facts about dreux

Interesting Facts about Dreux
By Doug Donnell

Postal: Dreux Post Office was APO 84, located in building 142

Rail Line: When the base was being constructed the French National Railroad (SNCF) extended a spur line from La Loupe to the Dreux AB warehouse area. You can still trace the right of way on Google Earth by starting at the warehouses and working your way to the La Loupe marshalling yard. My guess is that the land still belongs to the SNCF as all of the railroad bridges, overpasses and some of the track is still in place (use Google Earth's street view to see them). Given the size of the shrubs and trees growing on the right of way, it probably was abandoned at the time the base closed in 1967.

School: The first elementary school was in a Quonset hut (not sure where). As construction moved forward and the base continued to grow, a permanent school (through 8th grade) was established in Building 3. In the early 60's there was increasing violence in France related to the Algerian independence movement and the decision was made to move the in-resident high school, for security reasons, out of the Paris area to a new out-of-the-way location, Dreux Air Base. Thus, Dreux American High School was established beginning with the 60/61 school year. This coincided with the drawdown of the operational mission of the base, so facilities were readily available to accept the new school. Four previous barracks were converted to dormitories to board students. The elementary/middle school was moved from Building 3 to a building in the Marguerite 6 area for the 60/61 school year where it operated for a year. This freed up building 3 to be used for the new High School and DAHS remained there until it closed in 1967 during the drawdown.

Beginning with the 61/62 school year, the elementary/middle school was moved back to the main base to renovated barracks (buildings 62 and 65).

Trailers: Because of the lack of base housing on the newly constructed bases in France coupled with a shortage of building materials, the Air Force bought hundreds of trailers (Operation Caravan) to serve as "temporary" houses for assigned personnel. Dreux received about 300 trailers from a Belgian company which were divided into two trailer parks, one for NCOs and one for Officers. The 40 foot trailers were permanently mounted and "lean-tos" constructed to provide additional living space or storage. I've included more info on the trailers in my "Trailer Life" story in the Dreux Memories section of the website.

Housing Areas - Where are they now? * To find it on Google Earth, follow D20 from the base and just before entering the town you'll see it on the right. The street is Rue du Moulin de la Fosse. Google sent one of their camera cars down the street so you can use "street view" to enjoy your walk down memory lane. * The La Loupe housing is on the south side of town on a road called "Cité Lafayette" * The Dreux housing area is just south of N12 on the north side of Dreux city. To find on the map, turn south off of N12 onto Rue du Président Wilson. The housing area is to the east of that road. * The Chateauneuf-en-Thymerais housing area was just east of Boulevard Président John F. Kennedy on a circular street named "Cité du Chêne de Lorette".

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Dreux Facts, Version 1, 6/11/14 If you have items to contribute, questions to ask, or corrections, email Doug at Nebraska72@yahoo.com <