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Ponte Olivo

Military site : airfield

Detailed history

Originally built as Ponte Olivo Airport in the 1920s, the airport became base for the 41st Storm of the Italian Regia Aeronautica in September 1939. It was extensively used for the bombing of the British bases on the Maltese islands. and was the primary objective of the Amphibious Battle of Gela during Operation Husky.

On 9 July 1943, the airport was captured by the United States Army 82d Airborne Division, it was quickly co-opted for military use by the USAAF. The base was home to several units of the 12th Air Force who undertook air operations in support of Ground forces in the Italian peninsula.

The USAAF closed its facilities at the airfield at the end of September 1944, and returned the airport to Italian authorities.

During the late 1950s and early 1960s the airport was used as a private airport. Today there are little or no remains of the airfield, with some faint land disturbances visible on aerial photography of its former runways. Some buildings in the area may have been reused and adapted for other purposes.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

  • 27th Fighter Group

    27th Fighter Group

    Group
    The 27th went through two different incarnations during the Second World War. As the 27th Bombardment Group it fought in the Philippines and Java in 1941-42. It was then reformed in the US and sent to North Africa, where it eventually became the 27th...

  • 86th Fighter Group

    86th Fighter Group

    Group
    The Group was constituted as 86th Bombardment Group (Light) on 13-Jan 1942, and activated on 10 Feb 1942. It was redesignated 86th Bombardment Group (Dive) in Sep 1942, 86th Fighter-Bomber Group in Aug 1943, and 86th Fighter Group in May 1944. ...

People

  • Edward Backus

    Military | Brigadier General | Pilot, Commanding Officer | 12th Bomb Group
    Edward N. Backus was born in Vernon, Texas, in 1906. He graduated from Vernon High School in 1924 and attended the University of Oklahoma and Washington and Lee University where he received his bachelor of arts degree in 1929. ...

  • Harry Barr

    Military | Captain | Fighter Pilot/Squadron Operations Officer/Assistant Group Ops Officer | 31st Fighter Group
    Born in El Dorado, Kansas June 13, 1919. Commissioned as a 2nd Lt and awarded pilots wings on July 11, 1941. First active duty assignment was with the 31st Fighter Group, Selfridge Field Michigan flying P-39's. Participated in the Louisiana...

  • Joseph Beck

    Military | Lieutenant Colonel | Pilot | 439th Troop Carrier Group
    Assigned to 12TCS, 60TCG, 8AF [later 12AF] USAAF. Transferred to 94TCS, 439TCG, 9AF USAAF. ...

  • Winford Gaines

    Military | First Lieutenant | Fighter Pilot | 27th Fighter Group

  • Gilbert Hadley

    Military | First Lieutenant | B-24D Pilot | 98th Bomb Group
    First Lieutenant Gilbert Benny Hadley was a B-24D Liberator bomber pilot with the 9th Air Force, the 98th Bomb Group, "The Pyramiders", and the 344th Bombing Squadron, from Texas, based at Cairo, Egypt, Tobruk, and Benghazi, Libya, in the Mediterranean...

Aircraft

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
06 December 2016 03:51:10 466thHistorian Created entry with name, known as, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date, construction date and history
Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponte_Olivo_Airfield

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