Trips / St Truiden

trip
Trip to Genk, St Truiden and Balen
August 14, 2010
From Lelystad to Genk, Zwartberg From Genk to St Truiden, Brustem From St Truiden to Balen, Keiheuvel From Balen to Lelystad EHLE; Lelystad EBZW; Genk, Zwartberg EBST; St Truiden, Brustem EBKH; Balen, Keiheuvel



From Lelystad to Genk

On Saturday, August 14 2010, Veleda, Charlotte, Maurits and René made a day trip from Lelystad to Sint Truiden in Belgium. On the way, we first had a stop at Zwartberg airfield near Genk, where we had a drink.

Rene and Charlotte
Rene and Charlotte
Around Larserbos
Around Larserbos
Veleda and Maurits
Veleda and Maurits
Church and Cristal Arena in Waterschei
Church and Cristal Arena in Waterschei
Final runway 03 Genk, Zwartberg
Final runway 03 Genk, Zwartberg
At Genk, Zwartberg airport
At Genk, Zwartberg airport



From Genk to St Truiden

After Genk we flew to St Truiden, a former Belgian Air Force military airfield that was also known as Brustem Air Base. From there we took a taxi to the town of St Truiden.

Charlotte, Rene and Maurits
Charlotte, Rene and Maurits
Take-off runway 03 Genk, Zwartberg
Take-off runway 03 Genk, Zwartberg
Mijnterril Waterschei
Mijnterril Waterschei
Power plant south of Genk
Power plant south of Genk
Maurits
Maurits
Veleda and Charlotte
Veleda and Charlotte
Military Academy St Truiden
Military Academy St Truiden
Final runway 24 St Truiden, Brustem
Final runway 24 St Truiden, Brustem
Rene, Charlotte and Maurits at Brustem airport
Rene, Charlotte and Maurits at Brustem airport
Charlotte and Veleda in St Truiden
Charlotte and Veleda in St Truiden

Sint Truiden
Grote Markt, St Truiden
Grote Markt, St Truiden
Sint Truiden is a city located in the province of Limburg, Flemish Region, of Belgium. Sint Truiden’s historical centre includes the town hall (Stadhuis), with a 17th-century tower classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1999. The oldest parts of the building date from the 13th century. The 15th-century Church of Our Lady (Lievenvrouwenkerk) stands just beside the town hall.

Rene and Veleda in front of the Abbey Tower in St Truiden
In front of the Abbey Tower in St Truiden
The municipality formed around an abbey founded by St. Trudo in the 7th century. The abbey tower (Abdijtoren) is the town’s historical beacon. It is the most significant remnant of the former St-Trudo Abbey. This unrefined seven-storey tower dates partly from the 11th-century. One can survey the city from the rough metallic view-platform on top.

St Truiden, Brustem airport
St Truiden, Brustem airport
During World War II, its airfield was the base of one of the most famous Luftwaffe Night Fighter squadron, NJG1, with units II/NJG1 and IV/NJG1 operating Junkers Ju88 and Heinkel He219 aircraft from here in 1944. The highest scoring German night fighter pilot was referred to as "The spook of St. Trond" by British Bomber crews that flew over Germany on night raids.

Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer
Schnaufer pointing to his 47th victory
Schnaufer pointing to his 47th victory
Heinz-Wolfgang Schnaufer was a German Luftwaffe night fighter pilot and is the highest scoring night fighter ace in the history of aerial warfare. All of his 121 victories were claimed during World War II at night, mostly against British four-engine bombers. He was nicknamed "The Spook of St. Trond", from the location of his unit's base at Sint Truiden in occupied Belgium.

St Truiden during the war
St Truiden during the war
Heinz Schnaufer was born in 1922 in Stuttgart. In 1939 he was trained as a pilot in the German Air Force. In 1941 he got his first position as a lieutenant in a night fighter squadron near Hamburg. He was later transferred to a night fighter squadron based in the small Belgian town of Sint-Truiden. The squadron was to intercept British bombers attacking targets at night in Germany controlled Europe.

Messerschmitt Bf 110
Messerschmitt Bf 110
To stop these nightly bombings the Germans developed the ability to attack bombers in the dark. These air units came to be called night hunters. Schnaufer was flying a Messerschmitt Bf 110. It was a heavily armed twin-engined fighter. During the war the night hunting technique evolved both tactically and technically.

A tail fin of Schnaufer's Bf 110
A tail fin of Schnaufer's Bf 110 displaying his 121 victories (Imperial War Museum)
Schnaufer became the leading night fighter pilot on 9 November 1944. On 9th of April 1945 Schnaufer flew his last mission of the war. After the war Schnaufer took over the family wine business. In July 1950, Schnaufer was on a wine buying visit to France, where he died in the aftermath of a road accident.

See also Wikipedia



From St Truiden to Balen

Take off runway 06 St Truiden, Brustem
Take off runway 06 St Truiden, Brustem
Overhead St Truiden
Overhead St Truiden
En route to Balen
En route to Balen
Balen, Keiheuvel airfield
Balen, Keiheuvel airfield
Finay runway 07 of Balen, Keiheuvel
Finay runway 07 of Balen, Keiheuvel
Charlotte, Veleda and Maurits at Balen, Keiheuvel
Charlotte, Veleda and Maurits at Keiheuvel
Maurits (12) on the swing
Maurits (12) on the swing
A drink at Balen, Keiheuvel
A drink at Balen, Keiheuvel



From Balen to Lelystad

Rene, Maurits and Charlotte
Rene, Maurits and Charlotte
Take-off runway 07 Balen, Keiheuvel
Take-off runway 07 Balen, Keiheuvel
Wolderwijd near Harderwijk
Wolderwijd near Harderwijk
Final runway 05 Lelystad
Final runway 05 Lelystad


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