Commissioned by the Province of Utrecht and the Dutch Government Property Agency, ECG in cooperation with BAAC (Building History, Archaeology, Architectural History and Cultural History) conducted excavation work under archaeological supervision at the former Soesterberg airbase. While ECG approached the suspected munitions sites and actively searched for Conventional Explosives (CE), BAAC staff concentrated on the archaeologically valuable finds from the approach and recording them. On Tuesday 11 February, BAAC's conflict archaeologists made an extraordinary discovery.

For weeks, ECG and BAAC have been working together in this way at the former Soesterberg airbase. During the research, German anti-aircraft positions(Flak-Stellungen) were found and carefully mapped. The foundations of pre-war buildings were also found within the research area. These buildings were demolished by the occupying forces during the war for the construction of Fliegerhorst Soesterberg, the German airfield. All that remained of the houses were the foundations and a few large pits filled with building rubble and household waste. Between the old household goods, a special and exceptionally well-preserved black uniform jacket was found. The jacket once belonged to a Dutch sergeant-major of the Aviation Department (LVA) who served at the pre-war airfield. The jacket dates from the 1920s or 1930s and still has all the old Dutch brass 'lion buttons' and two chevrons (nicknamed banana peels). The chevrons are at the bottom of the sleeves and are stitched with gold-coloured copper wire.

Figure 1: One of the chevrons.

Picture 2: Lion's knot

BAAC has documented this remarkable find and removed it for further investigation. The jacket is being conserved so that it can be preserved and put on public display at a later date. Additional archival research will hopefully make it possible to attribute the jacket to one specific person.

For more information about BAAC, please visit: (archaeological research)