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Caffiers Airbase

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When the Wehrmacht reached the Northern French coast in 1939, the rapid collapse of the Allied defences surprised everyone, particularly their opponents, who very quickly outran their supply lines and support.

With aircraft having to fly from their bases still within the German borders and the front lines now still well within range of attack from Southern Britain, the Luftwaffe very quickly took over French airfields and flying clubs to become their new homes, with local houses being commandeered as billets for officers and men.

One such example was Caffiers in Pas de Calais, which became home to the (in?)famous Bf109Es of III Gruppe, Jagdgeschwader 26, whose yellow noses have often typified the type in pictures of the period, and their commander, Major Adolf Galland.

The airfield is not only historically significant for being the home station of III Gruppe Jg26, however. In June 1941, Jg26 were assigned the first of the new Focke-Wulf FW190A-1 fighters, initially to II Gruppe, but later across the Jagdgeschwader. FW190s operated from Caffiers until forced out by the advancing Allies following D-Day.

The airfield is now reverted to farmland and no trace of its pre-war or military operations is extant.

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