Paestum Airfield is an abandoned World War II military airfield in Italy, located approximately 9 km north-northeast of Agropoli, in the province of Salerno, in the Campania region of Italy.
It was an all-weather temporary field built by the United States Army Air Force XII Engineer Command using a graded earth compacted surface, with a prefabricated hessian (burlap) surfacing known as PHS. PHS was made of an asphalt-impregnated jute which was rolled out over the compacted surface over a square mesh track (SMT) grid of wire joined in 3-inch squares. Pierced Steel Planking was also used for parking areas, as well as for dispersal sites, when it was available. In addition, tents were used for billeting and also for support facilities; an access road was built to the existing road infrastructure; a dump for supplies, ammunition, and gasoline drums, along with a drinkable water and minimal electrical grid for communications and station lighting.
Once completed it was turned over for use by the Twelfth Air Force 33d Fighter Group which operated P-40 Warhawks from the field between 13 September-18 November 1943, supporting ground forces as they advanced and attacking enemy aircraft on the air and ground. Later, the 340th Bombardment Group operated B-25 Mitchell medium bombers from the field between 23 March and 14 April 1944.
After the 340th moved out the airfield was dismantled. Today, there are no remaining traces of the airfield as the area around the town of Paestum are heavily farmed and the agricultural use has obliterated any trace of the airfield. It is unknown precisely where the airfield was actually located due to the changed landscape over the past 60 years.
English Heritage's record description
Not yet known
Activated on 20 August 1942. The 340th Bombardment Group trained with B-25's for duty overseas. They arrived in the Mediterranean theater in March 1943. Assigned first to the Ninth Air Force and later (in August 1943) to the Twelfth. Served in combat...
Military | First Lieutenant | Pilot | 340th Bomb Group
Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Aircraft Mechanic | 340th Bomb Group
Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Aerial Gunner | 340th Bomb Group
Military | Staff Sergeant (3rd Grade) | Gunner | 340th Bomb Group
Military | Captain | Squadron Armament and Chemical Officer | 340th Bomb Group
Military | Captain | Pilot | 340th Bomb Group
Military | Master Sergeant (1st Grade) | Aircraft Crew Chief | 340th Bomb Group
Military | First Lieutenant | Bombardier/Navigator | 340th Bomb Group
Military | Technical Sergeant (2nd Grade) | Aircraft Crew Chief | 340th Bomb Group
Military | Captain | Navigator/Squadron Navigator | 340th Bomb Group