Validation date: 20 12 2010
Updated on: 26 09 2018
The Foggia Airfield Complex was not an airfield but a range of about 30 airfields on the Tavoliere plain around Foggia, Apulia, Italy. The area had already been of strategic importance during World War I, but it became even more so during the Albanian and Greek campaigns of 1940-1941. When the Germans took over these campaigns they also took over operations at the areas airfields, because of their proximity to Greece and Albania, both just across the Adriatic Sea. The bases in the area were also used to refine experimental weapons like the SD Ruhrstahl 1400, better known to the Allies as the 'Fritz X-1'.
When the Armistice between the Allies and the Italians came into effect in September 1943, the area was completely taken over by the Germans and the "Aeronautica Nazionale Repubblicana" (National Republican Air Force, or ANR) remaining loyal to the Mussollini government. The airfields were severely bombed by the USAAF and RAF in 1943 before the British 8th Army conquered the region during the Italian campaign. The US Army Corps of Engineers then repaired the captured airfields for use by heavy bombers and built new ones for operations against Nazi-occupied Europe and Germany. The airfields were used by 12th and 15th Air Force units, as well as the RAF. The complex did not just stretch out in the province of Foggia, but also well into Bari, Molise and Basilicata.
Albert Speer, Hitler's Minister for Armaments, commented in his memoirs: "I could see omens of the war's end almost every day in the blue southern sky when, flying provocatively low, the bombers of the American Fifteenth Air Force crossed the Alps from their Italian bases to attack German Industrial targets." This is one indication of the importance of the Foggia Airfield Complex.
Although they were never accurately counted, the complex is believed to have consisted of the following airfields (in alphabetical order):.
Amendola - now: Amendola Air Base (ICAO: LIBA), of the Aeronautica Militare Italiana (Italian Air Force).
Bari- now: Bari International Airport (Italian: Aeroporto di Bari, ICAO: LIBD)
Castelluccio dei Sauri
Celone/San Nicola d'Arpi (Foggia Satellite #1)
Cerignola (stricken from my list).
Fandetta (Foggia Satellite #4)
Gino Lisa - now: Foggia-Gino Lisa Airport (Italian: Aeroporto di Foggia, ICAO: LIBF)
Giulia (Cerignola satellite #1)
Lucera (Foggia Satellite #12)
Morin (Foggia Satellite #5)
Posta Augello (Foggia Satelllite #8)
Radogno (Foggia Satellite #6)
Salsola (Foggia Satellite #3)
San Andrea (Foggia Satellite #10)
Torre dei Junchi
Toretta (Cerignola satellite #3)
Tortorella (Foggia Satellite #2)
Triolo (Foggia Satellite #7 and #9)
Vincenzo (Foggia Satellite #11).
I have managed to trace about three quarters of them, although of some I know little more than their name and precise location.
If you have any information on units, times, stories or photos, please contact me so I can add the information.
Per gli Italiani:
Questa sezione riguarda i campi di aviazione di Foggia (Foggia Airfield Complex). Se avete informazioni su unità, storie o foto di aerodromi quello appena menzionato, vi prego di contattarmi così posso aggiungere tutte le informazioni e complementare più verosimilmente la storia di questi luoghi.
Non c'è bisogno di tradurre in inglese, posso organizzarmi per questo.