HISTORY OF THE DOCUMENTATION GROUP VOLKEL (DGV)

 

Because until the mid 70 's  virtually nothing was known about the use of the Volkel by the German Luftwaffe, Hans Sluijters and Bart Sait launched the search for the air war in the region in 1975.
In 1976 the first “Crash List”  was made of Uden and other municipalities in the region by Bart Sait and Henk Talen. Various air crash sites were mapped, armed with a metal detector they searched for remaining evidence and eye-witnesses were questioned. 

Aside from the air crashes was also the assistance to escaped Allied airmen was a subject that needed the necessary attention in the early days. The results of this group’s research was put on paper and this resulted in the 1992 in collaboration for the book Pyama-House with author Frans Govers

 A home on the Air Base

After many different, temporary locations on the airbase, and at the request of Piet Truren and Henk Talen to the Base Commander, Colonel h. Vendrig, it was decided that one third of building 103, at the Marines Square would be used for permanent storage and exhibition.

The Historical room Typhoon was born and slowly began to gain stature. 

ACTIVITIES OF THE DOCUMENTATION GROUP 

Publication, Volkel, 50 years.

In 1998, at the request of the Base Commander, Ruud Wildekamp, Henk Talen and Piet Truren with the cooperation of the other members of the Documentation Group Volkel, decided to put together a booklet on the history of Volkel air base.
The booklet soon became a large book of 288 pages and many illustrations.
With support by the Lieutenant-Colonel v. Duren and the base commander Colonel J. Eikelboom, the result entitled,

Gestaag Gespannen, 50 jaar Vliegbasis Volkel, 
van 1e Tactische Jachtgroep tot First Fighter Wing

was presented on Wednesday, 21 June 2000 in the Officer's Mess. The book was published with a first run of 4600 copies and scheduled for republication in 2016

Historical research

In 1986, at the request of the Documentation Group and subsequently the Historical room "Typhoon", archive research carried out in the Public Record Office (later The National Archives) in London.
Ongoing studies of this research by members of the Documentation Group place in the Historical room. All the Operations Record Books (diaries of Allied units in the region) that were found in London were archived by Wim Hermans in folders so that they could also be consulted by people from outside of the airbase.

 

Working Group Airfields

Wim Hermans and Henk Talen have until 2009 on behalf of the DGV been members of the Working Group airfields. Goal was to write a book about all German, British and American airfields in WWII Netherlands.

The book Airfields in Wartime (Vliegvelden in oorlogstijd) appeared in 2009. And it must be said, it has become a standard work of 512 pages with many photographs, maps and drawings.

 

Project Group Air War East Brabant (PLOB)

Since 2000 the PLOB is active with her working group investigating the air war in the period 1940-1945 in this region and documenting for future generations.

 

Book on four local airfields

In 2010 Ruud Walker, Jaap Walsh and Toon van de Wetering decided that the time was ripe to put together a book regarding the Rips, Helmond, Paashoef and Zwanenbeemd.
Much of the collected but unused data for the book Airports in Wartime, could now be used to describe these airfields in all clarity. The result was a 158-page publication by the Historical Society of the Kommanderij Gemert with numerous maps, documents, drawings and photographs, that was presented in Gemert in September 2011.

 

Data Exchange

On Tuesdays, most members of the DGV come to the Historical room and while enjoying a cup of coffee exchange the results of the various investigations, photos, questions and reports.

 

Exhibitions

The Documentation Group Volkel presented itself for the first time outside the AirBase  in September 1977 by setting up a display in a shop window concerning the WWII Air War in Uden.

The first major exhibition to which the Documentation Group participated, was held in the old all ranks canteen on Volkel air base. Not inhibited by any knowledge or experience of exhibitions, DGV displayed a gaggle of large tables full of many historical objects, crash parts, maps with crash locations, photos and borrowed airplane models.

This was followed by an exhibition in Hangar-3 in 1980 on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the Volkel Air Base and also on the Open House at airbase De Peel in that same year.

With a stand at the Hilbo Fair in Mill in 1981 and an exhibition in the village of Boekel  the DGV acquired quite a bit of familiarity outside the Air Base.

Also on the RNLAF Open House Days in 1989, which were held on Volkel air base, the Documentation Group Volkel was present with a stand with pictures and objects from the RAF-RCAF period.

On the Open House Days in 1995 also at Volkel, members the group also provided an extensive display.  From then on members presented themselves mainly as the Historical Room Typhoon and not as much the DGV.