Then and Now: The bombing of a Greek airfield, 1944-2016

Then and Now, WW2 in Greece

By Pierre Kosmidis

THEN AND NOW: Bombing of Kalamaki Airfield (also known as Hassani or Ellinikon), Athens, Greece, seen from the bomb bay of a US B-17 bomber, 15 Sep 1944 and a current image via google maps (source of photos: ww2db/google)
The airport was built in 1938, and after the German invasion of Greece in 1941, Kalamaki Airfield was used as a Luftwaffe air base during the occupation.
The airfield had a 1800 metre long runway.
In its first year, it handled about 8,500 passengers and no more than one tonne of cargo.
After the Nazi invasion of April 1941 it was used as a Luftwaffe air base.
During the occupation the airfield was attacked at least 12 times by USAF and RAF bombers and fighters.

Luftwaffe flying units known to have used the airfield during the occupation were:
II./KG 26 (Nov 1941 – Mar 1942).
I./NJG 2 (4 Jan 1942 – 16 Jan 1942).
Kdo. Koch (formed at Kalamaki Jul 1942 from elements of II./KG 100), with He 111H and Ju 88 aircraft performing night reconnaissance and jamming duties.
1.(Go)/VK(S) 2 (Sep 1942 – Dec 1942).
II/KG 100 (21 Apr 1942 – 10 Apr 1943).
9./KG 4 (26 Oct 1942 – 31 Dec 1942).
1(F)./122 (Jun 1943 – 24 Mar 1944).
IV./JG 27 (formed at Kalamaki in May 1943, remained until 17 Jul 1943, then again from 8 Sep 1943 through to 28 Oct 1943).
Stab./JG 27 (Jul 1943 – Oct 1943 and again 3 Dec 1943 – Mar 1944).
5./JG 51 (31 May 1944 – 27 Jun 1944) .
Following the end of World War II, the Greek government allowed the United States to use the airport from 1945 until 1993.

Known as Hassani Airport in 1945, it was used by the United States Army Air Forces as early as 1 October 1945, as a base of operations for Air Transport Command flights between Rome and points in the Middle East.