Ophoven Airfield

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Ophoven Airfield
Patch9thusaaf.png
Advanced Landing Ground Y-32

Limburg Province, Belgium

Ophoven Airfield is located in Belgium
Ophoven Airfield
Ophoven Airfield
Ophoven Airfield (Belgium)
Coordinates 51°08′08″N 005°47′00″E / 51.13556°N 5.78333°E / 51.13556; 5.78333
Type Military airfield
Site information
Controlled by United States Army Air Forces
Site history
Built by IX Engineering Command
In use December 1944-May 1945
Materials Pierced Steel Planking (PSP)

Ophoven Airfield is an abandoned World War II military airfield which is located west of Opglabbeek (Limburg); approximately 54 miles (87 km) northeast of Brussels.

History[edit]

The airfield was built by the United States Army Air Forces IX Engineer Command, 820th Engineer Aviation Battalion in late November/early December 1944.

Known as Advanced Landing Ground "Y-32", the airfield consisted of a single 5000' (1500m) Pierced Steel Planking runway aligned 12/30. In addition, tents were erected for billeting and also for support facilities; an access road was built to the existing road infrastructure; a dump was created for supplies, ammunition, and gasoline drums, along with a drinkable water; and a minimal electrical grid for communications and station lighting was installed.[1]

Opened on 10 December, the airfield was first used as a resupply and casualty evacuation airfield, with C-47 Skytrain transports flying in and out of the airfield frequently. Combat units did not arrive at the airfield until late January 1945, when the 370th Fighter Group, based P-47 Thunderbolt fighters at Ophoven on 27 January. In February, the 405th Fighter Group also based P-47s at the airfield. The fighter planes flew support missions, patrolling roads in front of the beachhead; strafing German military vehicles and dropping bombs on gun emplacements, anti-aircraft artillery and concentrations of German troops when spotted.[2]

Both groups moved out at the end of April 1945, the airfield closed about a month later at the end of May. Today, the airfield is abandoned, being a mixture of agricultural fields just to the west of Ophoven.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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

  1. ^ IX Engineer Command ETO Airfields, Airfield Layout
  2. ^ 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. ^ 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]