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Berca Airfield

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Berca Airfield
Bengazi, Libya
Berca Airfield.jpg
German Luftwaffe oblique airphoto of Berca Airfield
Coordinates 32°05′29″N 020°04′43″E / 32.09139°N 20.07861°E / 32.09139; 20.07861[1]
Type Civil Airport/Military Airfield
Site information
Controlled by
Italy-Royal-Airforce.svg
 Italian Regia Aeronautica
Regulation WW II Upperwing Balkenkreuz.png
 German Luftwaffe
Patch9thusaaf.png
 United States Army Air Forces
Site history
Built Before 1940
In use 1940-1943
Berca Airfield is located in Libya
Berca Airfield
Berca Airfield
Location of Berca Airfield, Libya

Berca Airfield is a former civil airport and military airfield, located in the Al Birkah suburb of Benghazi, Libya.

The facility appears to be a pre-World War II civil airport which may have also been used by the Italian Regia Aeronautica Air Force. After the Italian invasion of Egypt and the arrival of the German Luftwaffe in 1941, it was used by the Axis as a military airfield.

After the seizure of Bengazi by the British Eighth Army during the Western Desert Campaign in early 1943, it was used by the United States Army Air Force during the North African Campaign by the 98th Bombardment Group, which flew B-24 Liberator heavy bombers from the airfield between 26 March-4 April 1943.

In the 1950s and 1960s Berka II was Detachment 3 (a radar site ) of the 633rd Aircraft Control and Warning Squadron, which had its main site at Wheelus Air Force Base at Tripoli and Detachment 2 at Misurata, both in Libya. Not sure when these were activated/ deactivated, but I was personally stationed in Benghazi from October 1956 until the beginning of December 1957. At the time, I seem to recall spelling Berka was with a ‘k’, not a ‘c’.

Its subsequent postwar history is unknown, today the area has been rebuilt into part of the urban area of Benghazi.

From about 1960 to 1967 or thereabouts the airstrip was used as a base by World Wide Helicopters Ltd who were flying both small fixed wing aircraft and helicopters in support of oil exploration activity in the desert.

References

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

  • Maurer, Maurer. Air Force Combat Units of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History, 1983. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • Maurer, Maurer, ed. (1982) [1969]. Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II (PDF) (reprint ed.). Washington, DC: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-405-12194-6. LCCN 70605402. OCLC 72556.

External links

This page was last edited on 5 April 2018, at 22:00
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