Drewitz Air Base


Drewitz: Air Base

Jänschwalde Ost, Cottbus-Drewitz

For historical information only, do not use for navigation or aviation purposes!
CoordinatesN515323 E0143200 (WGS84) Google Maps
Elevation 80 m
Former East Germany (GDR)District of Cottbus
Federal stateBrandenburg
Location indicatorEDCD (2000)
Map with location of Drewitz Air Base
Germany during the Cold War Map
The history of the Cold War airfields: Drewitz

Location of airfield

Southeast of Drewitz, northwest of Jänschwalde.

During World War II


Luftwaffe airfield.


Drewitz airfield in World War II 1943
Drewitz airfield in World War II on a US map from 1943
Source: McMaster University Library Digital Archive, License: Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.5 CC BY-NC 2.5 CA /MULDA/

During the Cold War


Airbase for former East German Air Force (LSK/LV). Fighter Wing 7 (JG-7) until 1989, Fighter-Bomber Wing 37 (JBG-37) and Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (TAFS-87).


  • 1949
    The is no unit permanently stationed at the field, but occasionally Drewitz is used by Soviet ground attack units..
  • April 1950
    A Soviet bomber regiment with 30 to 40 Pe-2 aircraft is transferred from Cottbus to Drewitz.
  • October 1950
    The Soviet bomber regiment moves back again from Drewitz to Cottbus
  • July 1951
    Drewitz airfield is being surveyed. The airfield is to be extended.
  • August 1951
    60 workers erect temporary buildings. The construction is supposed to start after the work on the Welzow Air Base has been completed.
  • September 1951
    The landing field is covered with high grass. The wooden buildings north of the field, which had been occupied by refugees, were partly evacuated recently. But construction work has not begun.
  • May 1952
    The wooden buildings are occupied by construction workers. Clearing work is in progress. The airfield to be build will resemble the two large bomber airfields in Brand and Werneuchen. Construction is done by Bauunion Dresden.
  • June 1952
    480 workers are employed at the field and the number increases daily. Preliminary work started for the construction of a 2,5-meter high wooden fence around the field. For 1952, construction of the runway, the southern taxiway with hardstands and of a cantonment is planned. Barracks installations and hangars are scheduled to be build in 1952/53, and an aircraft plant is to be built in 1953. The construction is under Soviet supervision from Werder.
  • July 1952
    Bauunion Dresden starts the construction work. The planned date of completion is set at May 1954.
  • September 1952
    Concreting of the runway in east-west-direction has begun. It is 2,480 m long and 80 m wide. A second runway is planned, 3,250 m long and 85 m wide.
  • December 1952
    The runway is completed.
  • May 1953
    In the night of 1 to 2 May 1953, a large wooden storage shed at the field burns down. Other sources speak of multiple fires in which several field rail locomotives were destroyed.
  • Die KVP-Einheit 302 verlegt von Kamenz nach Drewitz.
  • June 1953
    2,500 to 3,000 workers are employed on the project. The majority of the workers came from the airfield construction project at Bautzen-Litten.
  • Juni 1953
    Several MiG-15 and Yak-11 are stationed at the field. They were hurriedly transfered to Cottbus after 17 June.
  • July 1953
    The southern taxiway with attached aircraft revetments is finished.
  • April 1954
    Drewitz is occupied by the "Aeroclub 700" and the Technical Base 302.
  • 03 June 1954
    Crash of a Yak in bad weather near Niesky. Both pilots were killed.
  • 20 June 1955
    Aircraft in Drewitz: 4 Yak-11, 9 Yak-18, 1 Po-2
  • 25 June 1955
    Crash of an aircraft in the vicinity of Zeithain (?), killing the pilot.
  • 1957
    The field is occupied by the HQ 3rd Fighter Division, the 7th Wing (with 4 squadrons) and the 9th Wing (with 3 squadrons). Both wings have 34 MiG-15/MiG-15UTI and 12 Yak-11.
  • 16 March 1985
    On the approach to Drewitz, MiG-21 "590" of Fighter Wing 7 crashes into a dormitory of the Cottbus university. Pilot can safely eject, two injured on the ground.

In the 1950s


The airfield before extension, ca. 1951
The airfield before extension, ca. 1951
Source: CIA
1Barracks installations with 20 windows each
2Barracks installations with 8 windows each
3Barracks installations with 6 windows
4Watchtower, about 20 meters high
7Barracks installations occupied by civilians

In the 1960s


Drewitz Air Base on a satellite image 1965
Drewitz Air Base on a US satellite image from 03 May 1965
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Drewitz Air Base, Germany, 1966
Drewitz on 20 April 1966 - 1: air base; 2: inner radio beacon; 3: direction finder? 4: outer radio beacon; 5: ammunition dump. a: Railway line Guben-Cottbus. Other places: Grabkow, Jänschwalde-Ost.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
The airfield
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Northwestern part
Northwestern part - The installations in the north are still incomplete, the taxiway leads away from the runway to the north east, but ends there.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Northeastern part
Northeastern part - 1: landing T; 2: zeroing-in stand; 3: Further parking pads have already been cleared, but not yet built.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Western end of the runway at Drewitz
Western end of the runway - The bright surface on the left side is the so-called earth brake surface. It is used to brake aircraft that have rolled over the end of the runway.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Western part of the Drewitz flightline
Western part of the flightline - There are planes Il-28 and MiG-15/MiG-17.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Eastern part of the flightline
Eastern part of the flightline
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Buildings south
Buildings south
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Further installations
Further installations - 1: fuel dump; 2, 3: railway sidings
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Installations south of the railway station Jänschwalde-Ost
Installations south of the railway - 1: Barracks; 2: National People's Army housing area; 3: Jänschwalde-Ost railway station.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
East German aircraft Il-28
Aircraft - The picture shows eight aircraft of the type Ilyushin Il-28, which were used in the East German National People's Army for the target towing.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Further airplanes
Further airplanes
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Fuel dump with railway spur
Fuel dump with railway spur - In the northwestern part of the tank farm there are 5 cars on the siding, probably tank cars.
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Inner radio beacon Drewitz
Inner radio beacon, approx. 1,000 m from the runway
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Direction finder
Direction finder? approx. 2,500 m from the runway
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Outer radio beacon Drewitz
Outer radio beacon, approx. 3,900 m from the runway
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Ammunition dump
Ammunition dump
Source: U.S. Geological Survey

In the 1970s


Drewitz airfield on a map from 1972
Drewitz airfield on a map of the US Department of Defense from 1972
Source: ONC E-2 (1972), Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin


Drewitz National People's Army Air Base on 16 May 1979
Drewitz National People's Army Air Base on Wednesday 16 May 1979 - 1: airfield; 2: command post and radar site near Taubendorf
Source: U.S. Geological Survey
Source: U.S. Geological Survey

In the 1980s and early 1990s


Verzeichnis 012
Drewitz air base on a map in the East German "Directory 012" (Verzeichnis 012, formerly "Top Secret") from about 1989/1990. - Hand-drawn maps were quite common in the Eastern bloc. The map shows the villages Drewitz and Jänschwalde-Ost, the airfield with concrete and grass runway, the taxiways, the two locators/middle markers and the RSBN radio beacon.


  • 06/24: 2500 m x 80 m Concrete
  • 06/24: 2000 m x 100 m Grass north of the hard-surfaced runway
Die Höhen der Schwellen über NN betrugen: Schwelle Ost 82,5 m und Schwelle West 75 m.
Both landing directions were equiped with a landing system SP-2

Radio beacons

  • RSBN: CH13 "RD", N515332 E0143158 (S43/82?)
  • LOM 24: 769,0 "RD", 3960 m to threshold 24
  • LMM 24: 378,5 "R", 1000 m to threshold 24
  • KRM/GRM 24: CH15
  • LOM 06: 769,0 "DR", 4000 m to threshold 06
  • LMM 06: 378,5 "D", 1000 m to threshold 06
  • KRM/GRM 06: CH15
Die Kennungen wurden wie im Warschauer Pakt üblich aus dem ersten und letzten Buchstaben des Rufzeichens (REINHARD) abgeleitet.
Vom Punkt der berechneten Linie bis 5000 m vor dem Aufsetzpunkt tritt eine unkonstante Anzeige des ARK bis max. + 10 Grad auf.

Radio communication

The radio call sign of the airfield was REINHARD. Tower REINHARD-START 138.0 (Channel 7), 124.0 (Channel 1)


Stabsnetz S1 9823. The code names were "Zauberflöte" (?) und "Torez" (Command post) (?)


  • JG-7 "Wilhelm Pieck": MiG-21
  • JGB-37 "Klement Gottwald": MiG-23BN, MiG-23UB; TAFS-87: MiG-21M (PF 94415)
  • TAFS-87 (PF 94422)
  • FBas-57 (PF 94438), FTB-37 (PF 94455), NFK-37 (PF 94492)

Real property

Objects 1989/1990, in conjunction with the airfield
  • 06/015: Flugplatz
  • 06/014: Depot JG-7 (29 ha, S der Eisenbahn Cottbus-Guben)
  • 06/054: Übungsgelände FBas-57 (7,7 ha, Striesow, Marienberge)
  • 06/202: Objekt JG-7 (0,5 ha, Straße Tauer-Jänschwalde)
  • 06/309: Objekt JG-7 (0,2 ha, Tauer, Großsee Südufer)



General aviation.


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