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Châteaudun
Châteaudun
Air Base (French: Base aérienne 279 Châteaudun) (ICAO: LFOC) was a French Air Force
French Air Force
(French: Armée de l'Air (ALA) base, until 1934 and 2014. The base was located approximately 3 miles (4.8 km) southeast of Châteaudun; about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Paris. It is currently an airfield rattached to Orléans – Bricy Air Base. The base is primarily used for aircraft storage and ferrying them to other squadrons of the Air Force. Entrepot de l'Armee de l'Air 601 was assigned to perform this mission. Each French Air Force
French Air Force
squadron stores some of its planes for a while thereby artificially prolong the life of the fleet and better material management. The EAA also has the task of storing new aircraft to be used in time of war. To fulfill its mission, the EAA has the Group Maintenance, repair and storage of aircraft (GERS). A SAN Jodel D.140 Mousquetaire
SAN Jodel D.140 Mousquetaire
training aircraft is assigned to the base for courier duties.

Contents

1 History

1.1 German use during World War II 1.2 American use 1.3 Return to French Air Force

2 See also 3 References 4 External links 5 External links

History[edit] The facility was a French Air Force
French Air Force
base built in 1934. It was used by the air force for the storage of aircraft as well as a supply and maintenance depot. At the beginning of World War II, the base had 643 aircraft, which gave it great importance. It became a priority target for the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
during the Battle of France
Battle of France
who bombed it heavily on 12 and May 19, 1940. On June 14, against the German advance, the airfield was abandoned.,[1] after the heroic sacrifice of flight lieutenant Marcel Beau. German use during World War II[edit] Seized by the Germans in June 1940 during the Battle of France, Châteaudun
Châteaudun
was used as a Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
military airfield during the occupation. Under occupation, the German army, owner, undertook infrastructure projects including the construction of dispersal areas called "daisies" and the track. Chateaudun also served as a starting point for air raids on England. Known units assigned (all from Luftlotte 3, Fliegerkorps IV):[1][2][3]

Jagdgeschwader 21 (JG 21) 19–22 June 1940 Messerschmitt Bf 109E Jagdgeschwader 54
Jagdgeschwader 54
(JG 54) 19–20 June 1940 Messerschmitt Bf 109E Lehrgeschwader 1
Lehrgeschwader 1
(LG 1) 25 June 1940 – 10 January 1941 Junkers Ju 88A (Fuselage Code: L1+) Kampfgeschwader 76
Kampfgeschwader 76
(KG 76) 6 February–April 1941 Junkers Ju 88A (Fuselage Code: F1+) Kampfgeschwader 40
Kampfgeschwader 40
(KG 40) 19 December 1943-January 1944 Heinkel He 177 (Fuselage Code: F8+) Kampfgeschwader 100
Kampfgeschwader 100
(KG 100) 21 January-1 May 1944 Heinkel He 177A-7 (Fuselage Code: 6N+) Nachtjagdgeschwader 2 (NJG 2) 2 July-9 August 1944 Junkers Ju 88C/G (Fuselage Code: 4R+) Kampfgeschwader 51
Kampfgeschwader 51
(KG 51) 20 July-12 August 1944 Messerschmitt Me 262A2A

JG 21 and JG 54 fought in the Battle of Britain
Battle of Britain
as fighter escort units; LG 1 was a training unit; KG 76 engaged in night bombardment operations over England, along with KG 40 and KG 100 to a limited extent due to fuel shortages; NJG2 was a night interceptor unit against RAF Bombers; KG 51 flew the jet ME 262A2a on day jet interceptor missions against American heavy bomber attacks. Largely due to the presence of the Me-262, Châteaudun
Châteaudun
became a major target of USAAF Ninth Air Force
Ninth Air Force
B-26 Marauder
B-26 Marauder
medium bombers and P-47 Thunderbolts mostly with 500-pound General-Purpose bombs; unguided rockets and .50 caliber machine gun sweeps to attack the German jets on the ground. It was known that the Me-262 was relatively short-legged, with a relatively short flying radius, so the attacks were timed to have the maximum effect possible on the jets to keep the jet interceptors pinned down on the ground and be unable to attack the heavy bombers. Also the P-51 Mustang
P-51 Mustang
fighter-escort groups of Eighth Air Force would drop down on their return to England
England
and attack the base with a fighter sweep and attack any target of opportunity to be found at the airfield.[4] American use[edit] Châteaudun
Châteaudun
was heavily attacked on several missions by United States Army Air Force Eighth Air Force
Eighth Air Force
bombers in 1943 and 1944.[5] It was liberated by Allied ground forces about 20 August 1944 during the Northern France Campaign. Almost immediately, the USAAF IX Engineering Command 832d and 833d Engineer Aviation Battalions began clearing the airport of mines and destroyed Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
aircraft, and repairing operational facilities for use by American aircraft. Subsequently, Châteaudun
Châteaudun
became a USAAF Ninth Air Force
Ninth Air Force
combat airfield, designated as "A-39" about 26 August, only a week after its capture from German forces.[6] Under American control, Châteaudun
Châteaudun
initially became the home of numerous combat groups. Initially, the 422d Night Fighter Squadron moved in and provided an air defense with P-61 Black Widows from 28 August to 16 September 1944. The Black Widows were replaced by the B-26 Marauders of the 387th Bombardment Group
387th Bombardment Group
on 18 September, remaining until 30 October 1944. The last American combat unit to use the airfield was the 10th Reconnaissance Group, which flew a variety of photo-reconnaissance aircraft from the field during November 1944. With the combat units moving east with the front lines, Châteaudun became a transport airfield, with the 439th Troop Carrier Group
439th Troop Carrier Group
flying C-47 Skytrains from the field from 4 November 1944 until 7 September 1945.[7] Return to French Air Force[edit] The Americans returned control of the field to the French Air Force
French Air Force
in September 1945 and it returned to being a French military airfield. In 1967, during the period of tension précéding the Six Day War, fifty Dassault Mirage 5
Dassault Mirage 5
jets ordered by Israel
Israel
were stored on the base of Chateaudun. The settlement of this dispute took place in 1971, with the aircraft being bought by the Armée de l'Air. On 13 June 1990, the base was named Lieutenant-Beau, remembering Lieutenant
Lieutenant
Marcel Beau, a pilot at Air Base 134 Versailles in 1935. Today, the remains of World War II
World War II
bomb craters are very evident in the grass areas of the airfield, as well as the abandoned 05/23 secondary runway in which the wartime patching with asphalt is still visible. On 2 July 2014, the installation was closed as an Air Force Base.[8] In 2014, the base was linked to Air Force base Orléans-Bricy. Element Air Reattache 279 (EAR 279) retained the mission of aircraft storage, as well as aerial activity (the field being open two days a week). The unit also operates an aircraft deconstruction center. On 26 January 2015, the 2015 Los Llanos Air Base crash
2015 Los Llanos Air Base crash
occurred. One of the nine French victims came from EAR 279.[9] See also[edit]

World War II
World War II
portal

Advanced Landing Ground

References[edit]  This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency
Air Force Historical Research Agency
website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

^ a b History of Châteaudun
Châteaudun
Air Base Archived 2011-07-20 at the Wayback Machine. (in French) ^ The Luftwaffe, 1933-45 ^ Identification codes of units of the Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe
1939 - 1945 ^ Derived from information in USAAF Film "Target For Today" (available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkGL7vuC2A4) ^ USAFHRA document 00221368 ^ IX Engineering Command ETO Airfields General Construction Information ^ Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4. ^ Dissolution de la BA 279 http://www.defense.gouv.fr/air/actus-air/la-base-aerienne-279-devient-un-ear and Diminuer les coûts, car les ressources diminuent http://www.opex360.com/2014/07/04/la-base-aerienne-279-de-chateaudun-transformee-en-element-air-rattache/ ^ "Accident aérien à Albacete : in memoriam". Armée de l’air (in French). 31 January 2015. Retrieved 1 February 2015. .

French Senate Document, LIST AIR BASES, AND THEIR MAIN ACTIVITIES

External links[edit]

Airport information for LFOC at Great Circle Mapper. Airport information for LFOC at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.

External links[edit]

Association Mémoire et Histoire : Military History of Châteaudun, 1870-71, 1939-1945, Airfield A-39 Châteaudun
Châteaudun
Air Base Website (In French)

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