ALG A-19 – La Vieille – Airfields in Normandy

ALG A-19 – La Vieille

Battle of Normandy

This page presents the history of ALG (Advanced Landing Groud) A-19, used by the 9th United States Air Force during the Battle of Normandy.

Image : 9th Air Force

9th United States Air Force

Location: La Vieille, Manche (50)

Code: A-19

Coordinates: 49°09’36”N – 00°58’36”W

Construction: from July 31 to August 14, 1944 by the 834th Engineer Aviation Battalion (EAB)

Operational period: from August 14 to September 7, 1944

Airstrip: Prefabricated Bituminous Surfacing (PBS) extended by Square-Mesh Track (SMT)

PBS airstrip:

Length: 1 097,28 m (3 600 feet)

Width: 36,57 m (120 feet)

Azimuth: 8°

SMT airstrip:

Length: 426,72 m (1 400 feet)

Width: 36,57 m (120 feet)

Azimuth: 8°

Units:

– 370th Fighter Group (401st Fighter Squadron, 402nd Fighter Squadron, 485th squadron) using P-38 Lightning.

ALG A-19 history:

ALG A-19 is located northwest of Saint-Georges-d’Elle, near the place called La Vieille, which gives its name to the airfield.

Sappers build a 3,600-foot long PBS runway (Prefabricated Bituminous Surfacing). PBS, also known as “Hessian Mat”: it is a solid coating consisting of layers of bitumen and Hessian fabric which is particularly meticulous and requires the use of special machines. It avoids the negative effects of mud and dust. The proximity of the ALG A-19 with hill 112, theater of furious fighting in the context of the liberation of Saint-Lô, explains that several bodies of American and German soldiers buried in haste were found during the works.

A total of 426.72 meters (1400 feet) of SMT is added to provide a 1,524-meter (5,000 feet) total runway for heavily loaded ammunition and explosive devices.