Saturday, August 3, 2013

An Annotated History of Yundum Airfield/Airport

Jammeh has not only been trying to divert the attention of Gambians from the economic hardship of his own doing, and the increasing diplomatic isolation of his embattled regime, he has been engaged in dubious acts of misinforming Gambians by attempting to re-write the history of a country be obviously knows very little about.

Yundum airfield, as it was called then, was not built neither was in the control of Lufthansa of Germany. It was airfield built during World War II by the Allied Forces led by the British and Americans as a staging post for stop-overs and re-fueling of Allied planes. Further development of the airfield was made, including the famous 'hut-like' air traffic tower that was in use until the late 70s when it was replaced during the Louis Diaz airport development phase of the airport and subsequently re-named Banjul International Airport from Yundum Airport. A new replacement tower was built under the AFPRC era.

The Yundum facility made it into the history books when President Roosevelt landed there in 1943 en route to the Casablanca Conference making it the first time a sitting U.S. President visited the African continent. The first President Roosevelt visited East Africa on a long African safari that lasted several months as an avid hunter of big game but only after he left the White House.