RAF Gambut

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RAF Gambut
Near: Kambut, Libya
Wrecked Me 110s at Gambut 1941.jpg
Abandoned German aircraft at Gambut after its recapture by the Allies (December 1941)
RAF Gambut is located in Libya
RAF Gambut
RAF Gambut
Location in Libya
Coordinates 31°57′04″N 024°30′14″E / 31.95111°N 24.50389°E / 31.95111; 24.50389Coordinates: 31°57′04″N 024°30′14″E / 31.95111°N 24.50389°E / 31.95111; 24.50389
Site information
Operator Regulation WW II Upperwing Balkenkreuz.png Luftwaffe (National Socalist)
RAF roundel.svg Royal Air Force
US Army Air Corps Hap Arnold Wings.svg United States Army Air Forces
Controlled by German Luftwaffe (1941-1942)
Royal Air Force (1942-44)
Ninth Air Force (1942-43)
Site history
In use 1941-1944
Battles/wars

World War II

RAF Gambut (or RAF Kambut) is a complex of six abandoned military airfields in Libya, located about 5 kilometres (3 mi) north-northeast of the village of Kambut, and 50 kilometres (31 mi) east-southeast of Tobruk. During World War II, the complex was an important facility, used by the Royal Air Force. A large number of RAF squadrons were based there for a time.

History[edit]

Axis forces captured Gambut on the 17th June 1941, after the Battle of Tobruk.[1] This was a significant blow to the Allies as the airfield had been used to provide air-support to the Allied forces besieged at Tobruk. The airfield saw use by the German Luftwaffe until its recapture by the New Zealand 4th Infantry Brigade on the 25 November.[2]

Today the remains of the airfields – deteriorating under the desert sands – are visible on aerial photographs.

Airfields at Gambut[edit]

This station consisted of four airfields known as Gambut 1 (LG-139), this being the main airfield, Gambut 2 (LG-142), Gambut 3 (LG-143) and Gambut West, which may have been Gambut 4, 5 and 6 (LG-156, 158 and 159)

Captured 1942 German Luftwaffe map of the airfield complex
RAF Designation No. Designation Location
Gambut Main (No.1) LG-139 31°52′5″N 24°29′5″E / 31.86806°N 24.48472°E / 31.86806; 24.48472
Gambut No. 2 LG-142 31°51′5″N 24°32′5″E / 31.85139°N 24.53472°E / 31.85139; 24.53472
Gambut No. 3 LG-143 31°50′5″N 24°36′5″E / 31.83472°N 24.60139°E / 31.83472; 24.60139
Gambut Comms No. 4 LG-156 31°54′0″N 24°25′5″E / 31.90000°N 24.41806°E / 31.90000; 24.41806
Gambut No. 5 LG-159 31°52′0″N 24°25′5″E / 31.86667°N 24.41806°E / 31.86667; 24.41806
Gambut No. 6 LG-158 31°50′0″N 24°39′0″E / 31.83333°N 24.65000°E / 31.83333; 24.65000

Major units assigned[edit]

Royal Air Force[3]

Gambut Main (No.1)

  • Known squadrons (dates assigned undetermined)
6, 11, 14, 33, 38, 45, 46, 47 55, 73, 80, 84 108, 112, 113, 145, 148, 162, 203, 208, 227, 229, 237, 238, 250, 252, 274, 294, 450, 454, 468
  • HQ, No 239 Wing (1 Mar - 17 Jun 1942, 14 - 15 Nov 1942)
  • HQ, No 243 Wing (May - 20 Jun 1942)
  • HQ, No 233 Wing (14 - 18 Nov 1942)
  • HO, No 223 Wing (South African AF)

Gambut (No.2)

  • Known squadrons (dates assigned undetermined)
73, 112, 250, 274, 450
  • HQ, No 233 Wing (22 May - 28 Jun 1942)

Gambut (No.3)

  • Known squadrons (dates assigned undetermined)
14, 73, 117, 250, 294, 454, 459, 603
  • HQ, No 235 Wing (3 Dec 1942 - 29 Feb 1944)

Gambut West

  • Known squadrons (dates assigned undetermined)
73, 92, 145, 208, 213, 238, 601
  • HQ, No 285 Wing (14 - 20 Nov 1942)
United States Army Air Forces[4]
434th Bombardment Squadron 17 December 1942- 16 February 1943
409th Bombardment Squadron 16 Dec 1942 - 25 February 1943

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations
  1. ^ Mitcham, Samuel W. (2007). Rommel's Desert War: The Life and Death of the Afrika Korps. Stackpole Books. p. 81. ISBN 0811734137. 
  2. ^ Mitcham, Samuel W. (2007). Rommel's Desert Commanders: The Men Who Served the Desert Fox, North Africa, 1941-1942. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 101. ISBN 0275994368. 
  3. ^ "RAF Gambut". Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation. Retrieved 30 March 2015. 
  4. ^ Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1983) [1961]. Air Force Combat Units of World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. pp. 160–162. ISBN 0-912799-02-1. LCCN 61060979. 
Bibliography

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the Air Force Historical Research Agency.

External links[edit]