(Luftwaffe Testing Station for Altitude Effects)
by Henry L. deZeng IV

Stationary and mobile testing stations that familiarized and trained aircrew personnel on the effects of oxygen deprivation at high altitudes up to 7,500 meters (24,606 feet). Each consisted of a junior rank medical doctor (typically an Oberarzt), 1 NCO and 3 men. The total number of these formed is not known, but just about all of the larger air bases (Flughafenkommandanturen) in the Reich had one, that making the total c.90 of the stationary testing stations plus at least 16 of the mobile (motorized) stations. The stationary stations used Luftgau numbers, e.g., Prüfstelle auf Höhenwirkung d.Lw. 1/VII through 14/VII for Luftgau VII, while the mobile stations used Arabic numbers, i.e., Prüfstelle auf Höhenwirkung (mot) d.Lw. 1 through 16. They were all disbanded during the second half of 1944. A complete list dated 5 October 1944 shows just 25 of the stationary stations and 12 of the mobile stations still in existence, and these were gone by the end of the year. Too few of them have been identified to list, but a single example is provided to demonstrate their use. On 15 July 1943, Prüfstelle auf Höhenwirkung (mot) d.Lw. 12 transferred from Westerland/Sylt to Venlo in Holland where it tested aircrew for 10 days before moving to Gilze-Rijen/Holland to test aircrew there. This demonstrates the unit’s mobility from base-to-base and approximately how long they stayed at each one.

KStN: 5397 (L) Prüfstelle auf Höhenwirkung d.Lw.
KStN: 5398 (L) Prüfstelle auf Höhenwirkung (mot) d.Lw.

Sources used

Dierich, Wolfgang - Die Verbände der Luftwaffe 1935-1945: Gliederungen und Kurzchroniken – Eine Dokumentation (Stuttgart, 1976), pp.303; NARA WashDC: RG 242 (T-77), (T-79 roll 14), BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 20/248; BA-MA Freiburg: Signatur RL 4 II/283 list dated 5.10.44.