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Saint Lambert

Military site : airfield

Detailed history

Saint Lambert airfield (also known as Advanced Landing Ground A-11 "Saint Lambert") was an airfield on the Normandy beachhead in France.
The airfield was completed by the 832nd Engineer Aviation Battalion, nearly two months after the D-Day landings in France. It was one of the last airfields to be completed in the Normandy area. It became home to 474 Fighter Group, flying the P-38J and P-38L Lightning. 474FG was one of the last units to still operate from British soil. The group began arriving on 1 August and was declared operational on 5 August 1944. As fighter-bombers the P-38s earned quite a reputation, with the Germans referring to them as "fork-tailed devil" ("der Teufel Gabelschwanz"). Like all fighter units stationed at advanced landing grounds, both Fighter Groups were tasked with patrolling roads in front of the beachhead and attacking German vehicles, troop concentrations and weapons.

Life at the airfield had its problems, mainly caused by dust during summer. The dust was everywhere, in tents, clothes, equipment and laundry. After the advancing Allied Armies moved east into Central France, the airfield was closed on 5 September 1944.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

People

  • William Byers

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot-Twin Engine | 474th Fighter Group
    Bend, Oregon 430th FS 474th FG P-38J/P-38L 2 kills 49th FBW F-84E Korean War Brother Jim Byers also flew in 430th FS shared same P-38s.

  • Donald Koch

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | P-38 Fighter Pilot | 474th Fighter Group
    Lt. Don Koch (428th FS) was shot down flying P-38 42-67669 on 25 Aug 44 after dog-fighting with Bf109Gs of III./JG76. Lt. Koch was captured, taken POW, and sent to Stalag Luft I, Barth, Germany.

  • Ray Packard

    Civilian | Pilot | 474th Fighter Group
    2Lt. Ray Delbert Packard was the youngest child of Ralph Delbert "Ray" Packard and his wife Inez Vivian Allard Packard. He was born in South Dakota (possibly McCook County) in 1924. Ray joined the army from southern California and, after completing...

Aircraft

  • 44-23162

    P-38 Lightning
    Point of departure was A-11 airfield, Saint-Lambert, for recon of Mortain area, due to overcast reduced altitude and was hit by flak in starboard engine, pilot lost control and both occupants baled out, one parachute snagged tailplane and went down...

  • 42-67669

    P-38 Lightning
    Aircraft originally assigned to the 79th Fighter Squadron, 20th Fighter Group, coded as MC-K. It's regular pilot was F/O Markrel Byrd. Aircraft later transferred to 428th Fighter Squadron, 474th Fighter Group when the 20th FG converted to P-51 Mustangs...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
09 September 2015 03:46:31 466thHistorian Created entry with name, number, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date, construction date, closure date and history
Sources

http://www.forgottenairfields.com/france/lower-normandy/calvados/saint-l...

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