The Netherlands / Landmark
Beek Airport was opened in March 1945 as 'Airfield Yankee 44' support airfield. The US Army used pre-war plans. However, as the war was almost over, no more operational missions took place.
Plans for an airport in South Limburg date back to 1919. The location and financing had been debated for years. Consequently, construction was repeatedly postponed. In 1939, the provincial government finally made a decision. The decision was based on a report by the Dutch Aviation Service, which found that the site in the municipalities of Geulle and Ulestraten, south of Beek, was the most suitable location for an airport. But yet again, nothing came of it. This time, it was the German occupation that threw a spanner in the works.
At the end of 1944, the American liberators dusted off the Aviation Service report. They energetically set to work on it. The area around Maastricht had already been liberated and all over Western Europe the Allies were building makeshift airports to support their advance. One of them was located to the south of Beek.
The 'Airfield Yankee 44' support airfield was constructed at breakneck speed. The number 44 was assigned because Beek was the 44th airfield in an ever longer series of runways. First, 188 hectares of fruit orchards between Beek, Meerssen and Ulestraten were expropriated and uprooted in order to transport thousands of tons of rubble, mostly from Geleen, which was bombed in October 1942.
Two months after the start of the work, on 22 March 1945, the runway was ready for use. Operational missions never took place, however. As the war was almost over, it was mainly used for reconnaissance flights and for retrieving people and equipment.
P2, Vliegveldweg 90, 6190 AD. Maastricht-Aachen Airport