Maaldrift

Validation date: 30 03 2012
Updated on: 27 01 2019
Views: 1038


52°09'04"N 004°25'38"E

Runway n/a - ...meter/...feet - grass

Airfield Maaldrift (Dutch: vliegveld Maaldrift) was an airport 2 NM (3 km) northeast of Wassenaar, near The Hague, Netherlands.
Maaldrift was extremely close to the construction site of airfield Valkenburg, by which it was eventually replaced. In spite of it's closeness to Valkenburg Maaldrift was actually older: it had been a diversion field for the KLMs Amsterdam-London line since the 1920s

1920
Maaldrift airfield in 1920 (collection Nederlands Instituut voor Militaire Historie)


The pilots of the 'Iron Squadron' (dutch: IJzeren Escadrille) posing at Maaldrift airfield immediately after landing their 5 Spijker V-2 trainers in 1920
(collection Nederlands Instituut voor Militaire Historie)

 
Daily operations at Maaldrift, ca. 1920 (collection Nederlands Instituut voor Militaire Historie)

Maaldrift was the site of heavy fighting for control of Valkenburg during the invasion of the Low Countries by the nazis in May 1940. One of the Ju-52/3m aircraft that was destined for Valkenburg crashed at the airfield.

1940
Impression of a crashed Ju-52m next to the Leiden-The Hague tramway in May 1940. (source).

After World War II, Maaldrift remained under control of the Dutch Ministry of Defense, but it was not reactivated as an airfield. Nearby Valkenburg, completed by the Germans and repaired by the RAF at the end of the war became the ares new airfield. 


Airfield Maaldrift today: a tennis club (red) and a mobilisation complex (blue) of the netherlands army now occupy the site


The control tower of Maaldrift now houses a tennis shop at the Wassenaar tennisclub "De Oude Eik"