La Martinerie Airfield, Chateauroux, France

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Frontkampfer
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La Martinerie Airfield, Chateauroux, France

Post by Frontkampfer » 06 Apr 2005 20:06

Would be interested in any info on this airfield WWI-WW2. I lived in Chateauroux 1960-63.

Frontkampfer
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Post by Frontkampfer » 08 Apr 2005 12:20

It was a training field for the French Armee de l'Air. I believe POWS were held there in WW2. Allied fighter-bombers attacked it in 1944 & the Maquis used it as a training field also after the Liberation. This is about all i have from that period.

Pink panther
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Post by Pink panther » 08 Apr 2005 12:23

Bonjour Fronkampfer :)

I found this :


http://www.chateaurouxairstation.com/index.html

do you know ?

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Re: La Martinerie Airfield, Chateauroux, France

Post by Pink panther » 08 Apr 2005 17:24

Frontkampfer wrote:Would be interested in any info on this airfield WWI-WW2. I lived in Chateauroux 1960-63.

Une tradition aéronautique dans l’IndreEn 1916, l’armée française établit au camp de la Martinerie une école de pilotage qui formanotamment Guynemer. En 1917, les Américains y installèrent une école de formation d’oùsortirent 297 cadets. Ils laissent la place, après la guerre, au 3erégiment d’aviation de chasse,qui y sera basé jusqu’en 1934, avant que ne s’y installe, de 1936 à 1939, la 32eescadre debombardement.En 1936, la Société Bloch, du nom de l’avionneur Marcel Bloch (plus connu sous le nom deMarcel Dassault), qui avait déjà utilisé les installations de la Martinerie pour faire des essaisen vol de ses prototypes, acquiert à Déols (au nord de Châteauroux) 157 hectares sur lesquelssont réalisées une piste d’aviation et des usines.Au cours des années 1936 et 1937, la Société est nationalisée et intégrée au groupe Sociéténationale de constructions aéronautiques du Sud Ouest (SN CASO). Elle emploie alors 2000ouvriers. C’est durant ces années que sont édifiés les bâtiments imposants que l’on peutadmirer depuis la route nationale 20, ordonnés autour de l’entrée monumentale.Trois époques importantes ont marqué le site :-1936-1940 : la grande époque d’activité de l’usine Bloch.-1940-1945 : objectif stratégique, l’usine est bombardée et les bâtiments sont abîmés.-1951-1963 : la France loue le site aéroportuaire à l’armée américaine. Un importantprogramme de travaux est alors entrepris. Les Américains construisent une piste pour les grosporteurs qui servira ensuite pour le fret et une halle métallique, l’une des rares en France àpouvoir accueillir les « 747 » à repeindre. Dès 1959, les Américains envisagent d’abandonnent la base. Elle est reprise par l’OTAN qui la maintient jusqu’en 1967
http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/site ... ine20e.pdf

I try to translate and summarize
:oops:


In 1916, Guynemer (the famous french ace) was student pilote on this airfield
1917 - the US Expeditionary Force in Europe installed a flying school
1936-1945 - it was a aircraft factorie (Marcel Bloch and SNCASO) wich produce Bloch 131, Bloch 151 et 155


Oups ! :oops: :wink:

Frontkampfer
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Post by Frontkampfer » 22 Apr 2005 13:48

Merci beaucoup! I knew of the site but have not been there in some time. I was not aware of all the history you mention.

Also, Gerard DEPARDIEU lived there at that time & worked printing the base newspaper!

One of the old hangars, which housed our roller skating rink, still had bullet holes in the walls, partly covered, from the strafing Allied aircraft.

The nearby Musee des Trois Guerres in Diors had a Henschel armed recon biplane that was captured & used as a training plane by the FFI. There was also an Oerlikon 20mm AAA gun with battle damage from Allied attack.

In 1961 we were on high alert in case of attack by the rebel paratroops stationed in Algeria.

There was a program about the field on public TV in the US recently; it is still famous, now as a training field for commercial pilots from all over France because of its long runways, large hangars, & central location.

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Post by Larry D. » 08 May 2005 00:24

Frontkampfer wrote:
Would be interested in any info on this airfield WWI-WW2. I lived in Chateauroux 1960-63.
Fliegerhorst Châteauroux (Jul 1940 - Aug 1944)


Châteauroux was not used very much by the Luftwaffe prior to early 1943, probably because it was in the dead-center of France in the unoccupied part of the country and thus well off the beaten path and far from the front area on the Channel and along the Bay of Biscay coast. At the beginning of 1943, and undoubtedly for the very reasons given, it was selected to become a major training airfield for fighters. On 1 March, the Geschwaderstab and I. Gruppe of Jagdgeschwader 103 transferred from Bad Aibling near Munich to Châteauroux with a large complement of assorted single-engine training aircraft, including Arado Ar 68’s, Ar 96’s, Bücker Bü 131’s, captured North American NA 57’s, NA 64’s, French Bloch 155’s, Fieseler Fi 156’s, Messerschmitt Bf 108’s and a large number of older models of the Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter. The Geschwaderstab, Gruppenstab I, 1. Staffel and 3. Staffel were all at Châteauroux-Deols, while 2. Staffel was detached at Châteauroux – La Martinerie.

On 5 February 1944, Châteauroux and 5 other Luftwaffe airfields in France were bombed by 354 B-17 Fortresses and 98 B-24 Liberators escorted by 634 fighters, all from the 8th AAF in England. The Châteauroux airfields were decimated. Some 33 of JG 103’s aircraft were destroyed or severely damaged on the ground and a number of others to a lesser degree but nevertheless rendered temporarily unserviceable. Only 4 or 5 of the fighter school’s planes escaped damage. With most of the base infrastructure in ruins and without aircraft, JG 103 was out of business and not long after the attack it was ordered back to Germany, transferring on 30 March 1944 to Stolp-Reitz in Pomerania and Parow in Mecklenburg. Châteauroux is not known to have been used again until early June 1944 when 12. Staffel of Geschwader "Bongart" arrived to fly support for anti-partisan operations underway in central France. This Staffel departed around 13 or 14 July and transferred to Clermont-Ferrand. A few days later a single Staffel of twin-engine Ju 88C-6 day fighters from I./ZG 1 was stationed there for about three weeks, but for what purpose is not known, although support of anti-partisan operations is suspected.

In addition to the fighter school (JG 103) with around 750 personnel, there was also an air base command (Fliegerhorstkommandantur) there with 500 – 600 personnel. The air base command at Châteauroux is believed to have been subordinate to Airfield Regional Command (Kdo.Flughafenbereich) 2/XIII at Orléans. The German Army (Heer) maintained a small liaison staff (Verbindungsstab 999) in the town along with a battalion of AAA (Fla.-Btl.(mot) 960).

The above should give you just about all that is known regarding the wartime use of the two airfields at Châteauroux.

I might also mention that I passed through Châteauroux flying "space available" while on leave in June 1959. We arrived on a C-47 from Mildenhall in England and left two or three days later on a brand new C-130A bound for Pisa in Italy. The main memory that sticks in my mind is the warning we got there about going into town because of Communist aggitation and threats against Americans. But, shucks, you know G.I.s. We went to town anyway and had a great time.

--Larry

rklobcar@msn.com
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Re: La Martinerie Airfield, Chateauroux, France

Post by rklobcar@msn.com » 20 Aug 2010 06:39

Frontkampfer,
I, too, lived at the Air Force base, 1960-1963. Would like to hear from you.
rklobcar@msn.com

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Georges JEROME
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Re: La Martinerie Airfield, Chateauroux, France

Post by Georges JEROME » 02 May 2022 18:26

Verbindungsstab 990 not 999
Best regards

Georges

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Loïc
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Re: Châteauroux-Déols, France

Post by Loïc » 02 May 2022 20:56

Une tradition aéronautique dans l’Indre En 1916, l’armée française établit au camp de la Martinerie une école de pilotage qui formanotamment Guynemer. En 1917, les Américains y installèrent une école de formation d’où sortirent 297 cadets. Ils laissent la place, après la guerre, au 3e régiment d’aviation de chasse,qui y sera basé jusqu’en 1934, avant que ne s’y installe, de 1936 à 1939, la 32e escadre de bombardement.
En 1936, la Société Bloch, du nom de l’avionneur Marcel Bloch (plus connu sous le nom de Marcel Dassault), qui avait déjà utilisé les installations de la Martinerie pour faire des essais en vol de ses prototypes, acquiert à Déols (au nord de Châteauroux) 157 hectares sur lesquels sont réalisées une piste d’aviation et des usines.Au cours des années 1936 et 1937, la Société est nationalisée et intégrée au groupe Société Nationale de Constructions Aéronautiques du Sud Ouest (SN CASO). Elle emploie alors 2000 ouvriers. C’est durant ces années que sont édifiés les bâtiments imposants que l’on peut admirer depuis la route nationale 20, ordonnés autour de l’entrée monumentale.
Trois époques importantes ont marqué le site :-1936-1940 : la grande époque d’activité de l’usine Bloch.
-1940-1945 : objectif stratégique, l’usine est bombardée et les bâtiments sont abîmés.
-1951-1963 : la France loue le site aéroportuaire à l’armée américaine. Un important programme de travaux est alors entrepris. Les Américains construisent une piste pour les grosporteurs qui servira ensuite pour le fret et une halle métallique, l’une des rares en France àpouvoir accueillir les « 747 » à repeindre. Dès 1959, les Américains envisagent d’abandonnent la base. Elle est reprise par l’OTAN qui la maintient jusqu’en 1967
http://www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/site ... ine20e.pdf
I try to translate and summarize
In 1916, Guynemer (the famous french ace) was student pilote on this airfield
1917 - the US Expeditionary Force in Europe installed a flying school
1936-1945 - it was a aircraft factorie (Marcel Bloch and SNCASO) wich produce Bloch 131, Bloch 151 et 155
not only a factory, still a military role after the departure of both Air Groups of the 32e in september 1939
in 1939-1940 there is always the Air Base supported by the Bataillon de l'Air 103, more the new Bombardment Training Center : ~2400 men
after june 1940 to november 1942 reduced to an Air stockage depot

Geoffrey Cooke
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Re: La Martinerie Airfield, Chateauroux, France

Post by Geoffrey Cooke » 06 Jul 2022 22:16

Was the Airfield captured by the Allies through fighting or evacuated?

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EKB
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Re:

Post by EKB » 09 Jul 2022 04:27

Frontkampfer wrote:
22 Apr 2005 13:48
In 1961 we were on high alert in case of attack by the rebel paratroops stationed in Algeria

This was unexpected to me. Do you have other material or links on this matter?

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Re: La Martinerie Airfield, Chateauroux, France

Post by Larry D. » 09 Jul 2022 14:34

EKB:

Frontkampfer has not visited Axis History Forum since Fri Oct 20, 2006 4:08 pm. That's 16 years ago. He would be in his early eighties now if still alive, so the odds are that he has probably passed away.

L.

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