Ponte Olivo

Airfield

Connections

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Detailed History

Originally built as Ponte Olivo Airport in the 1920s, the airport became base for the 41st Storm of the Italian Regia Aeronautica in September 1939. It was extensively used for the bombing of the British bases on the Maltese islands. and was the primary objective of the Amphibious Battle of Gela during Operation Husky.

On 9 July 1943, the airport was captured by the United States Army 82d Airborne Division, it was quickly co-opted for military use by the USAAF. The base was home to several units of the 12th Air Force who undertook air operations in support of Ground forces in the Italian peninsula.

The USAAF closed its facilities at the airfield at the end of September 1944, and returned the airport to Italian authorities.

During the late 1950s and early 1960s the airport was used as a private airport. Today there are little or no remains of the airfield, with some faint land disturbances visible on aerial photography of its former runways. Some buildings in the area may have been reused and adapted for other purposes.

People

  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 97th Combat Bomb Wing Headquarters (97th Combat Bomb Wing) 12th Bomb Group
  • Service Numbers: O-29600
  • Highest Rank: Brigadier General
  • Role/Job: Pilot, Commanding Officer
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 31st Fighter Group 350th Fighter Group 309th Fighter Squadron 345th Fighter Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-421583
  • Highest Rank: Captain
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot/Squadron Operations Officer/Assistant Group Ops Officer
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 439th Troop Carrier Group 60th Troop Carrier Group 94th Troop Carrier Squadron 12th Troop Carrier Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-402363
  • Highest Rank: Lieutenant Colonel
  • Role/Job: Pilot
  • Military/Civilian/Mascot: Military
  • Nationality: American
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group 17th Bomb Squadron
  • Service Numbers: O-662912
  • Highest Rank: First Lieutenant
  • Role/Job: Fighter Pilot

Aircraft

  • Aircraft Type: B-24 Liberator
  • Nicknames: - What's Cooking Doc? - Big Operator
  • Unit: 98th Bomb Group 344th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group 523rd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group 17th Bomb Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group 522nd Fighter Squadron
  • Aircraft Type: P-51 Mustang
  • Unit: 27th Fighter Group 522nd Fighter Squadron

Revisions

Date6 Dec 2016 03:51:10
Contributor466thHistorian