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Salon-de-Provence Air Base

Military site : airfield

Detailed history

Salon-de-Provence Air Base is a pre-World War II airfield, which was used by the Armée de l'Air during the early part of the war. It was briefly a base for RAF Bomber Command Wellingtons, which were sent to Salon from England, for raids on the Italian port of Genoa, as a part of Operation Haddock.[3] After the 1940 Battle of France and the June Armistice with Nazi Germany, it became part of the limited (French: Armée de l'Air de Vichy) air force of the Vichy Government. Known Vichy units at Salon-de-Provence were:[4]
G.C. I/6 (1) Morane-Saulnier M.S.406 fighters
G.C. III/9 Bloch MB.152 fighters
On 11 November 1942, Salon-de-Provence Air Base was seized by Nazi forces as part of Case Anton, the occupation of Vichy and the Luftwaffe took control of the base. Under German control, the base became a bomber airfield for anti-shipping operations over the Mediterranean against American Convoys, and later, attacking Allied forces on Corsica and Sardinia after their capture from Italian forces (Regio Esercito) during 1943.[5] Known units assigned were:
Kampfgeschwader 100 (KG 100), flying Heinkel He 111Hs, February–April 1943
Kampfgeschwader 26 (KG 26), flying Heinkel He 111Hs, May 1943-March 1944
Zerstörergeschwader 1 (ZG 1), flying Messerschmitt Bf 110s, May 1944
Primarily air defense against Twelfth Air Force B-26 Marauder medium bomber attacks on Southern France
Kampfgeschwader 77 (KG 77), flying Junkers Ju 88s, June–July 1944.
It was attacked on several missions by Allied bombers based in England while under German control. The airfield was sized by Allied Forces in August 1944 during Operation Dragoon, the Invasion of Southern France in August 1944 and was repaired and placed into operational use by the United States Army Air Forces XII Engineer Command, being turned over to Twelfth Air Force on 28 August 1944. It was designated as Advanced Landing Ground "Y-16 Salon".[6]
Twelfth Air Force stationed the 27th Fighter Squadron at the repaired field from 30 August, flying A-36 Apaches until moving north into eastern France in October. Also the 47th Bombardment Group flew A-20 Havoc light bombers from the field during September.[7]
The use by American forces of the airfield was brief, and on 20 November 1944 it was returned to French control.[8]

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known




  • John Adair

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

  • Anthony Biancardi

    Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Communications Chief | 47th Bomb Group

  • Joseph Bitzko

    Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier/Navigator | 47th Bomb Group

  • Viviano Bonitatibus

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

  • Eugene Brassfield

    Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 47th Bomb Group
    Eugene Brassfield was the brother of US Navy fighter ace, Arthur Brassfield

  • Robert Coale

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Aerial Gunner | 47th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 97BS, 47BG, 12AF USAAF. 60+ x combat missions. ETD Awards: AM (3OLC), GC, NSDM, WWII Victory, EAME (4 x battle stars), AF Longevity Service Award.

  • Gaston Coblentz

    Military | Major | Pilot | 47th Bomb Group
    Gaston Coblentz was a successful and well respected investment banker and writer after the war. ...

  • John Coma

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Radio Mechanic | 47th Bomb Group

  • Perry Doty

    Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Aircraft Armorer | 47th Bomb Group
    Became an officer after the war. Served on active duty again 1951-56 as a 1st Lieutenant in the US and Labrador.

  • James Epperson

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

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Date Contributor Update
06 January 2021 23:51:41 466thHistorian Created entry with name, number, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date and history