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Manduria

Military site : airfield

Detailed history

Manduria airfield (Italian: xxx, ICAO: LINM) was an airfield east of Taranto.
It was built in the 1930s for the Regia Aeronautica.
During the early World War II years it was used mainly as a patrol base, it did not take part in the Italian invasion of Albania and Greece.
Just before the base was captured by the Allies in 1943 the Regia Aeronautica had 39 aircraft (fighters, medium bombers and transports) at the base.
It featured an irregular shaped flying field (4650x3900ft), 15 barracks, 3 workshops and a medium sized hangar.
Because the Allies had never bombed it, the airfield only needed an upgrade to accommodate bombers.
The upgrade meant it received a hardened (PSP) runway and dispersals.
After the upgrade it was used by the United States Army Air Force Twelfth Air Force and later Fifteenth Air Force B-24 Liberator heavy bomber airfield.
The airfield then became HQ for the 47th Bombardment Wing (1 October 1943 until 15 May 1945).
It also served as home base for the 68th Reconnaissance Group between November 1943 and their inactivation in April 1944.
This Group conducted visual and photographic reconnaissance and weather reconnaissance missions in Italy, France, Germany, Austria, Hungary, and the Balkans.
They also engaged in electronic-countermeasure activities, investigating radar equipment captured from the enemy, flying ferret missions along the coasts of Italy and southern France, and accompanying bomber formations to detect approaching enemy fighters.
The 98th Bombardment Group was stationed at the base for only one month, from 19 January 1943 until 17 January 1944, flying B-24 Liberators.
The 450th Bombardment Group was stationed at the base between 19 January 1943 until 26 April 1945, flying B-24 Liberator.
During their stay at the base they took part in the Regensburg and Ploesti raids, lost 1505 men, and earned two Distinghuished Unit Citation.
The Americans shared the base with the Aeronautica Cobelligerante Italilanas 5° Stormo 'Tuffatori'.
5° Stormo consisted of two Groups (Gruppi): 101 Group (208Sqn and 238Sqn) and 102 Group (209Sqn and 239Sqn), all flying Reggiane Re2002 fighter-bombers.

English Heritage's record description

Not yet known

Service

Units

  • 450th Bomb Group
  • 68th Reconnaissance Group

    68th Reconnaissance Group

    Group
    The group was first established as the 68th Observation Group in 1941 at Brownwood Army Air Field, Texas, on 1 September 1941. Its primary mission was observation aircraft training and antisubmarine patrols. The group moved to several different U.S....

People

  • Gordon Brown

    Military | Technical Sergeant | Flight engineer | 450th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 720BS, 450BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Vienna mission 7-Oct-44 in B-24 42-52443; A/C abandoned as running low of fuel North of Mostar, Yugoslavia. Evaded (EVD) MACR 9135 Awards: WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Kenneth Burns

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-Pilot | 450th Bomb Group
    15th Air Force, 47th Wing, 450 Bombardment Group, 722 Squadron On October 7, 1944 Lt. Burns' B-24 received heavy flak damage on a mission over Vienna. Crew bailed out over Yugoslavia. He flew his next mission on October 29.

  • John Caldwell

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Co-pilot | 450th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 721BS, 450BG, 15AF USAAF. Ed Lee crew. Failed to Return (FTR) Isarco/Albes, Italy 28-Feb-45; flak hit to #4 engine, dropped 1000ft before control regained. Crashed vicinity of Conegliano, Italy Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 12514 ...

  • George Condeelis

    Military | Corporal | Radio Operator | 450th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 720BS, 450BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Vienna mission 7-Oct-44 in B-24 42-52443; A/C abandoned as running low of fuel North of Mostar, Yugoslavia. Prisoner of War (POW). MACR 9135 Awards: PH, POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Allen Feeback

    Military | Major | Pilot | 450th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 720BS, 450BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Vienna mission 7-Oct-44 in B-24 42-52443; A/C abandoned as running low of fuel North of Mostar, Yugoslavia. Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 9135 Awards: AM, POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Robert Forschner

    Military | Captain | Bombardier | 450th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 720BS, 450BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Vienna mission 7-Oct-44 in B-24 42-52443; A/C abandoned as running low of fuel North of Mostar, Yugoslavia. Evaded (EVD) MACR 9135 Awards: AM, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Henry Freitas

    Military | First Lieutenant | Co-pilot | 450th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 720BS, 450BG, 15AF USAAF. Failed to Return (FTR) Vienna mission 7-Oct-44 in B-24 42-52443; A/C abandoned as running low of fuel North of Mostar, Yugoslavia. Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 9135 Awards: AM, POW, WWII Victory, EAME.

  • Harold Hall

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Waist gunner | 450th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 721BS, 450BG, 15AF USAAF. Ed Lee crew. Failed to Return (FTR) Isarco/Albes, Italy 28-Feb-45; flak hit to #4 engine, dropped 1000ft before control regained. Crashed vicinity of Conegliano, Italy Wounded, Prisoner of War (POW) MACR 12514 ...

  • Russell Hicks

    Military | Staff Sergeant | Flight engineer | 450th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 721BS, 450BG, 15AF USAAF. Ed Lee crew. Failed to Return (FTR) Isarco/Albes, Italy 28-Feb-45; flak hit to #4 engine, dropped 1000ft before control regained. Crashed vicinity of Conegliano, Italy Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 12514 ...

  • Edward Lee

    Military | Second Lieutenant | Pilot | 450th Bomb Group
    Assigned to 721BS, 450BG, 15AF USAAF. 12 x combat missions. Failed to Return (FTR) Isarco/Albes, Italy 28-Feb-45; flak hit to #4 engine, dropped 1000ft before control regained. Crashed vicinity of Conegliano, Italy Killed in Action (KIA) MACR 12514 ...

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Aircraft

Revisions

Date Contributor Update
04 November 2016 00:53:35 466thHistorian Created entry with name, latitude, longitude, usaaf from date, usaaf to date and history
Sources

http://www.forgottenairfields.com/italy/apulia/taranto/manduria-s583.html

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