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Foggia Airfield

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PJP51
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2004/09/13 09:37:17 (permalink)
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Foggia Airfield

Hi,

For a close friend (his dad, a 340BS/97 pilot, still reported MIA/KIA over the Adriatic...) I'm looking for any information on his dad's former airfield as he wants to visit that area next year ! Is there still anything to be seen of the field ? Any names available of people to contact there ?

Regards,

Paul
The Netherlands
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    jpeters140
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    Re: [PJP51] Foggia Airfield 2004/09/13 10:08:00 (permalink)
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    During the war, I was stationed at Tortorella AAF, about 8 1/2 miles east of the town of Foggia on the Manfredonia Road. (Manfredonia was/is a small fishing village on the Adriatic Coast).

    The 97th BG along with the 2nd BG was stationed at Amendola AAF, which was on the same Manfredonia Road, about 2-2 1/2 miles further east on the north side of the road, or approximatly 10 miles east of Foggia.

    I have not been back to see the area, although I have heard that the Tortorella AAF, has reverted to farm land, and I would suspect something similar has occurred to Amendola AAF.

    There is a book called "Bloody Skies" by Melvin McGuire and Robert Hadley, which has some very good descriptions of life at Amendola AAF. (McGuire was a waist gunner with the 2nd BG).

    If your friend has not read the book, it should help him to get a mental picture of the time, and area.

    Jim :-) 99th BG 348th BG
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    PJP51
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    Re: [jpeters140] Foggia Airfield 2004/09/13 10:36:08 (permalink)
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    Jim,

    Thank you so much for your swift reply ![cool] I do have a copy of this great book however I don't know if my buddy has it...
    His dad, Robert Hugh Taylor, was flying a mission to bomb to Padua marshalling yards on March 11 1944. His a/c exploded over the sea after being attacked by either German or Italian fighters...In 1999 I talked to Stan Rosoff, the navigator one of the very few able to bail out....

    Take care,

    Paul
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    Re: [jpeters140] Foggia Airfield 2004/09/14 07:42:25 (permalink)
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    Jim,Was there a 15th AAF air base in Foggia?,or is someone usually refering to one of the air bases in the surrounding area.My wifes cousin says he was in Foggia.

    Yunch
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    jpeters140
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    Re: [yunch] Foggia Airfield 2004/09/14 14:33:12 (permalink)
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    There was a complex of bases in the general Foggia area.

    The 99th BG was at Tortorella AAF, 8 miles East of Foggia on the South side of the Manfredonia Rd...Manfredonia was/is a small fishing village on the shore of the Adriatic.

    The 2ndBG and 97thBG were at Amendola, about 2 miles further out on the North side of the same road to Manfredonia.

    There was Foggia Main, (I Think, to the West of the town of Foggia). (HQ of the 5th Wing...the B-17 Wing). Also location of the hospital.

    The 301st BG was at Lucera, north of Foggia.

    The 463rd BG was at Celone, north of Foggia.

    The 483rd BG was at Sterperone, Northeast of Foggia. ( The 483rd was stationed at Tortorella temporarily until their field at Sterperone was completed).

    The Tuskogee Airmen were at Rimini, just North of Manfredonia, very close to the Adriatic coast, and just South of Lake Lessina, on the jut of land that sticks out into the Adriatic.

    All of the bases of the 5th Wing (B-17) were within about 20-30 miles from Foggia Main, and the town of Foggia. (This complex was originally German).

    At Tortorella, my Squadron tent area was located just North of the railroad track between Foggia and Manfredonia, and East of the runways....we used the old German fighter strip for a road...there was an abandoned JU-88 just off the road, that a Navigator from my Sq had obtained some of the wood from one of the propellors of the JU-88 and was making a set of salad utensils for his uncle and aunt. He said that it was a good souveneir as the wood likely came from the Black Forest, in Germany.

    15th AAF HQ was at Bari, further South of Manfredonia, also on the coast of the Adriatic, and the B-24s were all to the South of Foggia along the heel and toe of the boot of Italy.

    There are a lot of people who say their relatives were at Foggia, and it is not clear just exactly where in the area, unless they specify the Bomb Group.

    See if your wife's cousin can tell you the Bomb Group he was with.

    Also for additional inforamation, the RAF 205th Group had detachments at all the Foggia bases. The West side of Tortorella belonged to the detachment of the 205 Group, and were equipped with the LB-30,Winpy Wellington, and I think the Lancasters. There possibly were some Stirlings, also.

    I hope this helps. :-)

    Jim :-)
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    Re: [jpeters140] Foggia Airfield 2004/09/14 17:20:49 (permalink)
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    Jim,First,thanks for this in depth reply. You do a great job in giving a wealth of information to a query.
    My wifes brother was in Madna and if my memory serves me correctly (hah),her cousin told me he was in ground crew in Foggia and they had visited one time.I'll
    check with him.

    Yunch
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    jpeters140
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    Re: [yunch] Foggia Airfield 2004/09/14 20:12:03 (permalink)
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    Yunch...I flew on the B-17 in WW II as a Top Turret/Flt Engineer. I attended Amarillo Aircraft and Engine mechanic school and was fortunate in that the school was all about the B-17.

    When I joined the AZ Wing of the CAF, in 1979, they had just been assigned the B-17 Sentimental Journey; it was a hollow tube when we were assigned the aircraft....I had a hand in procuring the necessary items, and equipment that made it the most completely furnished wartime B-17 on the airshow circuit.

    I held the job of Parts Procurement for 13 years, and as such, I got very familiar with the parts breakdown. We relocated the hydraulic panel from the nose where the fire-bomber people had installled it, and the cockpit door was blocked by the borate tanks installed in the bo0mb bay, and the hand retract mechanism had been reversed so that the handcranked units were inside the cockpit instead of in the bomb bay....found and installed the bulkhead 6, located one mast of the Radio Compass antenna, installed the VHF Liasion antennas that ran from the top of the vertical stabilizer to both sides of the radio room, installed working bomb bay doors,with the retract mechanisms, located the chin turret, ball turret and top turret, and installed them, found the broken racks for the UHF radios,in the radio room, found one waist gun ammo box and manufactured two of them,. along with the two tail gun ammo boxes, and the two cheek gun ammo boxes.

    I, by myself,did not do very much, and I could sign off the necessary FAA forms for the reinstallation of the items, but I helped in locating some of the equipment...so I learned the airplane pretty well. Also, for a while, I was the only member of the AZ with with an A & P FAA License.
    I won't go so far as saying I am an expert, but I do know the aircraft pretty well...at least to answer most of the questions, that are asked.

    Jim :-)
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    Re: [jpeters140] Foggia Airfield 2004/09/15 06:02:18 (permalink)
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    Jim,Thanks for sharing.I think that most people in this forum would consider you our resident expert.
    As my friend in Tenn.would say,"preciate
    ya".

    Yunch
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    RE: Foggia Airfield 2004/10/15 18:27:39 (permalink)
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    I'm trying to write an history of Foggia in 1943-45. Unfortunately my English is not good. But I hope to explaine well my request.
    I'm searching photos or movies, memories and other materials of soldiers who lived and worked in Foggia in that period.
    I hope to find photos, document and memories about the life in Foggia and in airfields of local inhabitants and allied armies.
    There is anyone who can help me in this research?
    My goal is to descrive the town, his inhabitants, the relationship beetwen Italians and Allieds; how democracy developed in Foggia.
    A book and a dvd will be the final results.
    Thanks
    netluger
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    RE: Foggia Airfield 2004/10/30 02:16:17 (permalink)
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    ORIGINAL: Franco

    I'm trying to write an history of Foggia in 1943-45. Unfortunately my English is not good. But I hope to explaine well my request.
    I'm searching photos or movies, memories and other materials of soldiers who lived and worked in Foggia in that period.
    I hope to find photos, document and memories about the life in Foggia and in airfields of local inhabitants and allied armies.
    There is anyone who can help me in this research?
    My goal is to descrive the town, his inhabitants, the relationship beetwen Italians and Allieds; how democracy developed in Foggia.
    A book and a dvd will be the final results.
    Thanks




    Greetings,

    My Grandfather "John W Thompson" who passed in 02 flew several missions 43-45 over Foggia.
    He was from an army air corp bomber group out of Maryland, USA.
    If you would like the full history with video footage,pics etc.. let me know and perhaps we can work it all out. Some footage has been transferred to VHS about 10 yrs ago.

    webquacks@yahoo.com





    post edited by netluger - 2004/10/30 02:20:27
    bernies
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    RE: Re: [yunch] Foggia Airfield 2005/04/13 20:04:43 (permalink)
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    I have seen a reference to the Foggia area airfields as Foggia Fields 1-7. Anone know which of these numbers goes with which bases?
    Interestingly, the US Army Air Service had an establishment at Foggia in WW I as well (an Aviation Instruction Center).

    Bernie Shearon
    Push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. Pull the stick back, the houses get smaller (unless you keep pulling -- then they get bigger again)
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    RE: Re: [yunch] Foggia Airfield 2005/04/13 20:48:26 (permalink)
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    Tortorella, (99th BG), 8 miles east of Foggia on the Manfredonia Road was Foggia # 2.
    Perhaps a query of the other B-17 Bomb Groups can tell you the number of thier base...
    the 2/97 both were at Amendola,.(2 miles further east on the same Manfredonia Road);......the 301st was at Lucera,.... the 463rd was at Celone, ....and the 483rd was at Sterperone.
    5th Wing HQ was at Foggia Main.

    JIm :-)
    post edited by jpeters140 - 2005/04/13 20:56:54

    James S. Peters Sr. T/Sgt B-17 Flt Engr, 27 missions 99 BG, 348BS, 5th Wing, 15th AAF Tortorella, (Foggia#2), Italy My Tour was from 12/03/44-06/19/45 M/Sgt USAF (Retired)
    bernies
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    RE: Re: [yunch] Foggia Airfield 2005/04/13 21:59:26 (permalink)
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    Thank you for the quick reply. Now that I am at the right computer , I see that Tortorella was Foggia No.2 (the only one I had seen info on), and the 8th Aviation Instruction Center, inactivated Dec 1918 and commanded by Capt Fiorello LaGuardia, was the Air Service unit at Foggia in the First World War

    Bernie Shearon

    Bernie Shearon
    Push the stick forward, the houses get bigger. Pull the stick back, the houses get smaller (unless you keep pulling -- then they get bigger again)
    jpeters140
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    RE: Re: [yunch] Foggia Airfield 2005/04/14 00:04:44 (permalink)
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    Bernie...I will take a WAG (Wild A** Guess) and assuming distance is the determiningfactor... Foggia Main #1, Tortorella #2, 8 m E;Amendola #3, 10 m E; Lucera #4, 15 m (N)(?) ; Celone # 5, 15 m (NNE)(?) and Sterperone #6, 20 m (NE)(?).
    All distances approximate

    Jim :-)
    post edited by jpeters140 - 2005/04/14 00:13:04

    James S. Peters Sr. T/Sgt B-17 Flt Engr, 27 missions 99 BG, 348BS, 5th Wing, 15th AAF Tortorella, (Foggia#2), Italy My Tour was from 12/03/44-06/19/45 M/Sgt USAF (Retired)
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