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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



  • 449th Bomb Group

    449th Bomb 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] ...

  • 47th Bomb Group
  • 321st Bomb Group


  • Carroll Abrahamson

    Military | Staff Sergeant (Technician Third Grade) | Aerial Gunner | 47th Bomb Group

  • John Adair

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Gunner/Armament Inspector/Armament Cheif | 47th Bomb Group

  • Marion Akers

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot - Squadron Commander | 47th Bomb Group

  • Darr Alkire

    Military | Colonel | Commanding Officer, Pilot | 100th Bomb Group
    14 November 1942 to 26 March 1943 XFR First Commanding Officer of the 100th BG. He was relieved of his command with the 100th for alleged incompetence due to statements he made and sent to the 449th BG in Italy. He flew 11 combat missions, on his 12th...

  • 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.

  • George Baggs

    Military | Captain | Bombardier/Navigator | 47th Bomb Group

  • Otto Bey

    Military | Flight Officer | Pilot | 47th Bomb Group

  • Adolph Bondarek

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Aerial Gunner | 47th Bomb Group

  • Viviano Bonitatibus

    Military | Sergeant (Technician Fourth Grade) | 47th Bomb Group

  • Jack Botts

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Top Gunner | 47th Bomb Group

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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