The airdrome at Juvincourt, located between Reims and Laon alongside RN 44 (National Highway 44), was one of the Luftwaffe's largest in France, consisting of three concrete runways, and more than 300 protected airplane alvéoles (bunkers) (the aerial photograph above was taken after the Allies took over the base in 1944). The base was constantly under observation by the local resistance. Juvincourt was well known by the Germans, who had occupied the area during the First World War. Juvincourt is located at the eastern most end of Chemin des Dames. It is at Juvincourt that Caesar defeated the Barbarians (Belgium and Gaulles) in 57 BC. In 1939, aviation was already present in Juvincourt; it had an airfield with grass runways. During the summer of 1944 the following airplanes were based on the German-occupied French airfield: the Arado 234s T9+LH flown by H. Götz, and T9+MH flown by E. Sommer, as well as some Me262s, the jet airplanes that attracted the attention of the resistance. MI6 was immediately notified and the runways were bombed right away. RN 44 at first served as an emergency runway, then as the main runway. It is interesting to note that RN 44 was never bombarded! Sommer reports that during one of his takeoffs he observed a civilian hidden in the grass taking pictures. He immediately reported the incident to security, and the pursuit of the intruder was on. The precious photos would eventually be delivered to the Allies in Normandy. To this day, however, the British Secret Service ferociously denies having received such photos.
Hangar for the Arado 234 at Juvincourt.
An Arado 234 takes off.
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