Brétigny-sur-Orge Air Base

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Brétigny-sur-Orge Air Base
French-roundel.svg
Base aérienne 217
Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) A-48
Bretigny-sur-Orge Base aerienne 217.JPG
Summary
Owner Government of France
Operator Armée de l'air
Location Brétigny, France
Elevation AMSL 270 ft / 82 m
Coordinates 48°35′48″N 002°19′59″E / 48.59667°N 2.33306°E / 48.59667; 2.33306
Map
LFPY is located in France
LFPY
LFPY
Location of Brétigny-sur-Orge Air Base
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
05/23 3,000 9,843 Asphalt
11/29 2,200 7,218 Asphalt

Brétigny-sur-Orge Air Base (French: Base aérienne 217 Bretigny-Sur-Orge) (ICAO: LFPY) is a French Air Force French: Armée de l'Air (ALA) base. The base is located approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) southeast of Brétigny-sur-Orge; about 17 miles (27 km) south of Paris.

Units[edit]

  • Integrated structure of maintenance in operational condition of the aeronautical materials of defense.
  • Logistic service of the police station of air (SELOCA).
  • Squadron Syderec (OVIA).
  • Support of OIA (SOCRATE) and OVIA (SIMMAD, BEAD, SYDEREC)

Aircraft[edit]

The base has no permanent aircraft assigned, however runway and turnaround service is available for transient aircraft.

History[edit]

Brétigny Air Base was built prior to World War II as a French Air Force facility.

German use during World War II[edit]

Seized by the Germans in June 1940 during the Battle of France, Brétigny was used as a Luftwaffe military airfield during the occupation. Known units assigned (all from Luftlotte 3, Fliegerkorps IV):[1][2]

  • Kampfgeschwader 51 (KG 51) 3 November 1940 – 30 March 1941 Junkers Ju 88A (Fuselage Code: 9K+)
  • Kampfgeschwader 54 (KG 54) 14 April-26 May 1941 Junkers Ju 88A (Fuselage Code: B3+)
  • Kampfgeschwader 30 (KG 30) 8 June 1941-January 1942 Junkers Ju 88A (Fuselage Code: 4D+)
  • Kampfgeschwader 6 (KG 6) (Fuselage Code: 3E+)
August 1942-20 March 1944 Junkers Ju 88A
20 March-14 June 1944 Junkers Ju 188A/E
10 July-1 September 1944 Junkers Ju 88A, Junkers Ju 188E
14 July-1 September 1944 Junkers Ju 88A

KG 51, KG 54 and KG 30 all took part in night bombing raids over England; KG6 also to a lesser degree as fuel shortages began restricting night bomber missions; JG 1 was a day interceptor unit against Eighth Air Force heavy bombers.

It was attacked on several occasions by heavy bombers of both the United States Army Air Force Eighth Air Force during 1943 and early 1944.[3][4]

American use[edit]

It was liberated by Allied ground forces about 27 August 1944 during the Northern France Campaign. Almost immediately, the USAAF IX Engineering Command 825th Engineer Aviation Battalion began clearing the base of mines and destroyed Luftwaffe aircraft; filling bomb craters in both runways with rubble and a Pierced Steel Planking patch along with repairing operational facilities for use by American aircraft. Subsequently, Brétigny became a USAAF Ninth Air Force combat airfield, designated as "A-48" about 29 August, only a few days after its capture from German forces.[5]

Almost immediately, the repaired base became home to numerous combat units.[6]

The Americans returned control of the base to the French Air Force in August 1945 and it returned to being a French military airfield.[7]

Current[edit]

After the war, the base was completely rebuilt, with a new 9000' (3000m) jet runway laid down parallel to the wartime 05/23 main. The wartime runway was reduced in width, resurfaced with asphalt and reused as a taxiway. The secondary 11/29 was also refurbished, however it was closed for the past few years. Aerial photography of the base shows it recently marked with an excellent concrete surface. New hangars and support facilities were built along with a new support area.

Today, the base is a modern, fully equipped NATO base.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  1. ^ The Luftwaffe, 1933-45
  2. ^ Identification codes of units of the Luftwaffe 1939 - 1945
  3. ^ USAFHRA Document 00107211
  4. ^ USAFHRA Document 00046437
  5. ^ IX Engineering Command ETO Airfields General Construction Information
  6. ^ Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  7. ^ Johnson, David C. (1988), U.S. Army Air Forces Continental Airfields (ETO), D-Day to V-E Day; Research Division, USAF Historical Research Center, Maxwell AFB, Alabama.

External links[edit]