Amendola

Airfield

Object Number - UPL 24074 - Amendola Airfield, Italy February 1945 Home of the 2nd BG and 97th BG of the 15th AF

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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

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 2nd Bomb Group 429th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 15070644
  • Highest Rank: Master Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Crew chief
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 2nd Bomb Group 49th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 33758700
  • Highest Rank: Technical Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Radio Operator
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 97th Bomb Group 342nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 16111670
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Ball Turret
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 97th Bomb Group 342nd Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 37484503
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 97th Bomb Group 414th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: 38608036
  • Highest Rank: Sergeant
  • Role/Job: Tail Gunner

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-25 Mitchell
  • Nicknames: Idaho Lassie
  • Unit: 321st Bomb Group 445th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-40 Warhawk
  • Nicknames: Sweet Stuff
  • Unit: 57th Fighter Group 64th Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: The Red Gremlin, Superman
  • Unit: 340th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-17 Flying Fortress
  • Nicknames: Kissy-Me-Cowboy
  • Unit: 97th Bomb Group 414th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: B-25 Mitchell
  • Nicknames: Hettie's Pride and Joy
  • Unit: 445th Bomb Group 321st Bomb Group

Revisions

Date31 Oct 2016 23:18:07
Contributor466thHistorian

Amendola: Gallery (12 items)