|Part of American Expeditionary Forces (AEF)|
|Located near: Ourches-sur-Meuse, France|
Ourches Aerodrome - France, 1918
|Controlled by||Air Service, United States Army|
World War I
|Garrison||I Corps Observation Group
IV Corps Observation Group
2d Day Bombardment Group
United States First Army Air Service
Ourches Aerodrome, was a temporary World War I airfield in France. It was 0.7 miles (1.1 km) West-Northwest of the commune of Ourches-sur-Meuse, in the Meuse department in Lorraine in north-eastern France.
The airfield was built by the French and turned over to the United States in the spring of 1918 as a main operating base. It was one of the first airfields used by the Air Service, with the 1st Aero Squadron being stationed at the field in early April as part of the First Army Air Service I Corps Observation Group. Ourches was a large and expansive Aerodrome with the capability of supporting three observation squadrons with numerous barracks, mess halls, administrative buildings and a large number of hangars and photo-processing facilities.
From April until the end of June 1918, Ourches was the home of the I Corps Observation Group, which was engaged in battlefield reconnaissance over the Toul, Luneville and Aisne-Marne Sectors. It's units engaged in numerous combat missions during the German offensive in the Champagne-Marne and also when the Americans went on the attack during the Aisne-Marne offensive in late July.
I Corps moved to Francheville Aerodrome at the beginning of July and was replaced at Ourches by the new IV Corps Observation Group, which was formed there with two squadrons. IV Corps aircraft performed the same battlefield reconnaissance mission during the St. Mihiel Offensive, then moved closer to the lines at the end of September during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.
At the beginning of November, the new Second Army Air Service took over Ourches and established the 2d Day Bombardment Group at the field, planning to drive on Metz. However, the 11 November Armistice ended combat and the use of Ourches Aerodrome ended. Subsequently, the units at Ourches were sent to the Rhineland as part of the Third Army of occupation and the airfield was returned to the French Government.
The French dismantled the Aerodrome and the land was returned to agricultural use. Today it is a series of cultivated fields located northwest of Ourches-sur-meuse. The airfield was located to the east of the Départmental 144 (D144), with no indications of its wartime use.
Known units assigned
- Headquarters, I Corps Observation Group, 1 April-29 June 1918
- 1st Aero Squadron (Observation) 4 April-29 June 1918
- 12th Aero Squadron (Observation) 3 May-13 June 1918
- Headquarters, IV Corps Observation Group, 1 July-29 September 1918
- 90th Aero Squadron (Observation) 13 June-20 September 1918
- 135th Aero Squadron (Observation)30 July-30 September 1918
- Flight "C" 255th Aero Squadron (Service) 27 July-11 November 1918
- 24th Aero Squadron (Observation) 6–22 August 1918
- 8th Aero Squadron (Observation), 31 August-29 September 1918
- Headquarters, 2d Day Bombardment Group, 1–11 November 1918
- 100th Aero Squadron (Day Bombardment), 30 October-11 November 1918
- 163d Aero Squadron (Day Bombardment), 1–11 November 1918
- Series "D", Volume 2, Squadron histories,. Gorrell's History of the American Expeditionary Forces Air Service, 1917–1919, National Archives, Washington, D.C.