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Caernarvon Barracks
 
Original name - Flughafenkaserne
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1st Battalion The Royal Norfolk Regiment 1950 (1)
19 Field Regiment RA circa 1952/4
5 Company RASC
1 Ammunition Inspection and Disposal Unit RAOC circa 1975
HQ REME Inspectorate BAOR 1960 - 1965 (2)
REME Technical Services BAOR1965-1994 (2)
Head Quarters Rear Combat Zone
BAOR Medical & Dental Laboratory
2 Group RCT  1981-1994
Claims Commission 1982-1986 (3)
Senior Claims Officer NWE 1986
Closed September 1994
 
(1) The Royal Norfolk Regiment were based in Düsseldorf around 1950. Which barracks they were on remains a mystery. They shall sit on this page until then.
(2) The unit changed role in 1965 and eventually moved to Bielefeld as REME Technical Services (Germany) in 1994.
(3) Moved to Chatham Barracks, Hannover. Change of title to Senior Claims Officer just before moving to Hannover.
 
I believe Caernarvon Bks was built originally as a Luftwaffe camp due to its location immediately outside of Düsseldorff airport which was a Luftwaffe base during WW2. Within the barracks were HQ RCZ (Rear Combat Zone) (Formerly HQ Rhine Area) commanded by a Brigadier and REME Tech Services with other smaller units (Provost company etc). It was very much an admin base although we in the HQ had war roles and indeed used to exercise fairly regularly. Other than that I know nothing else about the camp.
Mr Dave Henley
2004
Courtesy of Mr Ken Hinde
 
Apparently surrounding fields were first used by Zeppelin LZ-III in 1909 with the airport itself opening in April 1927 after two years of construction. At that time the Germans were still not allowed to have their own air force and as the buildings look as if they are from that period, I would have guessed that the camp was built as the military part of the airport. The same sort of buildings can be seen in the service area of Hannover Airport which probably has the same sort of history.
Plant-Pilot
 
I was there from 85-87 with HQ (BR) RCZ and lived in Ranke Str. From the pictures I've seen, both the old Sgts and Offrs messes are still intact and being used by a German airline but the remainder of the camp has been demolished. Where there was some wasteland in front of the main gate, a motorway has now been built and it would be very difficult now to imagine where the old camp was. The old MQ's at Ranke Str have all been sold off, the families NAAFI, SSCV cinema and security buildings just outside of Nord park have all gone too. The locals have certainly made a good job of eradicating all traces of the British Army in that area!
Mr Dave Henley
 

Courtesy of Mr Ken Hinde
 
Just a little bit of information on the cellars of some of the buildings in the barracks. Underneath what was the main HQ buildings (that were in front of you as you drove in the main gate) containing HQ RCZ, BAOR Med & Dent Labs, 2 Gp RCT & REME Tech Services was a three level cellar system. Underneath all the buildings was a normal cellar level however underneath the HQ RCZ building was the secure Command/Comms Centre this was on the second level down. Under 2 Gp RCT and REME Tech Svcs building (the archway building in front of you, as you came in the main gate) was the same cellar arrangement but the second cellar layer was smaller and not used for much. The third layer entry points in all these buildings were blocked off and this is where the access tunnels to what is now Dusseldorf airport were located. Access to the first level was by normal steel doors in each corridor section of the cellars. The second level was accessed by a single heavy steel plate door and appeared there was only one of these in specific corridors of the buildings and to my knowledge I only know of three. These were still the original doors from when the camp was in German hands. These were also supposed to have been used as the air raid shelters during the war.
Jimr
 
2 Group Royal Corps of Transport
 

2 Transport Group formed in Erskine Barracks, Wilton, on 1 April 1968. It consisted then of 14 Air Despatch Regiment, 17 Port Regiment, 20 LCT Support Regiment and 27 Regiment. In 1969 the Group Headquarters moved to Bulford and during this period the 'Beaver' was adopted as the Group's emblem.

 

It disbanded in 1977, but reformed as 2 Group in Düsseldorf in 1981, as part of the reorganisation of the transport and movements regiments, commanding all RCT units - including 604 MCTG, 608 MCTG, 626 MCTG, 71 Movement Control Squadron and 500 Mobile Movements Team - in the Rear Combat Zone. In peace the Group provided transport and movements support in the Rear Combat Zone, together with the in-Theatre training of the RCT Territorial Army units, which came under command in war.

 

In 1984 2 Group took under command the newly formed Continental Territorial Army squadron, 213 Squadron, a most successful unit which provided invaluable support before disbanding in 1992 as a result of Options for Change and the resultant drawdown. A further change occurred in April 1992 when HQ British Communications Zone and its responsibilities for the Low Countries were taken over by HQ (BR) RCZ. As a consequence, HQ RCT - commanded by Lieutenant Colonel A Fisher MBE RCT - was retitled UK Liaison & Movements Staff and came under command of the Group.

 

38 Squadron has a long and proud history that can be traced back to the Boer War. In 1991 it deployed on Operation Granby as a second line transport squadron and returned to BAOR to fulfil its normal role of providing the Theatre's fourth line transport support, including support to the BAOR Freight Service. The squadron celebrated its centenary in 1992 but regrettably disbanded two years later in September 1994.

 

The history of 68 Squadron, can be traced back to the turn of the century. It had seen service around the world but its primary role was to provide transport support to HQ BAOR. The Squadron merged with 14 Squadron in February 1994, but the number '68' passed on to one of the RLC squadrons in 6 Supply Regiment The Royal Logistic Corps.

 

The history of 79 Railway Squadron can be traced back to the formation of 79 Field Company Royal Engineers. It responsibility was for railway operations in depots and sidings across Germany and for the maintenance of a fleet of Army Department rolling stock, including a number of ambulance trains.

 

Unfortunately 2 Group disbanded in September 1994.

 

         

Courtesy of Mr Ken Hinde
 
I was a driver with 5 Coy RASC stationed in Caernarvon Barracks, Düsseldorf from 1959-1961. At that time
it was the HQ for Army Group Transport Column which consisted of four companies, two of those being 5 Coy
and 121 Coy, the former being equipped with 3 ton vehicles and the latter with 10 tonners. The other two companies were 113 Coy and 114 Coy, these two  based up at Wrexham barracks in Mülheim and used Magirus Deuchts and Südwerke.
As stated I was with A Pl, 5 Coy and at that time the OC was  Maj Morrison, Adj Capt Turner, TCO Capt Mazzetti, RSM Laidler, CSM Davies, Platoon Commanders, Lucas, Horsefall, Marsden, other names will come to mind. Also stationed in Carnarvon Barracks at that time were 101 Provost Coy RMP, the REME LAD and a Royal Engineers postal unit.
In the Summer of 1961 I believe 121 Coy and 114 Coy respectively were disbanded and we as 5 Coy were moved up to join 113 Coy later to be named 13 Coy at Wrexham Barracks Mülheim and then later all moved to Münster to form the start of 8 Regt.
I recall most of my experiences of those years quite well and am in touch with around 50 plus of the guys from those days as I organise a reunion each October. In August of 2004 fifteen of us returned to Düsseldorf for a nostalgic 5 day visit and had the privilege of going around the old Caernarvon Barracks which were in the final phase of demolition. The Officers' Mess, however,  was still in use and taken over by the Federal Border Police (Bundesgrenzschutz). 
Mr Ken Hinde
Courtesy of Mr Ken Hinde