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EAB in Europe and the Mediterranean

Engineer Aviation Battalion units build airbases in south-central Africa for the southern aircraft ferry route in May 1942. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Engineer Aviation Battalion units build airbases in south-central Africa for the southern aircraft ferry route in May 1942. (U.S. Air Force photo)

Justifying it by expressing a concern over the long-term presence of blacks in England, the Army had only seven EABs in Europe at the war's end. Ironically, those black soldiers sent to England found the English more accepting than the Americans at their training bases. In North Africa and the Mediterranean, the 812th EAB covered a lot of ground. This unit shipped out of Charleston, S.C., in May 1942, to build airbases in south-central Africa for the southern aircraft ferry route. Traveling by ship to Egypt, they took trucks across 900 miles of desert to Benghazi, Libya, where they improved and stabilized the base for 9th Air Force B-24s that bombed the Ploesti oil fields in Rumania. The unit then moved to Sicily in 1943 and to Corsica in January 1944, where they remained until the end of the war.

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  Related Fact Sheets
  Consolidated B-24D Liberator
  Ploesti
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