Gamal Abdul El Nasser Airbase

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Gamal Abdul El 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 Abdul El Nasser Airbase is located in Libya
Gamal Abdul El Nasser Airbase
Gamal Abdul El Nasser Airbase
Location of Gamal Abdul El Nasser Air Base, Libya
Runways
Direction Length Surface
m ft
02/20 3,016 9,895 Asphalt
09/27 2,998 9,835 Asphalt
15/33 3,007 9,865 Asphalt

Gamal Abdul El 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 the World War II, it had been an Italian Air Force airfield, and a number of the former Italian buildings were seen remining 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]

World War II[edit]

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[edit]

Today, the airfield is a Libyan Air Force air base. The RAF World War II configuration is still evident in aerial photography.

A 2011 Google satellite picture shows a number of delta-winged jets resembling the MiG-21 series parked on the main apron at this airbase. Judging from the picture, it is hard to determine whether these aircraft are operational or not.

References[edit]

  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/.

External links[edit]