Thursday, April 2

TMN on Tour – Nationaal Militair Museum Soesterberg in the Netherlands

On our recent sojourn to Europe we visited many famous airbases and museums, more of which we will bring to you in time - but today we have as our subject our great visit to the Soesterberg National Military Museum in the Netherlands.

TMN on Tour –
Nationaal Militair Museum
Soesterberg - the Netherlands
Park Vliegbasis Soesterberg
(Park Air Base, Soesterberg)
Verlengde Paltzerweg 1, Soest.
15th December 2014 Visit. 
The National Military Museum is situated on the former air base at Soesterberg that was operated by the Dutch, the Luftwaffe (temporary borrowed) and the Americans who had several types  of aircraft  stationed there. It combines the collections of the former Military Aviation Museum in Soesterberg and Army Museum in Delft. There are numerous pieces on display, including tanks, planes, armoured vehicles and helicopters.

**Double click on any of these pictures for our gallery**
Soesterberg Air Base was a Royal Netherlands Air Force military airbase located in Soesterberg, 14 kilometres (8.7 mi) east-northeast of Utrecht. It was first established as an airfield in 1911, and in 1913, the Dutch Army bought the field and established the Army Aviation Division. 
For almost 40 years, United States Air Force facilities at Soesterberg, named Camp New Amsterdam was a major front line USAFE airbase during the Cold War. The base was closed on 31 December 2008, due to budget cuts in the Dutch Army. The airbase ceased flying operations on 12 November 2008, when the command was transferred from the Dutch Air Force to Dutch Defence who take care of the base until it will be given back to the people as a park. 
It is the official museum of the Royal Netherlands Air Force. During 2006 it was decided by the Ministry of Defence to merge three military museums in the Netherlands into one Defence Museum, to be located at the former Soesterberg Airforce base.
We were looked after very nicely by the staff at the museum and help was available in most languages you could think of. Even though it was the first weekend of opening and there were people everywhere the staff were nice and help was as hand if needed.
The two floors of the museum layouts.
We first circled the outside of the museum in a long walk around the building to see the many different aircraft that were stationed on the concrete runway. A colourful Convair F-102A Delta Dagger of the 32d Fighter-Interceptor Squadron is on static display, looking like it is going supersonic whilst standing still - outside on the tarmac..
As is a North American F-86F-25-NH Sabre 52-5385 which is now still on “ready Alert” on the airstrip tarmac.
Also a Breguet Br.1150 Atlantique....
...and a Lockheed Neptune SP 2H 
Entering the top floor of the museum had many different rooms in which artefacts, weapons and video and sensory displays were demonstrated. These are all very interesting and a great draw especially for kids (big kids like us liked this as well) 

There are many aircraft from the turn of the century in the museum – kites such as the Fokker D.VII, Fokker D.XXI, Fokker G.1A, de Havilland DH-82 Tiger Moth, right up to the “Golden Age” of the late 1930’s Koolhoven FK.51, Lockheed 12A 

As well as many old (some nearly ancient) Howitzers, guns, motorcycles, carts and vehicles right up to WWI
 A tiny Renault Ft-17

A beautiful Dornier Do 24K 
In a pair were two aircraft that could have met up – the Supermarine Spitfire LF.Mk.IX.C and the V-1 flying bomb. Shown in formation that the spitfire’s airflow over the wingtip spun the flying bomb out of control.
Also shown in provocative nature was the massive V-2 Vengeance weapon.
A beautifully restored North American P-51 Mustang 
An impressive display of an immaculate North American B-25J Mitchell seen in flight..
 A CAC Boomerang...
In a wonderful display that takes up the full eastern side of the museum there is a “roll” of aircraft that have used this airbase over the years. This is the major feature and a trademark -- if you will-- of the museum. It is wonderfully done and it takes you through the history of military aviation in the country
Starting on the ground and taking off in a twisting circle are the Gloster Meteor Mk.4..
A Republic F-84 Thunderstreak
The Hawker Hunter F.Mk.4…
The Northrop NF-5B… 
A Lockheed F-104G Starfighter….
 And lastly the F-15 Eagle of the Slobbering Eagles. The F-15 Eagle of the Soesterberg Wolfhounds who were recognized as the most outstanding fighter interceptor squadron in the United States Air Force, winning the Hughes Award three times. 
Taking off was a General Dynamics F-16A fighting falcon in an impressive display of the aircraft landing with airbrakes extended. 
 There were many helicopters on display – from the early Hiller OH-23C Raven, Sud Aviation Alouette III (SAR), Sikorsky S-58 a right up to the Bölkow Bo-105CB
Hawker Sea Fury F.B.51 & the Hawker Sea Hawk FGA.50
Many AFV’s and guns were displayed on the ground under the “flying” displays – WWII to modern warfare vehicles and guns are displayed..
As well as motorbikes through the ages..
Well that was it from the opening weekend of the National Military Museum at Soesterberg. It was great to see these varied machines of all types in such a great setting. This is a good museum to visit and indeed you should do just that if you are in the Netherlands anytime soon. Thanks to the staff for their help on the day!
The Nationaal Militair Museum is open weekly from Tue – Sun, 10:00 – 17:00 and during school holidays, the museum is also open on Mondays. Go visit!