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Tafaraoui

Military site : airfield

Detailed history

During World War II, it was a primary mission objective of the United States Army 34th Infantry Division during the Allied Operation Torch landings on 8 November 1942, and became a major Twelfth Air Force base of operations during the North African Campaign against the German Afrika Korps.

Tafaraoui became a staging and transit point for many units:
11–20 November 1942 - 1st Fighter Group HQ and the 27th, 71st and 94th Fighter Squadrons, flying P-38 Lightnings, arrived then departed Tafaraoui.
14 November 1942 - HQ 14th Fighter Group, HQ 62d Troop Carrier Group, and the 4th and 7th Troop Carrier Squadrons arrive at Tafaraoui with C-47 Skytrains
16 November 1942 - 8th Troop Carrier Squadron, 62d Troop Carrier Group, arrive at Tafaraoui from the UK with C-47s; the 111th and 154th Observation Squadrons, 68th Observation Group, moves from St Leu to Tafaraoui with A-20s
17 November 1942 - 437th and 438th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 319th Bombardment Group (Medium), move from Saint-Leu to Tafaraoui with B-26s.
November 42 - HQ 319th Bombardment Group (Medium) and the 439th, and 440th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium) move from St Leu to Tafaraoui with B-26 Marauders; "A" flight of the air echelon of the 15th Photographic Mapping Squadron, 3d Photographic Group, arrives at Tafaraoui with B-17 Flying Fortresses and F-4s (P-38 photo reconnaissance aircraft).

The new desert Spitfires of the 31st Fighter Group were also assigned to Tafaraoui. Other aircraft at the field included P-38s of the 14th, B-26s, B-25 Mitchells, A-20 Havocs, Gen. Doolittle's B-17-G, some French Amiot bombers around, and some old wrecks fixed up as dummies.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

  • 320th Bomb Group

    320th Bomb Group

    Group
    Constituted as 320th Bombardment Group (Medium) on 19 June 1942. ...

  • 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. ...

  • 52nd Fighter Group

    52nd Fighter Group

    Group
    Two of the Squadrons of the 52nd Fighter Group flew Spitfires with RAF Fighter Command in August and early September 1942 from Northern Ireland. After these preparatory missions, the Group joined the Twelfth and then Fifteenth Air Force in the...

  • 417th Night Fighter Squadron

    417th Night Fighter Squadron

    Squadron
    The 417th Night Fighter Squadron was activated 20 February 1943. After organisation and training at Kissimmee Air Base near Orlando, Florida, the 417th departed for oversees duty on 5 May 1943 on the Queen Elizabeth, arriving in Scotland six days...

  • 330th Bomb Squadron

People

  • Ernest Clark

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

  • Myron Patzke

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Radio Operator Gunner | 320th Bomb Group

Aircraft

  • 41-24386 Queen Bee 17

    B-17 Flying Fortress
    Assigned 353BS/301BG Westover 7/42; Chelveston 9/8/42; Tafaraoui 26/11/42; Maison Blanche 5/12/42; Biskra 16/12/42; battle damaged La Goulette, Tun 20m 2/1/43, with Frank Evans, left at base when group moved on to Ain M'Lila. 17/1/43. QUEEN BEE-17.

  • 41-18305

    B-26 Marauder

  • 42-95742 Eight Ball

    B-26 Marauder

  • 41-17845

    B-26 Marauder

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
31 October 2018 21:18:55 466thHistorian Created entry with name, known as, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date and history
Sources

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

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