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After an original idea by Paul Freeman.
First published 7 Nov 2010. This collection of airfields is © 2010 - 2018 RonaldV
pl

Orneta

18-01-2012


1842

54°07'37"N 020°05'23"E

runway: 06/24 - 2000x50m - concrete

Orneta airfield (Polish: Lotnisko Orneta, German: Flugplatz Wormditt) was an airfield 220 kilometers north-northwest of Warsaw.
The airfield was built in 1939 als a Luftwaffe airfield in what was then East-Prussia. It was an all grass airfield.
Stationed at the airfield during the war were amongst others:
II./KG 77 flying Ju-88, III./KG?? flying Ju-88A
Stab./, I./and III./NJG5 flying Ju-88g and Bf 110
5./NJG102 flying Bf-110
NSGr1 (Nachtschachtgruppe1 or Night Attack Group) flying Ju-87
Flugzeugfühereschule A/B33
AKG14 (Aufklärungsgruppe14 or Reconnaissance Group) flying JU-188D/F.
Upon the approach of the Red Army in January 1945 crews began destroying aircraft that were unable to fly, mostly because of a lack of fuel. 
The first aircraft was destroyed on 21 January and Wormditt was evacuated by the Luftwaffe on 23 January. The final aircraft was destroyed on the 25th.
Battles on and around the airfield continued until 2 February 1945.

NoPhoto.jpg
No photos of the airfield while in use have been located

Eastern Prussia was divided between the Soviet Union and Poland after the war, and Wormditt became a part of Poland. Wormditt became known in Polish as Orneta.
In 1947 two Soviet Air Force regiments arrived, which were stationed here until about 1950. The airfield then closed for a major rebuild, which took place between 1951 and 1952. The airfield was expanded to include a 2000x50m runway.
In December 1951 a MiG-15 unit set up on the yet unfinished airbase. Over time the airfield was expanded and renovated several times:
1954, concrete plate changing on the runway, 1956-1958 overhaul of taxi tracks, 1961-1962 repair of other infrastructures, 1965 another partial repair of the runway. 
On 12 July 1968 by order 0107 of the Gen. Chief of Staff the regiment was ordered to disband on 01 November 1968. The order was completed 3 months later. The airfield became a technical support site in 1972.

Some time after the fall of the Warsaw Pact the airfield was abandoned. It is now on public property, and used by local car fanatics to race their vehilces. Much of the airfield infrastructure (platforms, taxitracks, runway) is still recognisable but in need of a cleanup and a fresh layer of asphalt.

orneta-2008.jpg
Overview of the airfield in 2008 (Google Earth)

Orneta.JPG
The former runway from the air in 2010 (Vectraklub.pl).

61551443.jpg
What remained of the control tower in the fall of 2011 (Panoramio).

61551013.jpg
This view down the runway in the fall of 2011 shows the runway concrete in a reasonable overall condition (Panoramio).



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