Luftwaffe Flugplätze in Boulogne 

     

 

This page discusses the German WWII airfield in the Boulogne area. The source of the information is mainly Luftwaffe Airfields 1939-45 France (with Corsica and Channel Islands) by Henry L. deZeng IV.

 

Boulogne - Le Portel (Alprech)

 

Location: 50 41 45 N - 01 34 20 E

Description:

General:

This German landing ground was located 4km southwest of Boulogne and 1.6km south of Le Portel. The airfield was  constructed as part of a French civil airport, which began operations in July 1939. In June 1940 the Luftwaffe used it as a Stuka base for attacks on Channel shipping and targets on the south coast of Britain. The Luftwaffe used the existing infrastructure without adding any. It fell under the command of the Flughafenbereichskommando 8/III in St-Omer (moved to Lille from October 1943). After May 1941 the airfield was largely abandoned. The airfield possessed 2 grass runways (760 and 500m). Fuel and ammunition refuelling points were located on the western and southern boundaries. In terms of infrastructure, there was 1 small hangar with a paved apron as well an airfield building, both of which are visible on photos of the period. Ground personnel were not billeted at the airfield but rather at the nearby village of La Salle. The 2 dispersal areas, located northeast and southeast, had a total of 3 covered and 4 open aircraft shelters. During 1940-41 the airfield was protected by 8 heavy and 15 light Flak positions in the area. In November 1942 the airfield was reported obstructed by movable tripods, while the airport was reported permanently obstructed by grid-pattern trenches in April 1943.

History:

Important visitors  in 1940 were Rudolf Hess, deputy Führer, and Generalfdeldmarschall von Brauchitsch, Oberbefehlshaber des Heeres.

Operational units:

No information available

Station commands:

July 1940 - June 1941: subordinated to the Fliegerhorstkommandantur E4/XI located in Desvres between 6/40 and 5/41

1941 - August 1942: Flugplatzkommando of Fliegerhorstkommandantur E13/VIII located in Marquise between 7/40 and 9/43

The Flugplatz commanders were:

  • Hauptmann Karl Hübschle (1940)

  • Hauptmann Felix Pelzner (May 1943)

  • Hauptmann Otto Adrario (October 1943)

Station units:

In February 1941 the Luftwaffebaubataillon 20/XI was reported as present.

 

Boulogne - See

 

Location: 50 43 40 N - 01 35 50 E

Description:

General:

This was a seaplane station in Boulogne harbour. It was used extensively by air-sea rescue aircraft until May/June 1942, but very little after that. The aircraft used the outer harbour to take off and land. Fuel and ammunition were both available. One large hangar was present on the quay immediately west of the maritime railway station in the inner harbour. It was protected by the many Flak defences of Boulogne.

History:

On 24 August 1940 the station was bombed by the RAF and 2 Arado 196 aircraft of the 1/Bordfliegergruppe 196 were damaged. In September 1940 it was assigned the code number 384. It then also fell under the command of the Flughafenbereichskommando 8/III  in St-Omer (moved to Lille from October 1943). On 13 September 1940 the RAF carried out another attack, which damaged 1 Heinkel 59 of the 3. Seenotstaffel.

Operational units:

August-September 1940: detachment of 1/Bordfliegergruppe 196

June1940 - June 1942: 3. Seenotstaffel

Station commands:

No information available

Station units:

No information available

 

More info on the organisation of the Seenotdienst along the Channel and Atlantic coasts can be found on this page.