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Longer ones were needed and none were available. So the engineers made 'em. They used captured materials and captured equipment, and fabricated extra-long pickets. The unit also operated a rock crusher, built roads, and maintained a flight strip for artillery observation and liaison planes. But they got the job finished.
The first captured German field to be put in operation by the engineers in Germany was at Venlo, and was completed by the 852nd battalion. These "Avineers" filled more than 300 craters with crushed rock, and then surfaced them with brick. The whole project of making the field operational took only six days.
These new tactical fields in Germany, and the winter-built bases in Belgium, Holland, Luxembourg, and France, were used by fighter-bombers to provide a net of protection and secrecy for the mobilization of forces for the Great Drive to the heart of Germany.
In the highest headquarters of the Allied armies, plans were laid for the offensive that would ultimately crush the Reich. With the massing of tanks, infantry forces, air power, artillery, supplies, and communications, the aviation engineers were chosen to play a critically important role.
Army commanders and supply officers planned and conferred with officers of the Engineer Command on operations that would keep detachments of aviation engineers operating with the spearhead task forces of infantry and armored units. This technique was considered because of the possibility that the drive might move rapidly and supplies would become a critical factor in sustaining it. The ground forces wanted an assurance that supplies would reach them. Air transport to airfields built on-the-spot was the answer.