Pierced Steel Planking: the gates of the war

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  • The 485th Bomb Group located at Venosa airfield, with its 60 - 70 mighty four-engined airplanes, was only a part of the 15th USAAF, that from 1943 to the end of war the Allies dislocated to Southern Italy. Now the territory occupied by the nazis could be bombed also from South: the airplanes that took off from the airfields of Apulia joined those who left England, contributing to the defeat of Germany.



    (July 1944):

    5th Bomb Wing: B 17 

    Manduria air base: a ten year-old boy, Vincenzo Dimitri, teaches italian language to the B-24 crew of  450th BG  (http://guerre.manduria.org/bombgroup/bombgroup.htm)


     Venosa Airfield: the extremes of the runway (above) are connected
    with taxi strips, where are situated the B-24's emplacements (below).



    5th Bomb Wing - Foggia  (B-17 "Flyng Fortress")
     AMENDOLA (FG): 2nd Bomb Group, 97th Bomb Group.
    TORTORELLA (FG): 99th Bomb Group
    LUCERA (FG): 3O1st Bomb Group   
     CELONE (FG): 463rd Bomb Group   
     STERPARONE (FG): 483rd Bomb Group


    47th Bomb Wing -  Manduria, TA   (B-24 "Liberator") 
    LECCE: 98th Bomb Group
     SAN PANCRAZIO (BR): 376th Bomb Group 
     GROTTAGLIE (TA): 449th Bomb Group 
     MANDURIA (TA): 450th Bomb Group 


    49th Bomb Wing - Incoronata, FG  (B-24 "Liberator") 
     CASTELLUCCIO (FG) 451st Bomb Group
    TORRETTO (FG) 461st Bomb Group, 484th Bomb Group


    55th Bomb Wing - Spinazzola, BA (B-24 "Liberator")
    SPINAZZOLA (BA): 460th Bomb Group
    PANTANELLA (FG): 464th Bomb Group, 465th Bomb Group
    VENOSA (PZ): 485th Bomb Group 


    304th Bomb Wing - Cerignola, FG (B-24 "Liberator")
    SAN GIOVANNI (FG): 454th Bomb Group, 455th Bomb Group
    STORNARA (FG): 456th Bomb Group 
    GIULIA (FG): 459th Bomb Group 


    15th USAAF in the Northern part of Apulia: fighter and bomber airfields.
    Venosa (red on the map) is the only airfield  in the region of Basilicata.
    (July 1944): 
    Venosa: flak damages suffered by a B-24 (Photos George Estok, 485th BG)
    305th Fighter Wing (Provisional) - Salsola, FG  
    (P-38 "Lightning")
    SALSOLA (FG): 1st Fighter Group
    VINCENZO (FG): 14th Fighter Group
    TRIOLO (FG): 15th Fighter Group
    306th Fighter Wing - Lesina, FG  (P-51 "Mustang")
    SAN SEVERO (FG): 31st Fighter Group
    MADNA (CB): 52th Fighter Group
    LESINA (FG): 325th Fighter Group
    RAMITELLI (CB): 332nd Fighter Group
    (July 1944): 
    BRINDISI: 885th Bomb Squadron (H) (SP) (B-17 "Flyng Fortress" and B-24 "Liberator")
    NAPOLI: 37th Photo Recce Squadron (P-38 "Lightning")
    BARI: 15th Combat Mapping Squadron (F 5)





    Venosa Airfield (Photos  used with permission of the 485th Bomb Group Association)
    These images are copywright www.savemypc.com , and may not be reproduced without written permission of owner, Mr. MIKE ADAMS












    205 Group, RAF
    The 205 Group, under the command of the 15th USAAF, was the only RAF bomber force under foreign command. 
    The contribution of 205 Group, on the same targets of USAAF with night raids, isn't very well known: 
    "RAF veterans commonly refer to air operations in Italy as the forgotten war"
    (James J. MacIsaac, RCAF, 37 Squadron - Italy - 1944, in http://natureonline.com/37/2-37sqn-italy-1944.html)
    231 Wing BASE TORTORELLA (FG)  
    37 Squadron  ("Wellington X")  wise without eyes 
    70 Squadron  ("Wellington X") usquam
    330 Wing BASE REGINA (FG)  
    142 Squadron  ("Wellington X")  determination 
    150 Squadron  ("Wellington X") aiei fthanomen
    236 Wing BASE FOGGIA  
    40 Squadron  ("Wellington X")  hostem a coelo expellere 
    104 Squadron  ("Wellington X") strike hard
    2 (SAAF) Wing BASE CELONE (FG)  
    31 (SAAF) Squadron  ("Liberator VI") absquw metu 
    34 (SAAF) Squadron  ("Liberator VI")
    240 Wing BASE AMENDOLA (FG)  
    178 Squadron  ("Liberator VI")  irae emissari 
    614 Squadron  ("Halifax BII") codaf  i gesio
    Other Units, sometimes of miscellaneous composition: for example, the 352 (Y) RAF Squadron, located at Canne, close to Termoli city  (Yugoslavian pilots on Spitfire).
    Pierced Steel Planking: the gates of the war
    HOME Pierced Steel Planking: the gates of the war 15th USAAF, Airfields  in Apulia
    Thanks to the 485th BG Vets First contact Old ties
    Mount Vulture, Old Sawtooth Life at the Venosa Airfield during World War II  The kids of Venosa and the airmen
    Bombs Away, the magazine With the eyes of the children 2008: impressions
    2008: return to the base Bibliography & Links INFO
    Search and texts: Pasquale Libutti   rapacidiurni@gmail.it       Page connected to www.storiedelsud.altervista.org