Chaumont-Semoutiers Air Base

Chaumont-Semoutiers Air Base

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Chaumont-Semoutiers Air Base

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Chaumont-Semoutiers Air Base is a former United States Air Force base in France. It is located two miles (3 km) southwest of the city of Chaumont, Haute-Marne, just to the west of the Route nationale 67 (N67) Highway about 0.5 miles (1 km) north of Semoutiers-Montason in the Haute-Marne d├ępartement of northeast France.

During the early years of the Cold War, Chaumont-Semoutiers was a front-line air base for the United States Air Forces in Europe (USAFE).

Origins

The area around Chaumont-Semoutiers Air Base has a long history of American military presence. During World War I the Haute-Marne d├ępartement was one of the bloodiest areas of France with many battles fought on its soil. In 1917, the Headquarters of the American Expeditionary Force was located in the city of Chaumont, Haute-Marne. A bronze tablet in the city commemorates the efforts of two million American soldiers under General John J. Pershing.

Starting in the mid-1930s, a grass airstrip was used near Chaumont by the French Air Force for training. After the fall of France, the Luftwaffe also used the facility as a training station. During the liberation of France, the American Third Army defeated a German counter-attack in the area on 13 September 1944.

After the war, the airstrip was left unused.

NATO acquisition

With the outbreak of the Cold War in the late 1940s, with the Berlin Airlift and the ongoing threat from the Soviet Union to Western Europe, negotiations began in November...
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