Welcome To The
 Lufthansa Cargo Building 261 Tribute Site 

 Our site is currently under re-construction.  Please check back for updates!

This site is dedicated to the staff of employees both past and present,
who were assigned duties at the Lufthansa Cargo facility, located in
building #261 at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

Anyone wishing to contribute additional photos
or information can reach us by clicking below:

 

rickhollwedel@tampabay.rr.com

 First, A Brief Early History Of Lufthansa Cargo In New York: 

Opened in the mid 50's by Mr. Peter Hees, the very first Lufthansa Cargo facility in New York was actually a small metal 'Nissen
Hut' with virtually no office space, however it served the purpose of allowing Lufthansa Airlines to open it's first NYC gateway for
air freight from Germany into the USA.  At the time, and according to reliable sources, most air freight documentation was done
right from the front seat of Peter Hees's 1948 Kaiser auto!
 

In 1957, Lufthansa Cargo moved into part of the east wing of the Horseshoe building, when the Nissen Hut had to be demolished.  Notice below the 1950's Carey busses, which ran on a regular schedule between the East Side Airlines Terminal in Manhattan, located directly next to the entrance to the Midtown Tunnel, and the Airport itself.  For many years, the Carey bus service was
widely used by passengers and airport employees.  Other passengers and airport employees were able to take a city bus to the airport from the Kew Gardens subway station located just opposite the court house in Queens.


 Idlewild Airport Postcard Photo (circa 1955) 

The Lufthansa ticket counter was left of the tower ramp-side.  The work area was said to only be 20 X 30 feet.  If it rained heavy
with winds from the east, the ticket agents sometimes needed wooden boards on the floor just to stay out of the water.  On the
left rear side was the only real permanent structure called "The Horseshoe Building".


 Idlewild Airport In The Late 1950's
Lufthansa Cargo's first Nissen Hut was actually located closer to airport entrance at the left, not seen in the picture above.
However, this is a spectacular 1950's view of exactly how Idelwild Airport looked when Lufthansa Cargo first opened in NYC.


 Lufthansa Cargo Building 86 at JFK in New York 1962 


 Lufthansa Cargo NYC CEO Mr. Peter E. Hees (Building 86 / 1971)


 Lufthansa German Airlines 'SuperCargo' Vintage Print Advertisement


 Lufthansa Cargo - ramp view behind building 86 with loaded cargo ready to move to Frankfurt


 Lufthansa Cargo - more ramp views behind building 86 of staged freight ready to be built up on pallets 

On February 8th, 1969, a massive category 2 nor'easter winter storm struck the New York and Tristate area, leaving over 4 feet
high mountains of snow, paralyzing New York City and the surrounding areas. The storm lasted for two consecutive days, causing Lufthansa's Saturday night shift workers to stay on an emergency basis to help clear the ramp area.  The warehouse crew did not leave till the following Tuesday afternoon!  Good news, the claims manager at head office mentioned his pleasant surprise
there were no real water damage claims.

 Lufthansa Cargo JFK - View of ramp at building 86 just after the heavy snow storm of February 8th 1969  


 LH-LD3 containers fully loaded with cargo ready for departure   /   Aircraft jet engine ready for air-transport to Germany


 Lufthansa Cargo Building 86 - JFK Office Staff 1971
(Above photos courtesy Peter Hees)


 Lufthansa Douglas C-54 Prop-liner - Parked At LH JFK Cargo Facility Building 86

Lufthansa's first 1041 Constellation flight took place at the end of June in 1955. Lufthansa also leased this Douglas C54 (N30042) from Transocean in 1957 for trans-Atlantic freight service.  It would be replaced the following year by a leased Lockheed Constellation (1049H - below). Photo circa August 1958.

A booming business back in the 60's, Lufthansa's freighter operations steadily grew at a phenomenal pace.  With the world's first 747F service ready to commence, Lufthansa Cargo needed to gear itself up for bigger things to come.  Eventually building 86 also became too small to handle the enormous volume of cargo, and was considered inadequate.  With the go-forward light flashing
from headquarters in Frankfurt, Mr. Hees along with the assistance of several key managers and engineers submitted plans for
a new 'state of the art' cargo facility to be constructed at JFK, leading to the birth of Lufthansa Cargo Building 261.

Most notable credit goes to the manager of the East Meadow computer department, Mr. Karl Vonnegut and his entire staff, who with the valuable input from the airport cargo office staff developed Lufthansa's first cargo computer software called: "LOCATE", which stood for 'Lufthansa On Line Cargo Accounting And Tracing Evd'.  This custom software was used successfully for many years by cargo offices until more updated computer technology became available.  Additional credit also goes to Head Office Auditor Mr. Rolf Deike from the engineering department in Frankfurt, who served as Building 261 Project Manager, offering invaluable support with his numerous visits to Lufthansa Cargo in NYC.
           

 Lufthansa Passenger Flights - We Move Cargo Too! 
 Virtually all Lufthansa passenger flights carry freight in the aircraft's belly, mostly in the form of built up pallets, containers, loose freight and passenger baggage. The rear belly compartment is pressurized and climate controlled to ensure total comfort and
safety of all traveling pets.  Upon arrival, all cargo is transferred to and from the main passenger arrivals area to the cargo warehouse, where it is inspected and cleared for release by U.S. Customs.


 
 Lufthansa Passenger Flight Arriving At JFK D-ABOM (photo circa mid 1960's)


 International Arrivals Building At JFK- Early 70's Slide Photo

The new cargo facility plans called for over 4000 square feet of floor storage space with a computer operated ETV (Elevated Transport Vehicle), capable of storing over 200 aircraft containers and cargo pallets.  Additionally, there was to be a second computer automated storage system called 'The Stacker', consisting of over 4000 storage bins, offering added storage space
for smaller packages and private consignments.  The Stacker allowed the storage bins to travel around the entire cargo facility
for easy access.  However, the truly unique part of this new facility was going to be the aircraft's internal nose-dock feature,
a first ever constructed at JFK, as well as for Lufthansa Cargo AG worldwide.

Disclaimer: This site is not affiliated with Lufthansa Cargo AG, Lufthansa LSG Service or any agency or provider connected with Lufthansa German Airlines Inc.
 It's sole purpose is for historical value and educational viewing. Crane logo and other graphics are copyright Lufthansa German Airlines AG - All rights reserved.