Villeneuve-Orly Airport was opened in 1932, as a secondary airport to Le Bourget, then Paris' principal airport.
In 1940 the Luftwaffe occupied the airport and used it as a combat airfield. Until 1944 the site was regularly attacked by Allied air forces, which destroyed most of its infrastructure.
Orly entered USAAF use following the Liberation of Paris. Elements of the IX Engineering Command 826th Engineer Aviation Battalion arrived at Orly on 27 August 1944 . The two concrete runways were patched and the airfield was made operational as Advanced Landing Ground A-47 for transport units to fly Resupply and Casualty evacuation flights by the next day.
The 50th Fighter Group undertook combat operations from Orly for a week in early September 1944. The base was then used as a command and control field by Liaison units until October 1945
While Orly remained in American hands after the war, plans were made to repair most of the wartime damage and return it to use as a civilian air port. On 7 November 1947, it was returned to the French Government, it is now the site of Orly International Airport.
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Before the build-up to D-Day, the group were based in the United States as part of the Fighter School Command and the Army Air Forces School of Applied Tactics. In spring 1944 though, like so many other fighter and bomb groups, the 50th Fighter Group...
Military | Second Lieutenant | fighter pilot | 50th Fighter Group
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