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Military site : airfield

Detailed history

Its facilities consisted of a tent city, an access road to the existing road infrastructure, a dump containing fuel, food, water and ammunition, and en minimal electrical grid for communications and station lighting.
Asch was home to the USAAF 352FG (P-51 Mustangs) and 366FG (P-47 Thunderbolts) between 19 November 1944 and 11 April 1945.
Between 8 February and 15 April 1945 it also based 406FG (P-47 Thunderbolts).
These units were all tasked with disrupting German operations ahead of the beachhead, strafing anything german they encountered.

On the start of Operation Bodenplatte (the German counterattack through the Ardennes) on 1 January 1945 Asch was the site of a major aerial battle, which later became known as "The Legend of Asch".
When the fighter units moved out Asch became home to 391BG (B-26 Marauders) until 27 May 1947.
With the end of the war in Europe the airfield was closed and abandoned on 20 June 1945.
Today, nothing but a small memorial reminds of the airfield, which is partly in a wooded area at Zutendaal Air Base, and partly at the other end of Highway E314.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known



  • 406th Fighter Group
  • 366th Fighter Group

    366th Fighter Group

    The Group moved in England over the New Year of 1944, setting up home first at Membury and then at Thruxton. The pilots' first mission was a fighter sweep of the French coast in March 1944 and from then until D-Day that June the ground supported Allied...

  • 352nd Fighter Group

    352nd Fighter Group

    The 352nd Fighter Group were based at Bodney, Norfolk from July 1943 until November 1945 but in the winter months of 1944/1945 detachments moved to bases in Belgium to provide extra air support to ground forces during the Battle of the Bulge and to...

  • 391st Bomb Group

    391st Bomb Group

    "The heaviest losses sustained by the 391st Bombardment Group in a single operation occurred on 23 December 1944, after an attack on the railroad viaduct at Ahrweiler, Germany (11). Upon completion of the second bomb run, the formation was attacked by...


  • Thomas Colby

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot 1055 Single Engine | 352nd Fighter Group
    P-51K s/n 44-11654 PZ+T "Lil Evey"

  • Richard Funk

    Military | Sergeant | Assistant Crew Chief "Miss GENNY CLOUD" | 352nd Fighter Group

  • Anthony Goebel

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 352nd Fighter Group
    With the World at War, Anthony H. Goebel (age 24) felt compelled to enlist in military service and reluctantly left his young, wartime bride to join the US Army Air Corps in 1942. After qualifying to become a pilot, Flight Cadet Goebel completed two...

  • Andor Kish

    Military | Private First Class (6th Grade) | Telephone switchboard | 391st Bomb Group
    Andor is from Franklin Boro, NJ. He enlisted August, 1942. He was assigned to MacDill Field/ Drew Field, Tampa, Florida. He was shipped out on the Queen Mary on Nov. 15, 1943 to Scotland and then to Matching, England. He was a member of the Franklin...

  • Melvyn Paisley

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot | 366th Fighter Group
    Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Research, Engineering and Systems) from December 1981 to March 1987. Authored the book "Ace!" published by Branden Publishing Company, copyright 1992

  • Alden Rigby

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot | 352nd Fighter Group
    Assigned to 487FS, 352FG, 8AF USAAF. Flew 76 combat missions over Europe, totalling 272 combat hours. Credited with 5 kills, including downing 2 x 190's and 2 x 109's on 1-Jan-45 over his home base of Asch, Belgium/Y-29. Additionally credited 1 x...

  • Raymond Smart

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot | 366th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 389FS, 366FG, 9AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) dive bombing mission to Koln in P-47 44-20540; shot down by flak over target. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 12641 Awards: AM (6OLC), Croix de Guerre, PH.

  • Lowell Smith

    Military | Captain | Fighter pilot | 366th Fighter Group
    Assigned to 390FS, 366FG, 9AF USAAF. Took off, leading section, on close support mission, just as Luftwaffe attacked Asch A/D [Operation Bodenplatte]. Salvoed bombs and mixed it with Fw190's claiming 2 x kills in vicinity of base A/D. ...

  • Philip Walter

    Military | Captain | Pilot
    Flew B-26 Marauders & A-26 Invaders

  • William Whisner

    Military | Colonel | Pilot | 352nd Fighter Group
    Became ace in a day, shot down 5. He was credited for 15 German Planes in the air and 3 on the ground during WW II he also received partial credit for a 16th kill in the air He was a veteran of both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. 15.50 + 5.5 in Korea ...

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Date Contributor Update
02 July 2015 01:40:17 466thHistorian Created entry with name, number, known as, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date, construction date, closure date, history and media associations

466th BG Historian