubbles each owed forbad wine and dinner, a full size Steinway piano was manned by a short little civilian with brown baggy pants tied around him like a sack of potatoes, yet in a clean white shirt. The women swooned at his playing. and he very nerviously changed from classics to “Hello Dolly” for our wives benefit. Once we had freed from the complicated money exchanges and the bills were cleared, the stocky baggey trousered piano player broke into “The Star Spangled Banner” . And the natural noises from a packed fancy resturant suddenly went cold silent. Not so much as a silverware clink. We all stood shocked and at modified attention until he finished – and he got up and ran out the door no doubt knowing he would be arrested and sent to Siberia or some gulog, as we applauded wildly. It was a significant emotional event for us all to see such bravery from the little brown trousered East German.

    The really good, and smooth as water Vodka, soothed our return trip across East Germany with the previously described German (always over seen by a Russian soldier guard) tried to intimidate a bunch of drunk fighter pilots. NOT POSSIBLE! And one of our smallish guys (Haggardorn) got himself hung by his heels out the train window so he could steal a Russian/Communist oil lantirn for me as a sovernier as we departed the last town Magdedorn, which was an IP for final run-in on one of our nuclear attack missions.. I still have the red – white painted and lens latern hanging in my garage.

    • Carolyn Taylor Carolyn Taylor
      June 6, 2015    

      Thank you! What a wonderful story!! Did you hear of any of the floors below being flooded?

    • Juergen Witte Juergen Witte
      June 7, 2015    

      Well, that oil lantern was certainly no “communist” thing but rather a common railway lantern used to light the end of a train so any staff along the line can immediately determine if any coach was left behind.
      This type of lantern was also used by the West German railway but probably replaced earlier than in East Germany.

  12. Christy Christy
    June 5, 2015    

    That was fascinating. Thanks so much for sharing the story and photos.

  13. Patrick Patrick
    June 5, 2015    

    Great info. I flew for Tempelhof Airways in the late 80’s early 90’s. Then for PanAm. We flew the Saab 340’s and the Nord 262. One of which you have a picture of on your post.
    Long live Tempelhof and thanks for the memories.
    Patrick

  14. Mark Mark
    June 6, 2015    

    In the early 80’s the USAF C-130 squadrons based at Rhein-Main regularly flew supply missions into Templehof through one of the three Berlin air corridors. We called it the “Berlin for Lunch Bunch”. Pretty routine stuff as long as you respected the corridor. As previously mentioned, a valuable window behind the ‘curtain’ though for those of us in the military to keep our perspective on the world situation.

  15. Juergen Witte Juergen Witte
    June 7, 2015    

    @ Kyle

    The aircraft you saw during the airport tour were never intended to leave …
    None of them was airworthy. Although I am wondering why there´s a Nord 262 (although Tempelhof Airways USA operated the type out of THF until they were eventually replaced by Saab 340´s). Judging the colour of the N262 it is probably not en ex TAUSA aircraft.

    • Patrick Patrick
      June 9, 2015    

      The Nord 262 in question DID belong to Templhof Airways. We flew 2 of them till about 1989 along side the SF340A’s. Furthermore we operated a Lear 25 on DRF air ambulance services.

      • Juergen Witte Juergen Witte
        June 10, 2015    

        I was not sure whether this particular N262 was operated by TAUSA since it`s paint scheme is a bit misleading (looks like the old UA colours…)
        Btw.
        Next to that Lear24 I know also of a (yellow) civilian rescue helicopter. Was it also operated by TAUSA ?

        • Patrick Patrick
          June 24, 2015    

          TAUSA never operated rotary wings. The yellow copter may have been from the ADAC. Most Lear ops were for the ADAC.
          Hope this answers.

          • Juergen Witte Juergen Witte
            June 24, 2015    

            Well, I guess it was operated under contract with ADAC as it had a N-Registration.
            So, the operator must have been U.S. registered …
            I just don´t know who was the operator.

  16. Dorothy Hawkins Trotta Dorothy Hawkins Trotta
    June 7, 2015    

    My Dad flew out of Templhof, for Pan Am 1964-1966. As a 7 year old I fondly remember Sunday dinners at the Officers’ club, (I think.) My siblings and I did quite a bit of exploring all around the terminal and grounds. It sure would be wonderful to go back and see it again….especially with my older siblings. Thanks so much for bringing back those memories.

  17. Margie Brandes Margie Brandes
    June 7, 2015    

    I lived in Berlin from 64 to 66. My father flew for Pan Am; they let us go to school on the army base. We spent a lot of time at the airport because they had Sunday dinners at the restaurant for pilots’ families. I was looking for a picture of the Luftbriche (sorry about the spelling). I can’t imagine it wasn’t included on the tour.

  18. Jamie Morris Jamie Morris
    June 8, 2015    

    Stationed at Templehof 89-91, yea that’s right some of the above people got their closure dates wrong! Assigned to Security Forces @ Marienfeld. Spent many off duty hours with fellow SP’a exploring the tunnels and finding out where they went to throughout the city! Popped up in a few interesting places like abandoned subway stations and Polezei (sp) Headquarters! LOL! Berlin Wall fell on my birthday back in 89, best birthday party ever!

  19. Rick Rick
    June 8, 2015    

    You may be interested to know that there was a bowling alley there when the U.S. forces occupied the airport. As you enter the basketball court from the hallway, you walk straight through that one end of the basketball court to get to the bowling alley (the actual alleys are out of that room now). Eight-lane alley, and a popular spot for people to go have breakfast or post-work beers, even in the morning.

    • walt bowlby walt bowlby
      October 16, 2015    

      I had a partime job in the Bowling alley. I lived in the Barracks at that time. My room was on the 6th Floor across from the entrance to the Gym. Pass through the Gym and enter the Bowling alley like you said. My Air Force work was at the end of the same floor and through the Double Doors. It was called Electronic operations or “EL” . My squadron was the 1946 th Comm Sq. Base commander was Col HalvLerson “Candy bomber”….
      I am searching for anyone stationed at Templehof around the 1968-1972 time frame. Thanks,
      walt bowlby
      cave in rock illinois

      • walt bowlby walt bowlby
        October 16, 2015    

        Re the Bowling alley at Templehof…. Anyone remember the 2 Germans that worked there. I think Klaus and “Posh” were the names?
        great guys. My job was cleaning the Lanes and floors and tables. only worked there a couple of months before moving out of the barracks into my apartment in Zehlendorf
        walt

  20. Ron "Luke" Lucas Ron "Luke" Lucas
    June 9, 2015    

    I actually lived at the airport as a US Airman from 1989-1991. It was a great place to live, but I would say it is definitely haunted!

  21. Cabin Jim Cabin Jim
    June 12, 2015    

    Kyle, enjoyed the post about Tempelhof. Like many here, I was stationed there – my time was 1981 through 1986. I especially appreciated your photos, including the ones of the basketball court – that took me back for some pleasant memories. I wrote a little post about yours, linked here: http://hawksbillcabin.blogspot.com/2015/06/as-seen-on-visit-to-tempelhof-berlins.html … All the best, Jim

  22. David Jenkins David Jenkins
    July 7, 2015    

    Thanks for the memories! I arrived in Berlin in late May 1971 and left in January 1980. I flew with Pan Am on the Boeing 727 out of Templehoff and then Tegel when our operation was moved to Tegel in the French sector ?1976? I can remember so many things about the entire experience. Racing out an back at approacing 400 knots, limited to 10,000 feet in the corridors, knowing that if you left the confiines of the corridor BARTAC (Berlin Air Traffic Contral) would not talk to you anymore so you were on your own to regain the corridor or be escorted by a MIG or 2 to a landing in East Germany. Fortuinately that never happened. Coming in from West Germany if we were plannig on a landing to the west on 27 we would let down to 1500 feet on downwind lookiing for the blue Shulteis Beer sign, pull the throttle to idol, lower the gear and turn 90 degrees to left, (base leg) set landing flap and proceed into land going between to apartment buildings on either side. Taxi to the gate, and 25 minutes or less later we had unloaded 127 passengers, cleaned the airplane, refuled, loaded another 127 pax and off we would go again. The airports we serviced were Frankport, Munich, Stuttgart, Neuremburg, Cologne, Hanover, Hamburg and others outside of Germany including many in the East Bloc. Yes, the lower floors of the airport were flooded. I believe there were at least 5 lower floors flooded. Yes there were elevators that brought airplanes up from where they were assembled. The “O” Club, (Officer’s Club) was a great gathering place after a last flight of the day or for Sunday brunches, birthday parties and toward the end for us, farewell parties. Snoop’s was just down the street from the airport and there were many a fine night spent there regailing ourselves with aviation lies from the past. Regretably, Snoopy’s today is but a memory. In my 36 years of professional flyng with the USAF, the MassANG, Pan Am and lastly with Delta Airlines the memories I cherish the most are those from the Flughafen Templehoff days. Nach ein bier bitte! Danke

  23. Mike Logsdon Mike Logsdon
    September 4, 2015    

    I was stationed at Templehof Airport from April 1968 to December 1972 with the 1946 Communications Squadron and 7350th Support Group. Photos brought back fond memories of the time spent in the USAF. If anyone reads this and was there at the same time please contact me. Our room in the barricks was just accross the hall from the gym and bowling alley. FANTASTIC 4 Plus years !!!

  24. Barry Cantor Barry Cantor
    October 24, 2015    

    I am a retired USAF broadcaster. I was assigned to AFN Berlin 1984-90. I go back to Berlin every 2-3 years to visit friends.. I was at Templehof (or as we called it, “TCA”) the day it closed down. I flew on a C-54 around Berlin the last day TCA was in operation. Great memories!!

  25. Margit Margit
    November 5, 2015    

    I grew up in Berlin and lived just walking distance from the Airport.I remember as a kid to walk om Leinestrasse where the planes would fly so low I could swear you would see the Pilot.As a young kid that was very scary especially the noise. I remember walking on Leinestrasse, it would have been in the early ’70 and a plane came over the street. My sister, which was older tried to cover one of my ears and hers at the same time and we started running. The noise was just too much.
    I remember it was something like a bomber, any idea what type that would have been during that time?
    Any other time when the wind was just right we could hear the humming of the engines at our house, which had something soothing about it, but not when they flew right over your head.

    • Margit Margit
      November 5, 2015    

      Correction, it was Hermanstrasse/ U-BahnHof Leinestrasse

  26. Robert Johnson Robert Johnson
    July 23, 2016    

    Stationed at Tempelhof from 1956-1959 with the USAFSS. Work station was HBE. To get there required a long walk on the roof of the hangar to HBE. We walked on a wooden walkway (long gone). Winter weather cooold, thank God for our parkas with the hoods up. Was recently in Berlin, but was unable to visit the base. Saw a lot of other sites, including the Outpost theater. 60 years really changed the area, took time to orient myself. Truman Hall was gone, but I still wear the Rolex I bought there.

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About Kyle

I am a recent college graduate with a degree in Aviation Management. I spend my time as an airline industry professional, private pilot, blogger and world traveler. I have visited 36 countries to date and don't plan on slowing down. This blog is my way of sharing the latest developments in the airline industry as well as experiences from my world travels. All views and opinions are strictly my own.

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