Lucera

Validation date: 01 02 2013
Updated on: Never
Views: 485


41°29'52"N 015°25'29"E

Runway: 13/31 - ...meters/...feet - PSP

Lucera air field was a semi-permanent airfield located approximately 13km west-northwest of Foggia, Apulia, Italy
The airfield was built late in 1943 by the United States Army Corps of Engineers with a single PSP runway, as part of the Foggia Airfield Complex, a series of World War II military airfields located within a 25 mile (40 km) radius of Foggia. It had extensive taxiways and hardstand parking areas, a large personnel area and a steel control tower. The airfield opened in February 1944, and supported B-17 operations as well as Fighter Groups and Command and Control headquarters of the 15th Air Force.


Overview of Lucera in 1944 (photo via Mark Boyd)


B-17G of 301st BG preparing at Lucera for another mission (USAF, via Wikipedia)


B-17 taking off for another mission from Lucera (Mark Boyd, from the photo album of his father, Lt. Emmett W. Boyd, 301st BG - 32nd BS)


Life in the tent city at Lucera in 1945 varied: either snow... (Mark Boyd, from the photo album of his father, Lt. Emmett W. Boyd, 301st BG - 32nd BS)


...or rain... (Mark Boyd, from the photo album of his father, Lt. Emmett W. Boyd, 301st BG - 32nd BS)


..or shiny weather. In the background a B-17 and the mountains of the Gargano are visible. (Mark Boyd, from the photo album of his father, Lt. Emmett W. Boyd, 301st BG - 32nd BS)


Crew having a chat over the tailguns of a B-17 at Lucera. (Mark Boyd, from the photo album of his father, Lt. Emmett W. Boyd, 301st BG - 32nd BS)


The tent city at Lucera in 1945. (Mark Boyd, from the photo album of his father, Lt. Emmett W. Boyd, 301st BG - 32nd BS)


Lt. E. Boyd receiving the DFC during ceremonies at Lucera. (Mark Boyd, from the photo album of his father, Lt. Emmett W. Boyd, 301st BG - 32nd BS)

The B-17s of 301st BG (Heavy) directed most of their attacks against European Theatre of World War II strategic targets such as oil centers, communications and industrial areas.
They received a Distinguished Unit Citation for a mission to Germany on February 25, 1944 when, in spite of vicious encounters with enemy fighters, the group bombed aircraft production centers at Regensburg.
In 1944-1945, they supported ground forces in the Anzio and Cassino areas during the invasion of Southern France, knocked out targets to assist the Russian advance in the Balkans, and aided the Allied drive through the Po Valley.
Last combat operations were flown in late April 1945, and the airfield closed in October that same year.
During that final period Lucera was home of the P-51 Mustang equipped 332d Fighter Group "Tuskegee Airmen" while they were awaiting return to United States after war ended.


The remains of Lucera air field were still clearly visible in 1954 (photo via Pinuccio d'Angelo)

Today the area has been returned to agricultural use with no structures or any facilities still in existence. Light evidence of land scarring still is visible in aerial photography such as Google Earth however.


The location of Lucera air field in 2007