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Military site : airfield

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

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known



  • 2nd Bomb Group

    2nd Bomb Group

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  • 97th Bomb Group

    97th Bomb Group

    The 97th Bomb Group flew the Eighth Air Force's first heavy bomber mission from the UK when they bombed a marshalling yard at Rouen on 17 August 1942. Just a month later though the Group were reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force and left England for the...

  • 57th Fighter Group

    57th Fighter Group

    The group was first activated as the 57th Pursuit Group in January 1941, flying P-40 Warhawks as part of the Army Air Corps Northeast Defense Sector (later assigned to the I Fighter Command) at Mitchel Field, New York. It trained in New England and...

  • 321st Bomb Group


  • Nilo Abel

    Military | Master Sergeant | Crew chief | 2nd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 429BS, 2BG, 15AF USAAF. Crew chief of B-17 42-38078 'Sweat Pea'. Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Leonard Adcock

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier | 321st Bomb Group

  • Warren Anderson

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio operator | 2nd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 20BS, 2BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Pilsen, Czech in B-17 42-97739 9-Dec-44; Hit by flak, partial crew bale-out, crash landed near Linz, Austria. Baled out and captured. Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 10139 ...

  • Robert Arnold

    Military | Captain | Co-Pilot | 2nd Bomb Group
    Shot down 25 Feb 1944 in B-17 #42-31416 on mission to Regensburg, GR, Killed in Action (KIA). MACR 2576.

  • Thomas Asbury

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-pilot | 97th Bomb Group
    Assigned 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Ploesti 22-Jul-44; Crashed Ploesti Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 6855. Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • James Babek

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top Turret Gunner / Flight Engineer | 2nd Bomb Group
    From Texas

  • Herman Bard

    Military | Sergeant | Waist gunner | 97th Bomb Group
    Assigned 414BS, 97BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return from Ploesti 22-Jul-44; Crashed Ploesti Prisoner of War. MACR 6855 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Harold Barth

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Radio Operator | 2nd Bomb Group
    Assigned to 49BS, 2BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Blechhammer in B-17 44-6176 A/C flak hit #2 engine, crashed Mechnitz. Baled out and captured. Prisoner of War (POW) 7-Aug-44. MACR 7470 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Thomas Barton

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Ball Turret Gunner | 2nd Bomb Group

  • Harold Beall

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 2nd Bomb Group

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    B-17 Flying Fortress
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  • 41-24473 'Kissy-Me-Cowboy'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
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    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 17/4/44; Hunter 29/4/44; Grenier 14/5/44; Assigned 342BS/97BG Amendola 26/5/44; first 15AF aircraft to land in Russia on shuttle mission after bombing Debrecen marshalling yards 2/6/44; Missing in Action Munich 19/7/44 with 1Lt...

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    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 24/1/44; MacDill 18/2/44; Morrison 6/3/44; Assigned 815BS/483BG Sterparone 16/3/44; transferred 96BS/2BG Amendola 31/3/44; Missing in Action 73m Blechhammer 17/10/44 with Don Peart, Co-pilot: John Mumma, Navigator: Elliott Kaplan,...

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    B-17 Flying Fortress
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  • 42-2982

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered West Palm Beach 7/1/43; Assigned 342BS/97BG Chateau-du-Rhumel 3/43; Pont-du-Fahs 1/8/43; Depienne 15/9/43; Cerignola 20/12/43; Amendola 16/1/44; ...

  • 42-29918 'Webfoot'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Denver 9/3/43; Gore 20/3/43; Tinker 30/3/43; Homestead 7/4/43; Morrison 12/4/43; Assigned 346BS/99BG Navarin 12/5/43; Oudna 4/8/43; battle damaged Messina 16/8/43, 1KIA; transferred 342BS/97BG Depienne 14/11/43; Cerignola 20/12/43; Missing in...

  • 42-30072 'Virginia Lee'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 7/4/43; Denver 10/4/43; Gore 18/4/43; Tinker 21/4/43; Morrison 29/4/43; Assigned 342BS/97BG Chateau-du-Rhumel 10/5/43; Pont-du-Fahs 1/8/43; Depienne 15/8/43; Cerignola 20/12/43; Amendola 16/1/44; Missing in Action Ploesti 5/5/44 with...

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    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered Cheyenne 22/4/43; Tinker 24/5/43; Smoky Hill 29/5/43; Chicago 1/6/43; Smoky Hill 16/6/43; Tinker 19/6/43; Kearney 26/6/43; Eglin 7/7/43; Dow Fd 12/7/43; Assigned 414BS/97BG Chateau-du-Rhumel 14/7/43; Pont-du-Fahs 1/8/43; Depienne 15/8/43;...

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    B-17 Flying Fortress
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Date Contributor Update
31 October 2016 23:18:07 466thHistorian Created entry with name, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date, construction date and history