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After an original idea by Paul Freeman.
First published 7 Nov 2010. This collection of airfields is © 2010 - 2017 RonaldV
it

Castelvetrano

10-09-2011


604

37°40'24"N 012°46'29"E

Runway: 17/35 - 1200x75meters/3935x240feet - unk

Air field Castelvetrano was an airfield on the southwest side of Sicily, Italy
The airfield was built by the Italian Air Force (Regia Aeronautica). During World War II the airfield was severely bombed several times.
Known bombing raids took place on 13 April and late July 1943. The airfield was seized by the US Army in 1943 during Operation Husky around 23 July 1943.

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Vertical aerial reconnaissance view of Castelvetrano airfield, Sicily, the day before a successful attack was made on it by Malta-based Bristol Blenheims of 18 and 107 Sqns RAF. A number of Junkers Ju-52/3m and Savoia Marchetti SM-82 transport aircraft, many of which were destroyed during the raid, can be seen parked around the airfield perimeter in this 1942 photo (© 69Sqn/IWM (C 4183).

castelvetrano-prebomb-13april-1943.jpg
USAAF photo of a considerably enlarged Castelvetrano airfield only moments before the strike of 13 April 1943. The photo shows many fighter aircraft on the east side of the airfield, and multiple larger (bombers/transports?) aircraft on the west side.

castelvetrano-postbomb-13april-1943_51ac
USAAF post-strike assessment of the Castelvetrano airstrike of 13 April 1943, in which 51 aircraft were destroyed.

castelvetrano-1943.jpg
Although dated as 13 August 1943, the airfield and its surrounding are had already been firmly in the hands of US forces for several weeks. Possibly this is a photo shot during Operation Husky. Note that the North is in the lower left corner of the photo

The Americans used the airfield during part of the Sicilian Campaign and the Allied invasion of Italy. The airfield was mainly used by USAAFs 12th Air Force. Units known to have used the airfield were 81FG flying P-39 Aircobra (Oct 1943-Feb 1944) and 314 Troop Carrier Group flying C-47 Skytrains (Sep 1943-Feb 1944). When the Americans moved out the airfield was closed and dismantled.

castelvetrano2006.jpg
The airfield as seen in 2006 (Google Earth)

Today, over 65 years after the Americans left, the main runway is still visible in aerial photography. No structures or other components of the airfield remain however.

castelvetrano-2011.jpg
This view of the Castelvertrano runway heading North in August 2011 was shot by Silvano Marti, co-author of Aquile di Chiana (Eagles of Chiana). His car adds scale to the size of the runway.



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