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Military site : airfield

Detailed history

During World War II it was used by the United States Army Air Force Twelfth Air Force during the North African Campaign against the German Afrika Korps. The airfield was built by the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and its primary use was that of a heavy bomber airfield, with concrete runways, hardstands and taxiways. Billeting and support facilities consisted of tents. The 2d Bomb Group and the 97th Bomb Group were the primary tenants at the airfield, both flying B-17 Flying Fortresses missions over targets in Italy; Tunisia; Sicily and Sardinia. The 1st Fighter Group flew escort for the Fortresses, as well as attacking enemy ground targets of opportunity.

Known units assigned to the airfield were:
HQ 5th Bombardment Wing, March– August 1943
HQ 7th Fighter Wing (later 47th Bombardment Wing), 11 January – 1 March 1943
1st Fighter Group, ca. 16 Feb 43 - 29 Jun 43[1] Lockheed P-38 Lightning
27th, 71st, 94th Fighter Squadrons 2d Bombardment Group, 27 April – 7 June 1943,[2] B-17 Flying Fortress
20th, 49th, 96th, 414th Bombardment Squadrons 97th Bombardment Group, 8 February – 1 August 1943,[3] B-17 Flying Fortress
340th, 341st, 342nd, 429th Bombardment Squadrons 37th Service Group, 12 Feb 43 - 12 Aug 43
26th, 49th Service Squadrons, 1033rd Signal Company, 1070th Ordnance Company (Air Base), 1680th Ordnance Medium Maintenance Company
When the Americans moved out in late 1943, the airfield was dismantled and abandoned. Today, there is almost no evidence of its existence, as the land has returned to agricultural use. Faint outlines of dispersal pads, runways and taxiways can be seen in aerial photography, and there may be a number of agricultural buildings on a former concreted aircraft parking/maintenance area to the south of the field.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known



  • 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...

  • 2nd Bomb Group

    2nd Bomb Group

    Served on antisubmarine duty for several months after the U.S. entered World War II. In October 1942 was re-designated as 2d Bombardment Group (Heavy) and earmarked for combat. The group was transferred on paper to Geiger Field, Washington, where it...

  • 1st Fighter Group

    1st Fighter Group

    The 1st Fighter Group were initially deployed to Britain in the summer of 1942 as part of Operation Bolero. After shuttling through a number of different bases in the UK, the Group was reassigned to the Twelfth Air Force in September 1942 and supported...


  • Florenze Ackmann

    Military | 387th Bomb Group

  • Robert Anderson

    Military | First Lieutenant | photographer
    He was a photo reconnaissance pilot with the Army Air Corps, flew missions from France and Belgium, including the Battle of the Bulge, in the winter of 1944/1945. Born February 20, 1924 and raised in San Leandro California, Bob enlisted at the age of...

  • Ernest Clark

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Ball Turret Gunner & Asst. Radio Operator | 97th Bomb Group

  • Richard Evans

    Military | Colonel | Pilot, instructor | 99th Bomb Group
    Richard Ernest Evans grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee. He started his flying career graduating from the Primary Flying School, Love Field, March 21, 1940, Class of 40-E. He continued his flight training, transferred to Flight #8 Advanced Training...

  • Harold Lentz

    Military | Major | Fighter Pilot 1056 twin engine | 1st Fighter Group
    Flight leader 94th FS 1st FG 50 missions 3 ME-109s confirmed, 2 probable, 2 damaged 1 ship destroyed Post war 123rd FIS OR ANG

  • Glenn Pierre

    Military | First Lieutenant | Squadron Intelligence Officer | 340th Bomb Group


  • 41-24444 "The Red Gremlin", "Superman"

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 92BG Bangor 2/8/42; 340BS/97BG Polebrook 24/8/42 THE RED GREMLIN; took Gen Eisenhower to Gibraltar (1st B-17 to Gib) with Paul Tibbets; Maison Blanche 13/11/42; Tafaraoui 22/11/42; Biskra 25/12/42; Chateau-du-Rhumel 8/2/43; Pont-du-Fahs 1/8/43...

  • 42-2985 'The Nutcracker'

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Delivered W Palm Beach 8/1/43; Assigned 414BS/97BG Biskra 28/1/43; Chateau-du-Rhumel 8/2/43; Missing in Action Naples 1/8/43 with Bob Rast, Alvarado, Ponemone, Bigelow, Dibble, Shea, Anderson, Nichols, Smith, Mathews; flak hit knocked off wing, crashed...

  • 43-2136 Dear John

    P-38 Lightning
    Flown by Capt Edward Newbury. Lost on Feb 10, 1944 with pilot 2Lt Tom Collier KIA

  • 41-7564

    P-38 Lightning

  • 41-7582

    P-38 Lightning

  • 42-53471 Bottoms Up

    B-25 Mitchell


Date Contributor Update
30 December 2021 22:10:46 jmoore43 Changes to history

Added some punctuation in the "Detailed history" to aid readability.

Date Contributor Update
01 November 2016 02:00:54 466thHistorian Created entry with name, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date and history