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Grottaglie

Military site : airfield

Detailed history

In 1923 Grottaglie was a military airfield of Regia Aeronautica During World War II, was a military airfield used by Regia Aeronautica and after by the United States Army Air Forces. The airfield was designed for heavy bomber use, and was a major base for Fifteenth Air Force B-24 Liberator heavy bombers used in the strategic bombardment campaign against Germany. In addition, Twelfth Air Force tactical bombers were stationed at the airfield which were used to support Allied ground forces in the Italian Campaign.

Known USAAF units assigned to the airfield were:
47th Bombardment Group, 24 Sep-15 Oct 1943, A-20 Havoc (12 AF)
321st Bombardment Group, 15 Oct-20 Nov 1943, B-25 Mitchell (12 AF)
449th Bombardment Group, 4 Jan 1944-16 May 1945, B-24 Liberator (15 AF)
416th Night Fighter Squadron, 30 Sep 1943-28 Jan 1944, Bristol Beaufighter (12 AF)

[4] [5]

After the war ended, the airfield was turned over to local authorities, and in 1950 was air base of 86º Gruppo Antisom 8Antisubmarine Warfare Wing) of Italian Air Force In 1979 was a Naval Air Station of Italian Navy.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

  • 449th Bomb Group

    449th Bomb Group

    Group
    The group was constituted as 449th Bombardment Group (Heavy) on 6 April 1943 and activated on 1 May at Davis-Monthan Field, Arizona.[2] its original components were the 716th,[3] 717th,[4] 718th,[5] and 719th Bombardment Squadrons.[6] ...

People

  • Richard Bach

    Military | Sergeant | Waist gunner | 449th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 718BS, 449BG, 15AF USAAF. 2 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Mostar, Yugo 14-Jan-44 in B-24 41-28606; A/C hit by bombs form A/C above. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 2070 Awards: PH.

  • Don Brown

    Military | Sergeant | Nose turret gunner | 449th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 718BS, 449BG, 15AF USAAF. 2 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Mostar, Yugo 14-Jan-44 in B-24 41-28606; A/C hit by bombs form A/C above. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 2070 Awards: PH.

  • John Gegoulis

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Top turret gunner | 449th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 718BS, 449BG, 15AF USAAF. 2 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Mostar, Yugo 14-Jan-44 in B-24 41-28606; A/C hit by bombs form A/C above. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 2070 Awards: PH.

  • George Halzel

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Bombardier | 449th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 718BS, 449BG, 15AF USAAF. 2 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Mostar, Yugo 14-Jan-44 in B-24 41-28606; A/C hit by bombs form A/C above. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 2070 Awards: PH.

  • Robert Hansen

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Tail gunner | 449th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 718BS, 449BG, 15AF USAAF. 2 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Mostar, Yugo 14-Jan-44 in B-24 41-28606; A/C hit by bombs form A/C above. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 2070 Awards: PH, POW, WWII Victory, EAME..

  • Theodore Henze

    Military | Sergeant | Ball turret gunner | 449th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 718BS, 449BG, 15AF USAAF. 2 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Mostar, Yugo 14-Jan-44 in B-24 41-28606; A/C hit by bombs form A/C above. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 2070 Awards: PH.

  • Charles La Marca

    Military | Sergeant | Photographer | 449th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 718BS, 449BG, 15AF USAAF. 2 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Mostar, Yugo 14-Jan-44 in B-24 41-28606; A/C hit by bombs form A/C above. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 2070 Awards: POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Daniel Mahoney

    Military | Sergeant | Waist gunner | 449th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 718BS, 449BG, 15AF USAAF. 3 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Mostar, Yugo 14-Jan-44 in B-24 41-28606; A/C hit by bombs form A/C above. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 2070 Awards: PH

  • Robert McEldowney

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Navigator | 449th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 718BS, 449BG, 15AF USAAF. 2 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Mostar, Yugo 14-Jan-44 in B-24 41-28606; A/C hit by bombs form A/C above. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 2070 Awards: AM, PH.

  • Alvin Perlberg

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-pilot | 449th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 718BS, 449BG, 15AF USAAF. 2 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Mostar, Yugo 14-Jan-44 in B-24 41-28606; A/C hit by bombs form A/C above. Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 2070 Awards: PH.

Show more

Aircraft

  • 42-94837 'The Jinx'

    B-24 Liberator
    'The Jinx' came over to Britain along with the original 490 Bomber Group. It flew throughout the war until it was declared unfit for flying in May 1945. It was given it's name after the pilot, Second Lieutenant Thomas Keyes realized that the plane...

  • 42-52089 Devil's Henchmen

    B-24 Liberator

  • 42-7744 Shack Happy

    B-24 Liberator

  • 42-95314 Twinkle Toes

    B-24 Liberator

  • 41-28606 'White Fang'

    B-24 Liberator
    An original cadre ship acquired 27-Oct-43 and assigned to Pickard’s crew who flew her overseas in Dec-43. The ship with Pickard’s crew aboard was downed over Mostar, Yugoslavia, on 14-Jan-44. She was hit by bombs dropped from another B-24 overhead in...

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
02 November 2016 23:38:11 466thHistorian Created entry with name, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date, construction date and history
Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taranto-Grottaglie_Airport

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