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Welcome to the Dreux Air Base website. This a site for people who served, worked, were with their parents at, attended school at, were local residents who had friends on the base, or are just interested in the base and its history. Few people today remember the extent of the US and NATO presence in France from the early 50’s until 1967. Dreux was one of eleven major US Air Force bases with hundreds of combat aircraft that were built in response to the buildup of Soviet forces following World War 2. After the attempted seizure of West Berlin by the Soviets in 1948 and the resulting Berlin Airlift, West European nations formed the NATO alliance. As a founding member of NATO France agreed to provide air base sites for NATO’s tactical aircraft to maximize warning time from a possible Soviet air attack. Construction of the base began in 1951 by the 821st Engineer Battalion (Aviation) and operations on the base continued through its closure in 1967 following French president Charles de Gaulle’s decision to evict all non-French NATO forces from France. During its lifetime the base went through a number of phases. Following construction in the early 50’s it served as an operating air base with the 60th Troop Carrier Wing flying C-119s and the 309th Troop Carrier Group flying C-123s. In 1960/1 the active flying mission was terminated and the base was placed in a standby status only to be re-activated in the fall of 1961 when President Kennedy activated squadrons from the Air National Guard in response to construction of the Berlin Wall. The 106th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron from Birmingham, Alabama, flying RF-84F’s, was bedded down at Dreux. Following the Guard’s deactivation the following year, the base reverted to standby status seeing only an occasional transient aircraft or minor exercise. The presence of several non-flying organizations, however, resulted in continued use of the base, most notably Dreux American High School which provided in residence education to students from other bases and dispersed locations throughout Europe. Other organizations assigned to Dreux included the Defense Area Communications Control Center – Europe (DACCC-Eur), the 246th Communication Squadron, and the 2nd Mobile Comm Group. After the base was closed in 1967 it remained under control of the French military that used it for occasional small exercises, but the base was essentially left to decay. In it’s final chapter, the land was turned over to the local power company and now serves as a solar farm.
Many of us have fond memories of our time in France and, in particular, Dreux Air Base. Please help us keep the memories alive by posting on the blog and sending pictures of your time at the base. If you leave a post on the blog we’ll reach out to you. Thanks again for stopping by the website.
There are several other websites with Dreux connections that we have linked below.
Here are some related websites
Dreux American High School
Here is another Site with lots of Dreux pictures.They had their military vehicle collection stored at Dreux from 1991to 2005.
Association Francaise des Collectionneurs Vechicules Militaires