Donskoye

Validation date: 16 10 2012
Updated on: Never
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54°56'08"N 019°59'00"E

runway: 02/20 - 500x35m - concrete

Donskoye airfield (Russian: Аэродром "Донское", sometimes written as Donskoe, also known as Flugplatz Groß Dirschkeim or Flugplatz Bryusterort/Brüsterort) is an airfield 40 kilometers northwest of Kaliningrad.
The airfield was built by the Germans in what was then still German East Prussia.
During World War II the airfield was home to Stab./Jagdgeschwader51 (Stab./JG51) and I. Gruppe of Schlachtgeschwader 3 (I./SG3).
Brüsterort was taken by the Red Army on 14 April 1945.
Shortly after the war, the remaining German population, just like in the rest of East Prussia, was expelled to beyond the Oder-Neisse line.
Brüsterort, known in Russian as "Zidlung" ("Зидлунг", after the German word for settlement: 'Siedlung') became the new home of the 28th Guards IAP, flying the Bell P-39 AiraCobra.
In June 1947 they began converting to jet fighters, the Yak-15, an interim aircraft.
From 1947 onwards, 51 Tallinn Order of the Red Banner Mine-Torpedo Regiment, flying A-20G 'Bostons', were also based at the airfield.
The Yaks were considered to ease the transition to their definitive fighter, the MiG-9, which was introduced only a few months later.
The first MiG-9s arrived in October, but due to bad weather and unavailability of the airfiedl, they did not fly until the following year.
By the end of April 1948 50 pilots were qualified on the MiG-9 and by August 42 MiG-9s had arrived.
All piston driven fighters were then passed on to 1 GuardsIAP and 4 Naval Air Force, while the Yak-15s were passed to the 72th Guards IAP.





Soviet Guardsmen inspect damaged Luftwaffe aircraft at Gross Dirschkeim airfield, Spring 1945.





Archive photo of the 51st Mine and Torpedo Aviation Regiment (51-MTAP) Douglas A-20G-35-DO "Boston" № 51 (43-10067)
(fortoved.ru).

Groß Dirschkeim and Bryusterort/Brüsterort airfield were renamed Donskoye.
The name Bryusterort did stick to the airfield in NATO, though.
The MiG-9s did not last long with 28 Guards; they were replaced with the MiG-15 in November 1949.
The following year they took their MiGs to a "Government mission" (Soviet 'governmentese' for participation in the Korean War).
When they returned in October 1951 they were transferred to a new base, Klin.
The Torpedo bombers of Mine-Torpedo Regiment had moved out by that time too.
The airfield became dedicated to naval helicopters in the mid 1950s.
Strangely enough it also got a 2,500m concrete runway around this time, even though it did not have any units assigned that could make use of such a runway.
In the early 1970's the local regiment began acceptance of the Ka-25.
In the mid 1980s they converted to their current Ka-27/29 in both the Search-and-Rescue and the Anti-Submarine versions.
The airbase lost a lot of its infrastructure, most notably 2 kilometers of runway, in the early 1990s.
Most of the dispersals, splitter walls and taxiways are still present though.
The airbase is used mostly for training of aircrew.





Control tower at Donskoye naval air base in the winter of 2012 (in Russian).





Duitse hangar still in use with the Russian Navy (newkaliningrad.ru (in Russian).





Donskoye photographed from the air in 2005 (Google Earth).