Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Amendola Airfield

Military site : airfield

Detailed history

Amendola Airfield a pre-war Italian Air Force (Regia Aeronautica) facility, built about 1931. With the surrender of Fascist Italy to the Allies on 3 September 1943, the German Luftwaffe seized control of the field upon hearing of Italy's capitulation, and briefly used it as a combat airfield, however Allied forces seized control of the Tavoliere plain in late September/October and occupied the airfield.[3][4]

Amendola Airfield in 1945
The United States Army Corps of Engineers rebuilt the facility into a heavy bomber-capable airfield. it had two 6,000' x 100' runways laid over Pierced Steel Planking, oriented 11/29. There were two perimeter tracks, and several other loop taxiways each containing about 100 aircraft parking hardstands. both of the double loop for bombers and single frying pan type for fighters. There may have been some temporary hangars and buildings, however it appears that personnel were quartered primarily in tents, and most aircraft maintenance took place in the open on hardstands. It also had a steel control tower.[4]

Operationally, Amendola became one of the largest USAAF bases in Italy. Its first use was by the Twelfth Air Force 57th Fighter Group, which operated three P-40 Warhawk squadrons from 27 October 1943. A second Twelfth Air Force Group, the 321st Bombardment Group moved in on 20 November 1943 with four B-25 Mitchell squadrons.[5]

In December 1943, Amendola was transferred to Fifteenth Air Force, which stationed two B-17 Flying Fortress heavy bombardment Groups at the field. The 321st moved out to Vincenzo Airfield and the 57th to Cercola Airfield by March 1944. These were replaced by the 2d Bombardment Group and 97th Bombardment Group, which moved to Italy from bases in Tunisia.[5]

After being part of the Army of Occupation in Italy after the war, the 2d Bombardment Group moved to Foggia Airfield in November 1945; the 97th moved to Marcianise Airfield in October, and by the end of 1945, the Americans had placed the airfield into an inactive status

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

  • 2nd Bomb Group

    2nd Bomb Group

    Group
    Served on antisubmarine duty for several months after the U.S. entered World War II. In October 1942 was re-designated as 2d Bombardment Group (Heavy) and earmarked for combat. The group was transferred on paper to Geiger Field, Washington, where it...

  • 97th Bomb Group

    97th Bomb Group

    Group
    The 97th Bomb Group flew the Eighth Air Force's first heavy bomber mission from the UK when they bombed a marshalling yard at Rouen on 17 August 1942. Just a month later though the Group were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force and left England for the...

  • 57th Fighter Group

    57th Fighter Group

    Group
    The group was first activated as the 57th Pursuit Group in January 1941, flying P-40 Warhawks as part of the Army Air Corps Northeast Defense Sector (later assigned to the I Fighter Command) at Mitchel Field, New York.[3] It trained in New England and...

People

  • Nilo Abel

    Military | Master Sergeant | Crew chief | 2nd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 429BS, 2BG, 15AF USAAF. Crew chief of B-17 42-38078 'Sweat Pea'. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Bradie Bills

    Military | Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 97th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Salzburg 11-Nov-44 mechanical fault, crashed Fruli MIA [FOD 12-Nov-45] MACR 9862. Awards: AM, PH.

  • Donat Blazevich

    Military | Sergeant | Waist gunner | 97th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Salzburg 11-Nov-44 mechanical fault, crashed Fruli MIA [FOD 12-Nov-45] MACR 9862. Awards: AM, PH.

  • Elmer Buss

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist gunner | 2nd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 429BS, 2BG, 15AF USAAF. On raid to Debrecen, Hungary A/C hit by direct hit 21-Sep-44 Died of his wounds. Killed in Action (KIA). Awards: PH.

  • Brendan Byrne

    Military | Lieutenant | Navigator | 97th Bomb Group
    Brendan Byrne served as squadron navigator for the 414th Bomb Squadron of the 97th Bomb Group, flying 50 missions in Europe. After the war, he went to college on the GI Bill, studying public and international affairs at Princeton University. He then...

  • Theodore Davich

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 2nd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 429BS, 2BG, 15AF USAAF. On raid to Debrecen, Hungary A/C hit by direct hit and severely damaged 21-Sep-44. Returned to base, A/C successfully landing, its severed fuselage collapsing. RTD. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Joseph DiSalvo

    Military | Captain | Pilot | 97th Bomb Group
    Capt Joseph F. DiSalvo, B17 Pilot. Batavia, NY. Retired LTC. Stationed at Polebrook, then transferred to the 12th AF in N. Africa. One of three brothers who served in WWII. All three brothers returned home safe.

  • Dale Dolton

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Bombardier | 97th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Salzburg 11-Nov-44 mechanical fault, crashed Fruli MIA [FOD 12-Nov-45] MACR 9862. Awards: AM (2OLC), PH.

  • Robert Ericson

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 97th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Salzburg 11-Nov-44 mechanical fault, crashed Fruli MIA [FOD 12-Nov-45] MACR 9862. Awards: AM, PH.

  • Arthur Exon

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot - Squadron Commander | 57th Fighter Group
    Retired May 1, 1969. ...

Show more

Aircraft

  • 41-24444 "The Red Gremlin" (When salvaged, it had the name "Superman")

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 92BG Bangor 2/8/42; 340BS/97BG Polebrook 24/8/42 THE RED GREMLIN; took Gen Eisenhower to Gibraltar (1st B-17 to Gib) with Paul Tibbets; Maison Blanche 13/11/42; Tafaraoui 22/11/42; Biskra 25/12/42; Chateau-du-Rhumel 8/2/43; Pont-du-Fahs 1/8/43...

  • 42-102918 'Idiots Delight'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/4/44; Hunter 29/4/44; Grenier 14/5/44; Assigned 342BS/97BG Amendola 26/5/44; first 15AF aircraft to land in Russia on shuttle mission after bombing Debrecen marshalling yards 2/6/44; Missing in Action Munich 19/7/44 with 1Lt...

  • 42-2982

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered West Palm Beach 7/1/43; Assigned 342BS/97BG Chateau-du-Rhumel 3/43; Pont-du-Fahs 1/8/43; Depienne 15/9/43; Cerignola 20/12/43; Amendola 16/1/44; Lost Palermo, Italy to flak and fighters 16/4/43 with 1Lt William F Murray Jr, 1Lt Vernon J Reed,...

  • 42-29918 'Webfoot'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 9/3/43; Gore 20/3/43; Tinker 30/3/43; Homestead 7/4/43; Morrison 12/4/43; Assigned 346BS/99BG Navarin 12/5/43; Oudna 4/8/43; battle damaged Messina 16/8/43, 1KIA; transferred 342BS/97BG Depienne 14/11/43; Cerignola 20/12/43; Missing in...

  • 42-30072 'Virginia Lee'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 7/4/43; Denver 10/4/43; Gore 18/4/43; Tinker 21/4/43; Morrison 29/4/43; Assigned 342BS/97BG Chateau-du-Rhumel 10/5/43; Pont-du-Fahs 1/8/43; Depienne 15/8/43; Cerignola 20/12/43; Amendola 16/1/44; Missing in Action Ploesti 5/5/44 with...

  • 42-30169 'Lady Luck'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 22/4/43; Tinker 24/5/43; Smoky Hill 29/5/43; Chicago 1/6/43; Smoky Hill 16/6/43; Tinker 19/6/43; Kearney 26/6/43; Eglin 7/7/43; Dow Fd 12/7/43; Assigned 414BS/97BG Chateau-du-Rhumel 14/7/43; Pont-du-Fahs 1/8/43; Depienne 15/8/43;...

  • 42-30267 'Hustlin Huzzy'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 18/5/43; Smoky Hill 30/5/43; Tinker 8/6/43; Smoky Hill 17/6/43; Casper 28/6/43; Kearney 30/6/43; Eglin 4/7/43; Dow 9/7/43; Assigned 96BS/2BG Ain M'Lila 27/7/43; Massicault 31/7/43; 19m transferred 341BS/97BG Depienne 14/11/43;...

  • 42-30343

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 19/5/43; Gore 20/5/43; Smoky Hill 30/5/43; Dow Fd 3/6/43; Tinker 13/6/43; Smoky Hill 22/6/43; Casper 28/6/43; Kearney 30/6/43; Eglin 4/7/43; Kearney 11/7/43; Dow Fd 12/7/43; Assigned 346BS/99BG Navarin 30/7/43; Oudna 4/8/43;...

  • 42-30381 'Little Red Head'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 25/5/43; Tinker 7/6/43; Smoky Hill 18/6/43; Casper 28/6/43; Kearney 30/6/43; Eglin 7/7/43; Kearney 9/7/43; Dow Fd 10/7/43; Assigned 419BS/301BG St Donat 26/7/43; Oudna 6/8/43; Cerignola 7/12/43; Lucera 1/2/44; 17m transferred 341BS...

  • 42-30459 'Little Chum'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 4/6/43; Rapid City 15/6/43; Geiger 22/6/43; Gr Isle 28/6/43; Dow 20/7/43; Assigned 416BS/99BG Oudna 7/8/43; transferred 341BS/97BG Depienne 14/11/43; Cerignola 20/12/43; Amendola 16/1/44; Missing in Action Regensburg 22/2/44 with 2Lt...

Show more

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
31 October 2016 23:18:07 466thHistorian Created entry with name, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date, construction date and history
Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amendola_Air_Base

Share