ALG A-4 -> Remains of a WWII Airfield

Dear IFC,

It has been a solid 2 hours since I haven’t made a pointless topic. So here goes another one.

This topic took about 5 months to make, from planning the idea to finding resources and files to reaching out to the right people, local institutions, etc, and taking the pictures and illustrations. So here is the “fruit” of my work I guess… a bit underwhelming but whatever.

This topic is about ALG A-4 (Deux Jumeaux Aérodrome).

On june 14, 1944, while Operation Overlord was well under way, aircraft coming from Canada, Britain and the US needed places to land and refuel in France, as most local French airports were bombed and taken over by the Nazis.

This called for the construction of many temporary aerodromes, including this one, Deux Jumeaux Aerodrome (Code is ALG A-4).

6 days later, on June 20th, the airport was opened for service and aircraft started flocking to the new strip, made almost entirely of metal plates and packed dirt for the runway.

Almost 80 years later, I went down to take a look at what remains of the airfield, if anything.


Here is a picture taken of what currently remains of the little strip.

Doesn’t show much, does it?

Well, here is a diagram I made to show where it used to be:


Red was the runway
Blue were pads and aprons
Yellow was the set of taxiways, with hangars scattered along it.
Pink was the refueling area, consisting of metal plate ground and a few small sheds and trucks to refuel the aircraft.

Disclaimer Because Some People Want To Cause Chaos

These pictures were taken with a DJI Mavic Air 2S.
Yes, I have the license.
Yes, I have taken the course for drone flying.
Yes, this was under 120 meters high.
Yes, the drone has its own registration. I can give it to you via DM if you really care.
Yes, the drone has ADSB.
Yes, I had permission to fly in that airspace.
Yes, I had permission to fly over the land.
Yes, I was tracking all surrounding aircraft on a live map provided by the drone’s ADS-B Antenna.

Happy?

The diagram above was made thanks to various resources, online and physical, that contained runway length, orientation, coordinates, etc. It may not be 100% accurate but I think I’m pretty close.



Near the fields that used to be an airstrip, there also happened to be a memorial! Nice :)
(Ignore my bike plz)

While I was in the area, I also decided to lawfully walk in the fields to try to replicate some images of the airfield I found in various places.

Here are the pictures, and my replica.

image
[SCAN With unknown photographer from June 26 1944]


Replica

image
[Scan from Francois Robinard’s book “50 Aérodromes Pour Une Victoire”]
A picture containing the airstrip’s “control tower” and a P-51 with invasion reconnaissance stripes.


My replica without the P51 :(

During my little trip, I found some cool things that showed an insight into the past of this location :)
I found some things such as metal scraps bolted together where hangars used to be, a few bullets and munitions (which was safe because the local bomb defusing team came along with me) and a lot of hedgehogs (real ones and cement ones)


A 1.5 meter tall (not the animal) hedgehog found right on what used to be the edge of the runway


Here is the TDZ of the runway


Here is a picture of what the aircraft would see on final for the runway if they flew in today

Some facts about the airport:

Built: June 14 1944
Built by: 816th EAB
Operational: June 20 1944

Used by:
48th Fighter Group 9th Air Force/IX Tactical Air Command/70th Fighter Wing
– 492nd Fighter Squadron (F4)
– 493rd Fighter Squadron (İ7)
– 494th Fighter Squadron (6M)

370th Fighter Group 9th Air Force/IX Tactical Air Command/71st Fighter Wing
– 485th Fighter Squadron (7F)

18th AAA Group AA Command

107th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron (AX) 9th Air Force/IX Tactical Air Command/67th Tactical Reconnaissance Group

Abandoned: September 15 1944

Aircraft that operated from the airport:

P-51
P-38
P-40
P-70
P-47D
A-20
B-26
Any maybe some others I could not find info about

That’s it for this one! If anyone has any info regarding this that they are willing to share, go ahead! However, this is about as far as I am willing to go for a non-existent airfield.

Thanks for reading!

Should I Do This For Other WWII Airfields? (Be honest please)
  • Yes
  • No

0 voters

Thank you to you for reading and thank you to the thousands of soldiers that helped liberate France!

Robertine

27 Likes

Nice penguin drawing Robertine

Huge props for this work. Very impressive given the amount (or lack of) sources

9 Likes

Its not a penguin

Its a dolphin with a thick fin

2 Likes

I thought it was an airport? Why would he draw an animal, duh. 🙄

4 Likes

This is a very cool concept! Very informative topic. Definitely shows that you did your research, even with the (probably very) limited resources.

Amazing job as always mate. I’d love to see more of these!

1 Like

Thanks a lot for the kind words!

1 Like

I love history so this is super cool!

1 Like

image
I found a picture of it :)

1 Like