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Lucera Airfield

Military site : airfield

Detailed history

Lucera Airfield a temporary wartime facility, built by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Construction was initiated shortly after Allied forces seized control of the Tavoliere plain around Foggia, Apulia, Italy.[1]

The major tenant of the airfield was the 301st Bombardment Group, which arrived from either Torretta, San Giovanni, Giulia or Stornara Airfield in the Cerignola area of Italy on 1 February 1944. It was equipped with Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers.[2]

The 301st Bomb Group consisted of four squadrons:[3]
32d Bombardment Squadron
352d Bombardment Squadron
353d Bombardment Squadron
419th Bombardment Squadron

The airfield had parallel, 6,000' x 100' asphalt runways laid over Pierced Steel Planking, oriented 13/31. There were two perimeter tracks, one on each side of the runways.[1] 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.[1]

With the end of the war in 1945, the 301st returned to the United States at the end of July, heading to Sioux Falls Army Air Field, South Dakota to become part of the new Strategic Air Command.[2] They were replaced by the Twelfth Air Force 100th and 301st Fighter Squadrons, part of the Tuskegee Airmen 332d Fighter Group moved to Lucera in July from their wartime base at Ramitelli Airfield, while awaiting demobilization orders. The Tuskegee Airmen remained at Lucera until the end of September when they departed for the United States and subsequent demobilization.[3]

Sometime after that departure, the engineers moved in and dismantled the facility. Today Lucera airfield has been returned to agriculture, however extensive scarring of the landscape remains, showing various dispersal pads and taxiways and other features.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

  • 301st Bomb Group

    301st Bomb Group

    Group
    Activated 3-February-1942 at Geiger Field, Washington and equipped with B-17s. On 27-May-1942 the ground unit moved to Alamogordo Army Air Field, New Mexico, and the aircraft went to Muroc Army Air Field (now Edwards Air Force Base), California for...

People

  • Simon Abcouwer

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Tail Gunner | 301st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 352BS, 301BG, 15AF USAAF. Awards: AM (3OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Charles Abramson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 301st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 352BS, 301BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Steyr, Austria in B-17 42-31437 24-Feb-44; enemy aircraft, crashed Enns, Austria; Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 2636. Awards: AM (2OLC), POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Norman Adler

    Military | Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 301st Bomb Group
    Assigned 32BS, 301BG, 15AF USAAF. Returned from Blechhammer raid in B-17 44-8001 7-Aug-44 when part of crew baled out due to flak hits RTD. Failed to Return (FTR) Lechfeld 12-Sep-44 flak, crashed Karwendelhaus; Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 8622. ...

  • Allen Ahre

    Military | Second Lieutenant | 301st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 352BS, 301BG, 15AF USAAF. Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Robert Albright

    Military | Technical Sergeant | 301st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 352BS, 301BG, 15AF USAAF. Awards: AM(OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Spotswood Allen

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 301st Bomb Group
    Assigned 32BS, 301BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Lechfeld 12-Sep-44 flak, crashed Karwendelhaus; Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 8622. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • August Altese

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 301st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 352BS, 301BG, 15AF USAAF. Awards: AM (OLC), WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Hubert Altman

    Military | Corporal | 301st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 352BS, 301BG, 15AF USAAF. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Oscar Ambrose

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist Gunner | 301st Bomb Group
    Assigned to 352BS, 303BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Brux in B-17 44-6351 4-Mar-45; flak, crashed Waidhofen, Austria; Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 12903 Awards: AM, PH.

  • Robert Ault

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 301st Bomb Group
    Assigned 32BS, 301BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Wiener Neudorf 26-Jul-44 hit by enemy aircraft, crashed Perin; Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 7141. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

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Aircraft

  • 41-24390

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 419BS/301BG Westover 8/7/42; Chelveston/Podington 6/8/42; Tafaraoui 26/11/42; Maison Blanche 5/12/42; Biskra 16/12/42; Ain M'Lila 17/1/43; St Donat 6/3/43; Oudna 6/8/43; Cerignola, It. 7/12/43; Lucera 1/2/44; {60m} Salvaged 20/2/45.

  • 41-24406 'All American'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 92BG Bangor 13/7/42; transferred 414BS/97BG Polebrook 6/42; Maison Blanche, Alg. 13/11/42; Tafaraoui, Alg. 22/11/42; Biskra, Alg. 25/12/42; on Tunis mission was rammed by Me109G 1/2/43 almost slicing rear fuselage and tail of plane off; made...

  • 41-24422 Dickie Doodle II

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 352BS/301BG Westover 14/7/42; Chelveston 9/8/42; Tafaraoui 26/11/42; Maison Blanche 5/12/42; Biskra 16/12/42; Ain M'Lila 17/1/43; St Donat 6/3/43; Oudna 6/8/43; Cerignola 7/12/43; Lucera 1/2/44; 61m Salvaged 1/7/45. DICKIE DOODLE II.

  • 41-24555

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Lowry 9/8/42; Denver 12/8/42; Salina 11/11/42; Assigned 353BS/301BG St Donat 6/3/43; Oudna 6/8/43, Cerignola 7/12/43; Lucera 1/2/44; (34m) Returned to the USA Dalhart 13/5/44; Written off Amarillo 17/12/44; Recl Comp 9/4/46.

  • 42-102913

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/4/44; Hunter 29/4/44; Grenier 15/5/44; Assigned 32BS/301BG Lucera 25/5/44; Missing in Action Wiener Neudorf 26/7/44 with John Sullivan, Bombardier: Kennedy, Flight engineer/top turret gunner: Nicoll, Radio Operator: Hanifin, Ball...

  • 42-102915

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/4/44; Hunter 1/5/44; Dow Fd 10/5/44; Assigned 419BS/301BG Lucera 26/5/44; Missing in Action Wiener Neudorf 26/7/44 with Alonzo Martin, Harry Tennenborn, Joe Baril (3 Prisoner of War); Harry McDonald, Bob Thorson, Chas Fischer,...

  • 42-102929

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 19/4/44; Hunter 27/4/44; Grenier 15/5/44; Assigned 352BS/301BG Lucera 26/5/44; Missing in Action Wiener Neudorf 26/7/44 with Ernie Howell, Campbell, Dawson, Woodson, West, Vodicka, Bauman, Mears (8 Killed in Action); Hammond, La Rosa...

  • 42-102943

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 21/4/44; Hunter 1/5/44; Grenier 19/5/44; Assigned 352BS/301BG Lucera 26/5/44; Missing in Action Memmingen 18/7/44 with Gilbert Wilson, Bergen, Henry, Seitzinger, Isaac, Voight, Van Tassel, Sterling, Lynde (9 Prisoner of War); Criner ...

  • 42-107110

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 23/2/44; Hunter 4/3/44; Homestead 6/4/44; Assigned 398BG Nuthampstead 22/4/44; transferred 32BS/301BG Lucera 19/8/44; crashed non-op flight 11/1/45; Salvaged.

  • 42-107115

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Tulsa 25/2/44; Hunter 4/3/44; Homestead 10/3/44; Assigned 482BG Alconbury 19/3/44; transferred 353BS/301BG Lucera 27/3/44; cargo ship from 11/11/44; crash landed base with Walter Core 28/6/45; Salvaged.

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
04 July 2017 14:51:15 Lucy May Changes to aircraft associations
Sources

Connected aircraft records that have 'Lucera' in their biography fields.

Date Contributor Update
02 November 2016 15:58:38 466thHistorian Created entry with name, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date, construction date and history
Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucera_Airfield
http://www.forgottenairfields.com/italy/apulia/foggia/lucera-s566.html

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