Tortorella Airfield

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Tortorella Airfield
Fifteenth Air Force - Emblem (World War II).svg
Part of Fifteenth Air Force
Province of Foggia, Italy
Tortoella Airfield - Italy - 27 Feb 1945.png
27 February 1945 airphoto
Tortorella Airfield is located in Italy
Tortorella Airfield
Tortorella Airfield
Location of Tortorella Airfield, Italy
Coordinates 41°29′05″N 015°39′10″E / 41.48472°N 15.65278°E / 41.48472; 15.65278
Type Military airfield
Site information
Controlled by United States Army Air Forces
Site history
Built 1943
In use 1943-1945
Battles/wars * Streamer EAMEC.PNG
World War II

Tortorella Airfield is an abandoned World War II military airfield in Italy. It was located 9.4 Kilometers east-northeast of Foggia, in the Province of Foggia. The airfield was abandoned and dismantled after the end of the war in 1945.

History[edit]

Tortorella Airfield was a temporary wartime facility, built by the US Army Corps of Engineers. Construction was initiated shortly after Allied forces seized control of the Tavoliere plain around Foggia, Apulia, Italy.[1]

The major tennant of the airfield was the 99th Bombardment Group, which arrived from Oudna Airfield, Tunisia on 11 December 1943. It was eqipped with Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress bombers. [2] Tortorella was shared with the Royal Air Force 205 Group, 37 Squadron. It was equipped with Wellington Mk.X, LB-30 Liberators, Sterlings and Lancaster bombers. Tortorella was one of the few stations that the RAF was in a tenant status to the US Army Air Forces [1]

The 99th Bomb Group consisted of four squadrons:[3]

General map of airfield

The airfield had a single, 6,700' x 100' asphalt runway laid over Pierced Steel Planking, oriented 16/34. A second (unfinished) runway east of the main runway was used as a crash strip. There were two perimeter tracks, and several other loop taxiways each containing about 50 aircraft parking hardstands. The 99th used the west side of the field, and the RAF the east.[1]

There may have been some temporary hangars and buildings, however it appears that personnel were quartered primarily in tents, and most aircraft maintenance took place in the open on hardstands. It also had a steel control tower.[1] Headquarters for the 99th Bomb Group was located in the town of Tavernola, about 3km east of the airfield.[1]

Both the RAF and the 99th departed after the end of the war, the 99th moving to Marcianise Airfield in late October 1945, where its B-17s were placed into storage[2] Sometime after that departure, the engineers moved in and dismantled the facility.

Today Sterparone airfield has been returned to agriculture, however extensive scarring of the landscape remains, showing various dispersal pads and taxiways and other features.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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

  1. ^ a b c d e Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Italy, Apulia Foggia
  2. ^ a b Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  3. ^ Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556. 

External links[edit]