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Toul / Rosieres Airfield

Military site : airfield

Detailed history

Air field Toul-Rosières (french: Aérodrome Toul-Rosières, or Base Aérienne 136 Toul-Rosières, also known as Toul Air Base, Toul-Rosières Air-Base, TRAB or ALG A-98 'Rosieres-en-Haye') was an airfield 10 miles northeast of the city of Toul, France.
The airfield was built in September 1944, only a few days after the Germans were forced from the area, by the United States Army Air Force IX Engineering Command 850th Engineer Aviation Battalion. A 5000' Pierced Steel Planking runway was laid down, in addition to taxiways, dispersed parking areas, and a support station and maintenance area. "Rosieres En Haye Airfield, or Advanced Landing Ground A-98 was declared operationally ready and turned over to Ninth Air Force on 21 November 1944.
The 354th Fighter Group, flying P-47 Thunderbolts arrived shortly afterwards and remained until April 1945. The Luftwaffe bombed the airfield several times during the winter nights of 1944/45.
During construction of ALG A-98, the 850th EAB encountered a difficult problem that has plagued this site to the present day.
Winter rains aggravated the severe drainage problem in the region and the entire base became a quagmire of slippery clay.
Six inches of stone were laid to support the pierced steel plank runway, but this proved insufficient to prevent mud rising through the PSP.
Finally the PSP had to be taken up and six additional inches of slag laid to keep the runway operational for the P-47s. .
The problem was so extreme that men from the 354th Fighter Group had to assist the aviation engineers to maintain an operational runway and taxiways during the Ardennes offensive.
The Americans turned the airfield back over to French authorities on 22 May 1945. In French control after the war, the base sat abandoned for several years. The Air Ministry leased the land out to farmers for agricultural use, sending in unexploded ordnance teams to remove the dangerous munitions.

In 1951 as a result of the Cold War threat of the Soviet Union, Rosieres-en-Haye Airfield was provided to the United States Air Force by the French as part of their NATO commitment. Toul was chosen because the site was immediately available for construction, and because there was a long American history associated with the area going back to World War I.
The new NATO airfield was planned to be developed in two steps. The first being a temporary bare base facility built in minimum time to support flying missions. The second stage being the completion of support facilities while the wing operated at the operational facilities. Initial surveys of the area showed that the World War II runway laid down in 1944 at Rosieres-En-Haye Airfield had seriously deteriorated and no remaining structures of the airfield remained. Construction of the base to bring it up to NATO standards started in February 1951 with the building of a railroad track and access roads. In November 1951, the old Pierced Steel Planking runway was torn up and a permanent base of aggregate for a jet runway was laid down.
Like most NATO airfields in France, the design of the new airfield was to space parked aircraft as far apart as possible. This was achieved by the construction of a circular system of hardstands (marguerites) that could be revetted later with earth for added protection. Typically a marguerite consisted of fifteen to eighteen hardstands around a large central hangar, each capable to hold one or two aircraft. This allowed the planes to be spaced approximately 150 feet (ca. 50m) apart. Each squadron was assigned to a separate hangar/hardstand complex.
In December 1951, the 7412th Support Squadron was established by the USAF at "Toul-Rosières Air Base" to coordinate construction issues and development of the new NATO facility.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

  • 354th Fighter Group

    354th Fighter Group

    Group
    The Group moved to England in the autumn of 1943 and was assigned to the Ninth Air Force in December 1943. The Group were the first to fly P-51 Mustangs operationally and in their bomber escort missions pushed to find the long-range limits of the...

  • 2026th Engineer Fire Fighting Platoon

People

  • Cecil Buchanan

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot-1055 single engine | 354th Fighter Group
    wingman-element leader-flight leader 356th FS 354th FG 1944-45

  • Marshall Cloke

    Military | Colonel | Fighter Pilot 1055 single engine/Squadron Commander | 354th Fighter Group
    Col USAF retired CO 380th FS 363rd FG CO 355th FS 354th FG 2 air kills

  • Felix Kozaczka

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot-1055 single engine | 354th Fighter Group
    Wingman 382nd FS 363rd FG P-51B 1 kill first combat tour Flight leader 356th FS 354th FG P-47D/P-51D 2 kills 2nd combat tour

  • George Lamb

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot 1055-single engine | 354th Fighter Group
    Flight leader/OPS Officer 356th FS 354th FG Post War HQ 405th FG Occupation Duty Lt Col Utah ANG retired 7.5 air kills, 1 probable, 3.5 damaged in the air plus .5 ground kill

Aircraft

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
27 July 2015 01:11:23 466thHistorian Created entry with name, number, known as, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date, construction date, closure date and history
Sources

http://www.forgottenairfields.com/france/lorraine/meurthe-et-moselle/tou...

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