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Pantanella

Military site : airfield

Detailed history

41°08'14"N 015°55'12"E

runway: ..L/..R - ...x..m - PSP
runway: ..R/..L - ...x..m - PSP

Pantanella airfield was a semi-permanent airfield located approximately 15km south of the Cerignola, Apulia, Italy.
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, hardstand parking areas, a steel control tower and capacity for approximately 150 heavy bombers with large support facilities with blister hangars as well as wooden structures. The airfield was completed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers with two parallel PSP runways in May 1944.
The airfield opened months earlier, in February 1944, and became home to two Heavy Bomber Groups of the 15th Air Force, composed of 6 squadrons in total. Both Bomb Groups (464BG(H) and 465BG(H)) flew the B-24 Liberator and participated in both strategic and tactical bombing missions throughout southern and eastern Europe. Over time both Groups earned two Distinguished Unit Citations whilst at Pantanella.
After V-E Day, both Groups were assigned to 'Green Project', which was the return of troops from Europe to the United States via the South Atlantic Transport Route. For this role B-24s were modified with sealed bomb bays, the removal of all defensive armament, and internal fuselage equipped with seating to carry approximately 30 personnel. The airfield remained in operation until the end of the war and closed in July 1945.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

People

  • Wilton Abbott

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Engineer | 464th Bomb Group
    Flying a mission from Panatella AAB in Italy, Sergeant Wilton L Abbott's B-24 Liberator took 3 direct hits from anti aircraft fire on a raid over Blechammer, Germany at 11:20am on the 13th October 1944. Abbott was last seen manning one of the waist...

  • Jack Abrams

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 464th Bomb Group
    On the 17th October 1944, whilst on route from Pantanella, Italy to bomb an ordnance factory South of Vienna, 1st Lieutenant Abrams plane, B24-J Liberator, (Lively Lady), was hit by flak. Abrams was believed to have been killed instantly on the flight...

  • Lee Billings

    Military | Master Sergeant | Engineer/Gunner | 465th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 783BS, 465BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) from raid on Oil refinery in Blechhammer, Germany. When B-24 42-28853 lost a wing over the target he was blown out of the aircraft, fortunately with his chute attached, he survived to be...

  • Marshall Bonner

    Military | Colonel | Group Commander - Pilot | 464th Bomb Group

  • James Bourne

    Military | Sergeant | Gunner | 465th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 783BS, 465BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) from raid on Oil refinery in Blechhammer, Germany. When B-24 41-28853 lost a wing over the target he was blown out of the aircraft, fortunately with his chute attached, he survived to be...

  • Howard Carlson

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 464th Bomb Group
    Howard R. Carlson followed his brother (Gilbert Carlson) into the Air Corps on 23 Feb 1943 and was stationed in Italy (1944-45) where he was a co-pilot on a B-24 Liberator with the 464th Bomb Group, 778th BS, 15th Air Force. He was discharged on 16 Aug...

  • Floyd Coffield

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 446th Bomb Group

  • Norman Cope

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist gunner | 464th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 778BS, 464BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Lugo, Italy in B-24 44-49710; A/C suffered direct flak hit on a 'milk run'. Starboard wing collapsing between engines; crashed Lugo, Italy 10-Apr-45, Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 13711. ...

  • Rosh Crosby

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-pilot | 464th Bomb Group
    Rosh Crosby served as a co-pilot with the 778th Bomb Squadron of the 464th Bomb Group, flying missions out of Pantanella airfield, Italy. On 5 February 1945, he was flying B-24 42-52537 on a mission to Regensburg. With two engines shot up, they...

  • Milton Duckworth

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 465th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 783BS, 465BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) from raid on Oil refinery in Blechhammer, Germany. When B-24 42-28853 lost a wing over the target he bailed out of the aircraft and survived to be captured. 20-Nov-44. Prisoner of War (POW)....

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Aircraft

  • 42-52744 'Ding Dong Daddy From Dixie' 'Capricorn'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 834BS, 486BG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred in Jul-44 to 835BS. May have been transferred briefly to 493rd BG but definitely transferred to MTO 10 Mar 45 by BAD 3 and assigned to 98th BG. Salvaged 27 Apr 45.

  • 42-52762 'Scorpio'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned 834th BS, Transferred to 833rd BS (4N F). After storage at BAD 3, Langford Lodge, Northern Ireland, it was transferred to MTO 14 Feb 45 and assigned to 465th BG / 781st BS (T). Sadly, its service in 15th AF was very short indeed because it was...

  • 41-29490 'Gemini'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 834BS, 486BG, 8AF USAAF. Transferred to 832BS, 486BG, 8AF USAAF. Stored BAD2. Assigned 725BSBS, 451st BG, 15AF USAAF. Salvaged 9-Apr-45.

  • 42-52532 'Virgo' 'Miss Mynookey'

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned 834rd BS, 486th BG, 8th AF, One of the original aircraft flown to the UK - until the end of Jun 44. ...

  • 44-49710 "Stevonovitch II"

    B-24 Liberator
    Assigned to 778BS, 464BG, 15AF USAAF. Suffered direct flak hit on a 'milk run'. Starboard wing collapsing between engines, pilot Col James Gilson, C/O of the 779th BS and nine other crew members were KIA [killed in action], one waist gunner was thrown...

  • 44-41084 Big Fat Mama

    B-24 Liberator

  • 42-52520 Com-Batty

    B-24 Liberator

  • 42-50796 Easy Maid

    B-24 Liberator

  • 42-52537 Ruthie the Raider

    B-24 Liberator
    Lost Feb 5, 1945, Germany. Two engines shot up, diverted to Switzerland, ran out of fuel and crash landed on deserted German airfield. Crew returned. MACR 12064.

  • 44-41043 Be Commin Back

    B-24 Liberator

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Revisions

Date Contributor Update
14 November 2016 23:50:48 466thHistorian Created entry with name, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date, construction date, closure date and history
Sources

http://www.forgottenairfields.com/italy/apulia/barletta-andria-trani/pan...

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