|IATA: MUA – ICAO: AGGM|
|Location||Munda, New Georgia island|
|Elevation AMSL||10 ft / 3 m|
|Source: World Aero Data |
Airlines and destinations[edit | edit source]
|Solomon Airlines||Gatokae, Honiara|
History[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]
Construction began in mid-November with a great emphasis on keeping the forward airfield secret. The majority of airfield work done before clearing the main runway and surfacing it with crushed coral. By wiring the tops of palm trees to keep them in place, allowing work to initially escape detection. Finally the trunks were cut away, and runway completed.
Despite these efforts, reports of the strip were relayed to Guadalcanal via coastwatcher Danny Kennedy and aerial reconnaissance spotted increased barge traffic and evidence of crushed coral being prepared at the strip, but the Japanese succeeded in buying enough time to complete a single 1,094 feet (333 m) by 44 feet (13 m) all weather runway for fighters operational on 17 December 1942.
Opened on 1 December 1942, it was used by the Japanese Navy and Japanese Army Air Force as a forward operating base. As soon as it was operational, the airfield was hampered by the observation of coastwatchers in the area, including Kennedy and D.C. Horton who was observing the airfield from Rendova. It was heavily bombed from the air by the Allies prior to the American landing.
Munda airfield was the principal objective of the Central Solomons campaign, also known as Munda or Munda Point Airfield. It was captured by the US Army XIV Corps forces after 12 continuous days of fierce fighting in the jungle area. The high ground around the airfield fell on August 5, 1943.
Once seized, the Americans improved and expanded the airbase for their own operations. The first American aircraft landed at Munda on August 14, 1943 with landings by F4U Corsairs piloted by Robert Owen of VMF-215, a 44th Fighter Squadron (44th FS) P-40 Warhawk and a J2F Duck with Marine Brigadier General Francis P. Mulcahy aboard.
Known American air units stationed at Munda Airfield were:
Postwar[edit | edit source]
After the war, the airfield was turned into a commercial airport, used for regional flights by Solomon Airlines.
See also[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
- Mauer, Mauer (1969), Combat Squadrons of the Air Force, World War II, Air Force Historical Studies Office, Maxwell AFB, Alabama. ISBN 0-89201-097-5
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