Gamal Abdel Nasser Airbase

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Gamal Abdel Nasser Airbase

Roundel of Libya.svg
Summary
Airport type Military
Operator Government
Location Libya
Elevation AMSL 519 ft / 158 m
Coordinates 31°51′41.00″N 023°54′24.4″E / 31.8613889°N 23.906778°E / 31.8613889; 23.906778
Map
Gamal Abdel Nasser Airbase is located in Libya
Gamal Abdel Nasser Airbase
Gamal Abdel Nasser Airbase
Location of Gamal Abdel Nasser Air Base, Libya
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02/20 3,016 9,895 Asphalt
09/27 2,998 9,836 Asphalt
15/33 3,007 9,865 Asphalt

Gamal Abdel Nasser Airbase is a Libyan Air Force (Arabic: القوات الجوية الليبية‎, Berber: Adwas Alibyan Ujnna) base, located about 16 km south of Tobruk. It is believed to once have had about 60 or 70 Mirage F.1EDs aircraft assigned.

Prior to 31 March 1970, the airfield was known as Royal Air Force Station El Adem, and used by the RAF primarily as a staging post.[1] Before World War II, it had been an Italian Air Force airfield. A number of the former Italian buildings were seen remaining in 2003, during a courtesy visit by former RAF personnel, at which time no military aircraft were evident.

Royal Air Force Station El Adem was the fuel stop for the BOAC aircraft carrying the new Queen Elizabeth II on her flight from Entebbe to London on 7 February 1952[2]. In 1994, the remaining wreckage of "Lady Be Good", a US Army Air Force (USAAF) B-24 Liberator heavy bomber that crashed-landed deep in the Libyan desert during WWII in 1943, was brought to the air base by a local Libyan team led by Dr. Fadel Ali Mohammed (tasked with recovering the plane wreck) for storage and safekeeping. The remnants of the aircraft still remain there.

World War II

The airfield was largely reconstructed in 1942 by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and brought into operational use on 12 December 1942. It was used during World War II by the RAF and the United States Army Air Forces during the North African Campaign against Axis forces.

RAF units which used the airfield were:

  • No 31 Air Stores Park (8 Mar – 10 Apr 1941);
  • HQ No 262 Wing (11–20 Dec 1941);
  • HQ No 258 Wing (12–xx Dec 1941, 3–xx Feb 1942);
  • No. 2 Squadron RAAF (19–21 Dec 1941, 2–3 Feb 1942, 15–17 Feb 1942);
  • No 33 Air Stores Park (23 Dec 1941 – 31 Jan 1942);
  • No 53 Repair and Salvage Unit (26 Dec 1941 – Feb 1942);
  • No. 80 Squadron RAF (28 Dec 1941 – 3 Feb 1942);
  • Air Sea Rescue Flt (10–31 Jan 1942);
  • No. 73 Squadron RAF (3–18 Feb 1942, 20–27 May 1942, 17–28 Nov 1942);
  • No. 94 Squadron RAF (15–17 Feb 1942);
  • HQ No 211 Group (12 Mar – xxx 1942)
  • No 211 Group Communications Flt (20 Apr 1942 – 17 Sep 1943)
  • No. 267 Squadron RAF (Aug 1942 – Jan 1943)
  • HQ No 243 Wing (17–xx Nov 1942)
  • No. 33 Squadron RAF (18–28 Nov 1942)
  • No. 117 Squadron RAF (19 Nov 1942 – 9 Jan 1943)
  • No. 213 Squadron RAF (20–25 Nov 1942)
  • No. 238 Squadron RAF (20–25 Nov 1942)
  • No 12 Staging Post (8 Mar 1943 – 1 Aug 1945)
  • HQ No 7 (SAAF) Wing (17 Apr – 18 May 1943)
  • No 2915 Sqn RAF Regiment (May 1943 – xxx 194x)
  • No. 47 Squadron RAF (14–25 Nov 1943)
  • HQ No 240 Wing (28 Dec 1943 – 4 Feb 1944)
  • No. 178 Squadron RAF (1 Jan – 1 Mar 1944)
  • No. 462 Squadron RAF (1 Jan – 15 Feb 1944)
  • No. 336 Squadron RAF (31 Jan – 5 Mar 1944, 15 Jul – 16 Sep 1944)
  • No 1900 AOP Flt (15 Jan – 1 Jul 1952)
  • No. 249 Squadron RAF (11 Mar – 3 May 1957)
  • Swifter Trials Flt (Jan–Jul 1960)
  • No 1564 Flt (1 May 1969 – 31 Mar 1970)
  • No 1 Sqn RAF Regiment

USAAF Ninth Air Force units which used the airfield were:

Attached to No 235 Wing, Royal Air Force[3]

Current use

In 2013, the airport was officially reopened as Tobruk International Airport, with flights to Alexandria, Egypt.[4][5]

References

  1. ^ Sir David Lee, 'Wings in the Sun,' Air Historical Branch/HMSO, London, 1989, 157-8.
  2. ^ "To Her Majesty, all my thoughts and prayers are with you, Mummie: The message the Queen Mother sent her daughter as she flew home to become Queen". Mail Online. Retrieved 2018-08-20.
  3. ^  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 72556.5
  4. ^ "Tobruk International Airport opened". Libya Business News. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  5. ^ "Tobruk International Airport officially opened". Libya Herald. Retrieved 12 September 2018.

External links

  • Royal Air Force Airfield Creation for the Western Desert Campaign
  • RAF El Adem Station Crest
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