Orléans – Bricy Air Base
|Orléans - Bricy Air Base|
Base aérienne 123
« Commandant Charles Paoli »
Advanced Landing Ground (ALG) A-50
|Owner||Government of France|
|Operator||Armée de l'air|
|Elevation AMSL||314 ft / 96 m|
Orléans – Bricy Air Base (French: Base aérienne 123 « Commandant Charles Paoli ») (ICAO: LFOJ) is a French Air Force (French: Armée de l'Air (ALA) base. The base is located approximately 6 miles (9.7 km) north-northwesst of Ingré near the city of Orléans; about 65 miles (105 km) south-southwest of Paris.
The mission of the base is primarily tactical airlift.
- Three tactical transport squadrons (ET 01.061 Touraine, ET 02.061 Franche-Comté, ET 03.061 Poitou)
- One SIGINT/ELINT squadron.
- Group telecommunications.
- Commando Parachutistes de l'Air (CPA N°10).
- 27 Transall C-160F
- 5 Lockheed C-130H Hercules
- 8 Lockheed C-130H-30
- c11 Airbus A400M
Orléans-Bricy Air Base was built prior to World War II as a French Air Force facility. It was seized by the Germans in June 1940 during the Battle of France, and was used as a major Luftwaffe military airfield during the occupation. LG 1 (Luftflotte (Air Fleet) 3/Fliegerkorps (Division) V/1st Heavy Fighter Wing) stationed Junkers Ju 88A-5 (Fuselage Code L1+) day/night interceptors at the base.
It was liberated by Allied ground forces about 22 August 1944 during the Northern France Campaign. Almost immediately, the USAAF IX Engineering Command 832d, 833dd and 877th Engineer Aviation Battalions began clearing the base of mines and destroyed Luftwaffe aircraft and repairing operational facilities for use by American aircraft. Subsequently, Bricy became a USAAF Ninth Air Force combat airfield, designated as "A-50" about 24 August, only a few days after its capture from German forces.
Almost immediately, the repaired base became home to numerous combat units.
- 394th Bombardment Group, flew B-26 Marauders from 18 September through 8 October 1944
- 440th Troop Carrier Group, flew C-47 Skytrains from 2 November 1944 through 18 October 1945. The C-47s pulled gliders in the airborne assault across the Rhine (Operation Varsity).
The Americans returned control of the base to the French Air Force at the end of October 1945 and it returned to being a French military airfield.
After the war, the base was completely rebuilt. An 8000' new jet runway was laid down along with two circular marguerite systems of hardstands that could be revetted later with earth for added protection. The Marguerite consist of fifteen to eighteen hardstands around a semicircular taxiway. Each hardstand can hold one or two aircraft, and allows the planes to be spaced approximately 150 feet (46 m) apart. Each marguerite is dispersed at each end of the runway, allowing the aircraft to be launched quickly. Each squadron is assigned to a separate hangar/hardstand complex.The wartime main runway was extended to become the taxiway for the new jet runway. Additional dispersed aircraft parking, ramp space and hangars were also constructed, along with a completely new administrative and personnel area. A 4000' grass runway was also constructed for glider and small aircraft landings.
Bricy will be the home of the upcoming Airbus A400M new European tactical cargo aircraft for the French Air Force.
- Units and aircraft of the Luftwaffe in the West
- Identification codes of units of the Luftwaffe 1939 - 1945
- IX Engineering Command ETO Airfields General Construction Information
- Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- 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.