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seaplane station
The flag of Bulgaria
Location of seaplane station Chaika

Seaplane station name. Chaika (Tchaika, Bulgarian: Чайка), also known as Peynerdjik (Bulgarian: Пейнерджик), Warna-See (Varna-See), Lake Devna, Lake Varna.

Coordinate. 43°11,28` с.ш. 27°50,88` в.д.

General. Chaika – seaplane station on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria. The station was on the S shore of Lake Varna approx. 5 km WSW of city center.

History. Dates from at least 1916 when the Germans erected the hangars and a naval flying station was established here in 1927. Enlarged, modernized and generally improved 1939-1941 under German supervision to accommodate 120 seaplanes. Resumed operations in 1942.

Dimensions. The entire 8 km long lake was available for take-offs and landings.

Anchorage. The lake was well-sheltered and seldom frozen over. A floating dock and a mooring buoy were available. There was 1 large, wide concrete slipway and possibly 2 narrow slipways for launching and removing seaplanes. Two jetties were in the vicinity of the large slipway and in front of the large hangar.

Fuel and Ammunition. There were 2 or 3 underground fuel storage tanks E of the hangars. Ammunition was available from 2 dumps located within 1.6 km of the station.

Infrastructure. Seaplane station had 1 large, 1 medium and 2 small hangars connected by a wide concrete apron. Additional workshop buildings were near the hangars. Billeting was available in numerous barrack-type huts grouped near the hangars. A light rail line connected the seaplane station with the main line in Varna.

Defenses. Existed but no details found.

1943-1944: construction and improvement work by the Bulgarian Labor Service under German supervision.
14.04.1944 Allied photo reconnaissance film identified on the seaplane station Chaika 1 × 3-engine floatplane, 9 ×  seaplanes, 2 ×  flying boats and 1 × small seaplane.

Operational Units.
161st Seaplane Reconnaissance Sqdn. (Yato) (c. 1942-44).
Seenotstaffel 7 (Apr 41);
elements of 8. Seenotstaffel (Aug 41 – Aug 44);
2.(F)/Aufkl.Gr. 125 (Dec 41 – Jan 42);
elements of 3./Minensuchgruppe 1 (Oct 42 – Aug 44);
3.(F)/SAGr. 125 (Jan 42 – Feb 44);
1.(F)/SAGr. 131 (Apr-May 44);
1.(F)/SAGr. 125 (May-Jun 44).

Station Commands.
Fl.H.Kdtr. E 120/XI (See) (Nov 41 – Mar 44);
Fl.Pl.Kdo. B Varna (? – Mar 44);
Fl.H.Kdtr. E(v) 227/XVII (Apr-Aug 44);
Fl.H.Kdtr. E (See) 126/XI (Apr-Aug 44).

Station Units.
Seenotbezirksstelle (L) z.b.V. 3 (Aug 41 – May 42);
Seenotkdo. 18 (May 42, Apr-Jul 44);
Seenotbereichskdo. XII (Aug 44);
Frontreparaturbetrieb GL 2861 (Blohm & Voss airframes) (1943-44);
Frontreparaturbetrieb GL 2862 (Blohm & Voss airframes) ( ? – 1943);
elements of 3. Flugh.Betr.Kp. (S) (Rauchstart) (May 44);
9.(Tel.Bau)/Ln.-Rgt. 24 (mot) (1943-44);
schw.Flugmelde-Kp. z.b.V. 3 (Nov 42);
Flugmeldeverbindungs-Zug Varna (May 44);
Bezirksbauleitung d.Lw. Varna (May 44);
Lw.-Sanitatsstaffel (May 44).

Sources and books

[1] Henry L. deZeng IV Luftwaffe Airfields 1935-45. Bulgaria – Edition: November 2014 (website The Luftwaffe, 1933-1945).


Last updated: 28.02.2018.