Ruigenhoek & De Zilk

Validation date: 30 03 2012
Updated on: 30 03 2013
Views: 1194

Ruigenhoek: 52°16'51"N 004°29'47"E
De Zilk: 52°18'13"N 004°32'40"E

Runway xx/xx - xxxxmeter/xxxxfeet - grass
Runway xx/xx - xxxxmeter/xxxxfeet - grass

The auxiliary airfields Ruigenhoek & De Zilk (Dutch: Hulpvliegvelden Ruigenhoek & De Zilk) were two small military airfields in the dunes close to Noordwijk, the Netherlands.
Both auxiliary airfields were built during the mobilisation in the Dunes north of Noordwijkerhout. From 9 April 1940 they formed the base of the 3rd Reconnaissance Group (Dutch: 3e Verkenningsgroep). By marking the airfields with dark lines, they were hard to spot from the air. Although their position was known by the German forces, they were never attacked during the invasion. This is odd, because despite it's lack of size Ruigenhoek was a VERY active airfield. It's 13 combat ready aircraft were parked outside in covered and camouflaged positions around the airfield. In the early hours of 10 May 1940 none were ready to start. Although he received an alarming message at 0.45am the airfield commander took no action.
A Fokker D-XXI that landed at the airfield at 4.15 found a very quiet airfield. When the pilot found the duty officer he informed him of the state of war. A little later the Fokker was joined by two more D-XXIs and 4 Fokker T-Vs, one of which remained because of an unusable engine. On this first day of the war 9 assignments were carried out using 21 aircraft.

Map of airfields Ruigenhoek and De Zilk during the early days of World War II (14 May 1940) showing their proximity to each other, via Peter van Kaathoven.

On the second day the bomb supplies were refilled. Attempts to fly Fokker C-Vs from Ypenburg failed. Only a few missions were flown.
On 12 May 1950 only half a dozen missions were flown. By night only 2 C-Vs remained.
The next day technicians managed to get 3 more C-Vs airworthy, and two more arrove from Ypenburg.
In the morning of the 14th seven C-Xs from Bergen arrived at Ruygenhoek. These and some C-Vs flew four reconnaissance missions. By 17.00 the order to stop fighting arrived, followed by the order to destroy all equipment. Crews immediately began collecting the aircraft and burnt them. Later that night the order was countermanded. Without permission of the commander one C-X departed for the province of Zeeland at 20.15. Of the crew only one managed to escape to England. (source)

Today, nothing is left of the former auxiliary airfield.
The field is now an agricultural field, and mainly used to grow bulbs.

Airfield Ruigenhoek plotted on Google Maps