9th AF Patch

416th Bombardment Group (L)

Melun-Villaroche Aerodrome, France

Station A-55

24 September 1944 to 12 February 1945



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Bombs dropped by planes of the 8th Air Force's 44th Bombardment Group
on 24 May 1944 fall toward the airfield at Melun, France,
which is already suffering from bomb strikes during this mission.

(NARA ID: 342-FH-3A18900-116473AC, downloaded from Fold3.com)

Airfield Sketch

Airfield Sketch (AFHRA, Reel=6637 / IRISREF=A5617 / IRISNUM=215629)

Area Topo Map

Approximate area of Melun-Villaroche Aerodrome Station A-55
Extracted from GSGS-4249/AMS-M661 Sheet 10G - "Paris-Fontainebleau" 1:100:000 Military Topographic Map
(Downloaded from Perry-Castaneda Library Map Collection - Army Map Service Topographic Map Series,
France 1:100,000 Series M661 (GSGS 4249), U.S. Army Map Service, 1943-,
Paris-Fontainebleau sheet)

(Annotated Full Map PDF)

Melun-Villaroche Aerodrome, France - Google Maps 2019
Approximate Latitude/Longitude: 48.60527778,2.67083333 (48° 36' 19" N, 2° 40' 15" E) (Click to view in Google Maps)
Located about 5 miles north of the city of Melun, Alsace Region, France (Melun is about 15 miles SE from Paris)


Left: "We crossed the Channel in a English LCT, at least the crew were English.  Lt. Jim Abbott found out later
that  our bacon ration  was gone when we reached shore.  Jim took both photos."
Right: Capt. Bob Kehres touching his toe on European soil at Omaha Beach, Normandy
as the 416th transferred to Melun — September 17, 1944.

"Some of the ground echelon of the 670th had just landed.  Since we had some time while unloading
I browsed the German gun emplacements in the distance, then we set out for Melun by making the wrong turn
and going thru St.Mere Eglise.  St. Lo was still smoldering.  We wanted to get some apples,
but were ordered not to leave our vehicles as were in "Calvados" country and they may have been boobytrapped.
(photos and comments courtesy of Bob Kehres)     


Capt. Bob Kehres using sand to clean his mess kit during initial bivouac at Melun-Villaroche, September 1944
(photo courtesy of Bob Kehres)


Left to right: Capt. Hugh Evans, Capt. Carl Stanley, unknown (photo courtesy of Phil Stanley)

"In September 1944 the 416th moved from Weathersfield, England to Villaroche Airdrome, France (a few miles north of Melun, France.) The pilots flew the A-20 Havocs over, pitched their Pup Tents and waited for the rest of the Group to arrive. Then the big eight man tents were put up and we packed up the Pup Tents and moved into them.  On the edge of the 668th Bomb Squadron area was the wreckage of a German aircraft.  Here is a photo of it and some 668th pilots playing the Hitler salute." (Text submitted by Wayne E. Downing)

Msgt Patrick and Capt. Kehres with a battle damaged B-17 that landed at Melun-Villaroche
(photo courtesy of Bob Kehres)


Installing Pierced Steel Planking (PSP) at Melun, France 1944

Digging PSP out of the snow - Melun, France 1944


Studying a situation map at Melun-Villaroche - 2 Oct 44 (NARA photo)

  Left to right: 1st Lt. Lilburn S. Rogers, Capt. Robert C. Bailey, Maj. William Thomas, Msgt Kenneth Froelich



"Pretty Baby" parked in Squadron Maintenance area, Melun-Villaroche Aerodrome, 2 October 44 (NARA photo)


 Bombs ready to load at Melun-Villaroche  (photo courtesy of Joanne Tripp)


Cpl Norman W. McTier of Wrens, Georgia getting a haircut
2 oct 44 at Melun-Villaroche, A-20 in background (NARA photo)


Formerly a German Air Base, bombed by the Allies - October 1944 Melun-Villaroche  (NARA photo)

A French shepherd and son tend their flock at Melun-Villaroche Aerodrome, France 2 Oct 44.
A-20s and squadron quarters in background. (NARA photo)

668th Bomb Sq. A-26 aircraft at Melun-Villaroche
(photo courtesy of Phil Stanley)

Capt. Bob Kehres stands in a former German gun emplacement at A-55 Melun-Villaroche, France
Winter of 1944/1945, 670th living quarters in background (photo courtesy of Bob Kehres)

Lt. Bob Singletary reading Life magazine in the snow at Melun-Villaroche, France
(photo courtesy of Wayne Downing)

Lts. Gruning and Abbot change a Jeep tire while Captain Harold "supervises"

Melun - Winter of '44/45 (photo courtesy of Bob Kehres)


Doc Reichert and  Bob Kehres at the "well",  Melun-Villaroche, France

Winter of 1944/1945, 670th living quarters in background (photo courtesy of Bob Kehres)

See Also:
Melun page at the American Air Museum
Wikipedia Melun Villaroche Aerodrome page