Spinazzola Airfield, Italy
460th Bomb Group - 15th AF
A B-24 Liberator (serial number 41-28904) of the 465th Bomb Group flies with A B-24 (serial number 42-52337) nicknamed "Cuddles"of the 460th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force fly as one of their comrades burns in mid air.
Foreground Left: B-24H-15-DT #41-28904 -
Top: B-24H-15-FO #42-52337 "Cuddles" Code: M - 763rd BS
The burning a/'s is unidentified, however it is known that it was being flown by the Frederick Smith Crew at the time it was set afire by enemy fighters on this mission of 16 June 1944. Only three crewmen survived.
Runway: ../.. - ...meters/...feet - PSP
Air field Spinazzola was a semi-permanent airfield located approximately 13km east-southeast of Spinazzola, Apulia, Italy
The airfield was built beginning in September 1943 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers with a single PSP runway.
It was part of the Foggia Airfield Complex, a series of World War II military airfields located within a 25 mile (40 km) radius of Foggia.
It had extensive taxiways and hardstand parking areas and a wooden control tower.
The airfield opened in January 1944, and provided basing to two Heavy Bomber Groups of the 15th Air Force.
The 55th Bombardment Wing is known to have used the airfield with B-24 Liberators
They engaged in very long range strategic bombing missions to enemy military, industrial and transportation targets in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, Romania, and Yugoslavia.
They bombed railroad marshalling yards, oil refineries, aerodrome installations, heavy industry and other strategic targets.
The last World War II combat mission was flown on 26 April 1945.
After V-E Day, they were assigned to 'Green Project', the movement of troops from Europe to the United States via the South Atlantic Transport Route.
B-24s were modified with sealed bomb bays, removal of all defensive armament and the internal fuselage equipped with seating to carry approximately 30 personnel.
The airfield remained in operation until end of war and closed in August 1945.
English Heritage's record description
Not yet known
Constituted as 460th Bombardment Group (Heavy) in May 1943. Activated on 1 July 1943. Activated as a B-24 Liberator heavy bombardment unit; assigned to II Bomber Command for training. Primarily trained in New Mexico and Utah. Received deployment orders...