Skip to main content
Edit entry 

Bertreaux

Military site : airfield

Detailed history

Berteaux Airfield is an abandoned World War II United States Army Air Forces military airfield in Algeria, which was located approximately 9 km east of Telerghma; 35 km southwest of Constantine.

The airfield was constructed as a semi-permanent facility in late 1942 and early 1943, with a hard asphalt runway and concrete taxiways. Numerous hardstands were built, as well as a pierced steel planking parking apron and a steel control tower. There were probably a few structures erected with at least one blister-type hangar. A mixture of medium bomber and fighter groups and squadrons from Twelfth Air Force used the airfield during the North African Campaign.

History[edit]

The first operational unit to use Berteaux was the 310th Bombardment Group and its 379th, 380th, 381st and 428th Squadrons, flying B-25 Mitchells. Elements of the group arrived in late December 1942 from Telergma Airfield, with Group HQ arriving on 1 January 1943. The group engaged primarily in support and interdictory operations against German forces in Algeria and Tunisia. Almost simultaneously, the 14th Fighter Group with its P-38 Lightning equipped 48th, 49th and 50th Squadrons on 9 January. The 14th flew escort for the B-25s as well as engaging in strafing and reconnaissance missions until the beginning of March when it moved to Mediouna Airfield outside Casablanca.

The 14th was replaced by the P-40 Warhawk equipped 33d Fighter Group in early March, and the P-38 Lightning equipped 82d Fighter Group at the end of March. The 58th, 59th and 60th squadrons of the 33d, as well as the 95th, 96th and 97th squadrons of the 82d meant the airfield was home to over 100 fighter and bomber aircraft. Also the support facilities were hard pressed to handle the large numbers of ground support personnel, all billeted in tents.

The 33d Fighter Group moved out to Ebba Ksour Airfield, Tunisia, in the middle of April, reducing the crowded conditions somewhat, with the 82d and 310th Bomb Groups moving east in June as the battle of North Africa moved into Tunisia.

Berteaux Airfield was used as a support base for transient aircraft for a few months until the 68th Reconnaissance Group moved its P-38 and P-51 reconnaissance aircraft to the airfield in early September. The group flew combat reconnaissance missions over Tunisia and Sicily until October 1943 when it also moved east to Massicault Airfield in Tunisia, the North African Campaign ended and the combat moving to Italy. Along with the Recon squadrons, the 1st, 2d, and 3d Fighter Training Squadron provided P-40 Warhawk and P-38 Lightning training to French pilots and the 122d Liaison Squadron flew courier and observation operations.

Other units assigned to Berteaux were the Air Technical Service Command 318th and 359th Service Squadrons which supported and maintained the aircraft assigned to the field.

After the 68th moved out in October, Berteaux stayed in service as an Air Technical Service Command supply and maintenance support airfield until the end of March, 1944. Afterward, what could be dismantled from the airfield was moved east and the airfield was turned over to local authorities.

Today the area where Berteaux Airfield was constructed is now an agricultural area, although the ground still shows evidence of its existence in aerial images

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

  • 14th Fighter Group

    14th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 14th Fighter Group (USAAF) was a P-38 Lightning Group that fought in Tunisia and the Italian campaign, as well as providing bomber escorts for attacks across southern Europe. ...

  • 82nd Fighter Group

    82nd Fighter Group

    Group
    The 82nd Fighter Group flew training missions from bases in Northern Ireland with the Eighth Air Force between October and December 1942. They then joined the Twelfth Air Force in North Africa, supporting the ground invasion of Tunisia, Sicily and...

  • 68th Reconnaissance Group

    68th Reconnaissance Group

    Group
    The group was first established as the 68th Observation Group in 1941 at Brownwood Army Air Field, Texas, on 1 September 1941. Its primary mission was observation aircraft training and antisubmarine patrols. The group moved to several different U.S....

People

  • Louis Curdes

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Fighter Pilot 1055-single engine | 82nd Fighter Group
    Flight leader 95th FS 82nd FG MTO 6 air kills Shot down by ME-109 on Aug 27, 1943 and captured but later escaped. MACR #549 Flight leader 4th FS 3rd Air Commando Group SWP 2 kills Flew C-54s during the Berlin Airlift. Retired has Lt Col in 1963

  • Joseph Curreri

    Military | Sergeant | Air Crew Member - Airplane Mechanic | 93rd Bomb Group
    Inducted: 29 January 1942 - Camp Upton, New York ...

  • Russell Gustke

    Military | Major General | Fighter pilot-1056 Twin engine/Deputy Group CO | 14th Fighter Group
    Flight Leader 48th FS 14th FG MTO 1942-43 ...

  • Clarence Johnson

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot-1055 single engine | 352nd Fighter Group
    3rd combat tour flight leader 487th FS 352 FG KIA Sept. 23, 1944. ...

  • Gerald Rounds

    Military | Major | Fighter pilot | 82nd Fighter Group
    Gerald Rounds served as a fighter pilot with the 97th Fighter Squadron of the 82nd Fighter Group, flying P-38s in the Mediterranean Theater.

  • Thomas White

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot-1056 Twin Engine | 27th Air Transport Group
    6 kills MTO 95th FS 82nd FG OPS officer 338th FS 55th FG Post WWII air tanker pilot P-38H s/n 42-67030 CL-V "Janet"

Aircraft

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
16 September 2020 13:52:17 curreri Changes to person associations
Sources

Daddy of Them All: Story of the 17th Bomb Group in WWII Paperback – 1 Jan. 1990
Paperback : 78 pages
ISBN-10 : 096059003X
ISBN-13 : 978-0960590032
Publisher : Boomerang Publishers (1 Jan. 1990)
Language: : English

Date Contributor Update
22 November 2016 22:56:22 466thHistorian Created entry with name, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date, construction date and history
Sources

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

Share