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Thread: Airfields in Algeria/Tunisia

  1. #1
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    Default Airfields in Algeria/Tunisia

    Does anybody know where two WW2 airfields in N Africa were located?
    1 Tingley, SW of Bone/Annaba,
    2 Jemappes, possibly more SW of Bone/Annaba.

    For 1, have a look at 36.857386N 07.717828E on Google Earth. There's a walled enclosure containing (I suspect) aviation navaid equipment. In the soil/crop marks there's the possibility of a runway SW/NE and another, shorter one, E/W. Anybody got any ideas?

    For 2, I have absolutely no ideas. Any help gratefully received.

    TIA
    Resmoroh

  2. #2
    SuperMod Daveg4otu's Avatar
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    Default Re: Airfields in Algeria/Tunisia

    Jemappes is now known as Azzaba... can't see anything obvious in that vicinity

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    Default Re: Airfields in Algeria/Tunisia

    I see you've been on RAFCommands, I remembered a post on there about Bone but you've already asked there! That's as far as I can go! Interesting find on GE though.
    Best of luck!

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    Default Re: Airfields in Algeria/Tunisia

    IWM should be able to help locate Jemappes, they have information on the 43rd Squadron (inc pictures) whilst they were there in April 1943.

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    Default Re: Airfields in Algeria/Tunisia

    OK, I think I've got a 'definite maybe' or - possibly - a 'maybe definite'
    We know that Tingley was 'on the railway line to Jemappes'.
    We've possibly located Tingley by deduction from GE (but await positive confirmation).
    Jemappes was at what is now known as Azzaba. Take a look on GE from 36.737472N 07.126708E to 36.740329N 07.133218E. That tells me that I can "see" a feature running (roughly) SW/NE for 2100 feet. Long enough for a fighter runway in WW2? That is also only a few yards off the railway line (don't know if it still works but you can trace the railway from Tingley to Jemappes quite easily on GE). There's also quite a strong suggestion of a N/S 'runway' intersecting halfway along the 'main runway'. There's also just the faintest suggestion of a NW/SE 'runway' passing through the same intersection. Bear in mind that these soil/crop marks were probably made by no more than some PSP (or similar) only in place for a couple of years! What is definite, though, is that the current field boundaries clearly go over the top of the features above. Therefore they must be later. But whether they are later than WW2, or later than the Romans we do not yet know.
    But when (post-retirement) I did my Archaeology degree the aerial foto expert said "All you have to do is to look at aerial fotos for a very long time. If you do that you will eventually "see" what you want to see!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
    Jr reste ma valise
    HTH
    Resmoroh

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    Default Re: Airfields in Algeria/Tunisia

    Good research, but I think your slightly out. Run back the historical air maps on GE and the section you are looking at is part of land disturbance during construction of a modern pipeline.

    BUT if you look slightly north there is another good possibility? co-ords' are:

    possible compound : 36.737730N, 7.121715E
    runway: 36.737503N, 7.122832E to 36.740758N, 7.126422E (possibility of a section of the modern Azzaba bypass has disturbed the northern end?)

    I don't hold any old maps (either IGN or Russian) of Algeria as it always been a place we never get to rally but I do have them for Morocco if you need help in that area.

    It would be interesting to compile a list of WW2 sites in NA (maybe under the remit of Operation Torch?).
    'Maison Blanche' (Houari Boumediene Airport) is still in use
    Youks-les-Bains Airfield is however abandoned : 35.498014N, 07.927903E (CORRECTED)

    keep up the great work.
    Last edited by Jenna; 09-09-2011 at 09:00.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Airfields in Algeria/Tunisia

    Jenna,
    I take your point - particularly about the pipe-line construction!
    But I think we are both within 3/8ths of the square-root of 1 km in the right area!
    Somebody, though, will - no doubt - come up with the precise loc (and make us look like pillocks!!) - such is research!!
    My own stamping grounds (post-WW2) in NA were in Cyrenaica. I've stood on the site of several WW2 airfields in that area and (apart from piles of rusting Compo tins) you wouldn't know anything had ever been there. And a pile of rusting Compo tins didn't mean an airfield. There were (are?) several thousands of them not far from El Adem.
    Good 'ere, 'innit?
    Resmoroh

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    Default Re: Airfields in Algeria/Tunisia

    lol yes we will get it in the end, I'm a little surprised at the lack of quality aerial images TBH..

    one day... that's the one day that so far has never come yet! I must do some research in to North Wast Africa and WW2 (8th and Afrikacorps) as my uncle was part of the Montgomery mapping caravan and it would be nice to document it and pass it on.

    I blame him squarely for the fascination with with maps and exploring the sand.

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    Default Re: Airfields in Algeria/Tunisia

    My fascination came from "The Physics of Blown Sand and Desert Dunes", by (Maj - later Col) R. A. Bagnold. Heavy going, but when you were out with Desert Rescue you could see what he was talking about happening before your very eyes!
    Rgds
    Resmoroh

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    Default Re: Airfields in Algeria/Tunisia

    Don't know if you are aware of J. W. B. Judge's web page, its a goldmine of info!

    http://www.laetusinpraesens.org/guests/jwbj/jwb1.htm

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