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Thread: ALGERIA - Blida

  1. #1
    Senior Member TommyUSA's Avatar
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    Default ALGERIA - Blida

    Some questions regarding Blida airfield, SW of Algiers.

    Is it still there? Here are a couple flashearth links to possible locations:

    http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=36.50....5&r=0&src=msa
    http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=36.54....5&r=0&src=msa

    Here's a photo of the tower:


    And while I'm on about Algeria, anyone know where in Algiers the Villa Magnol was located? It housed the US's OSS (like Britain's SOE) headquarters...

    Any help appreciated!
    TommyU

  2. #2
    Senior Member TommyUSA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where is/was Blida airfield in Algeria?

    Pardon me while I talk to myself... but I found it! It is at the first link above. It's now an Algerian Air Force base called El Boulaida. The buildings clustered at the southwest corner of the base (near all the helicopters) are mostly original to the WWII buildings. The tower is here:
    http://www.flashearth.com/?lat=36.49....4&r=0&src=msa

    Check out the various (apparently junk) airframes scattered about the grounds - especially in the scrub on the north side of the runway. There are a bunch of hardened bunkers in the northeast corner.

    TommyU

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    Default Re: ALGERIA - Blida

    Re Blida and the OSS

    My Father a wing intelligence officer (RAF) whilst at Blida in about 1943, had as a sharer in his tent
    a USAF guy called Chuck Kimball, who was undoubtedly under training as part of the OSS. In
    peacetime he was a lawyer from Chicago. After the furore following on the assasination of the Vichy sympathising French General Darlan, with the US blaming the British (quite correctly) as part of the smoothing it over process all the RAF Intell lot took a long leave, and left the USAF lot to get on with all matters occurring for that period. Oddly there was then at Blida a not being trusted unit of the former Vichy French AF, whose a/c were immobilised by the Brits. They later were trusted and issued with war weary Spitfires, which they wrote off with steady regularity.
    Father met Kimball again some months later, in the Caserta Palace HQ at Naples in Italy. Chuck
    retired to Florida, and was in touch once - years ago. Father ran the Unit entertainments, and I have a programme of such, held in the Blida public cinema, he was also a war artist and several paintings survive of Blida, and the a/c there. Including an RAF special duties flight. One painting
    of great historical importance of an aerodrome in Sicily is in the library of the USAF college at Colorado Springs.

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    Senior Member PETERTHEEATER's Avatar
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    Default Re: ALGERIA - Blida

    Welcome to AiX stafford and thank you for the anecdotes. If Admiral Darlan had given his fleet to the Allies he might have survived!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: ALGERIA - Blida

    DSC02647.jpg
    Painting of Blida done by Flt/Sgt Bill Tee of RAFSC3201 when he was there Nov 42. He would have sketched the image and painted at a late date. His story can be read at
    http://www.combinedops.com/Royal_Air...mando_3201.htm

    Cheers
    Tony

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