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Airfields of the United States Army Air Force
in the South Pacific Area
13thaf-coloredbackground.jpg 
Part of World War II
South pacific wwII.jpg
Date1942-1945
LocationSouth Pacific Area of World War II
Result Allied victory over the Empire of Japan (1945)

During World War II, the United States Army Air Forces engaged in combat against the Empire of Japan in the South Pacific Area. As defined by the War Department, this consisted of the Pacific Ocean areas which lay south of the Equator between longitude 159° East and 110° West. It included New Zealand, New Caledonia, New Hebrides, Fiji, and most of the Solomon Islands.

The major USAAF combat organizations in the region was Thirteenth Air Force, which was formed in November 1942 as a command and control organization to organize many widely separated Seventh Air Force and independent units scattered in the South Pacific Area during the Solomon Islands campaign. As the war progressed, Thirteenth Air Force units moved into the South West Pacific theatre and coordinated their activities with Fifth and Seventh Air Force units in New Guinea, the Netherlands East Indies and Philippines during 1944 and 1945.

Airfields and unit assignments[edit | edit source]

COOK ISLANDS

18°49′51″S 159°45′51″W / 18.83083°S 159.76417°W / -18.83083; -159.76417 (Cook Islands - Aitutaki Island - Amuri Field)
09°01′00″S 158°01′51″W / 9.0166667°S 158.03083°W / -9.0166667; -158.03083 (Cook Islands - Penrhyn Island - Robinson Field)

ELLICE ISLANDS

08°31′29.50″S 179°11′46.31″E / 8.524861°S 179.1961972°E / -8.524861; 179.1961972 (Ellice Islands - Funafuti Atoll - Funafuti Airfield)
Seventh Air Force
Headquarters, VII Bomber Command, November 1943 – January 1944
11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 2 November 1943 – 13 January 1944
42d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 9 November 1943 – 8 January 1944
431st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11 November 1943 – 15 January 1944
05°41′00″S 176°07′44.4″E / 5.6833333°S 176.129°E / -5.6833333; 176.129 (Ellice Islands - Nanumea atoll - Nanomea Airfield)
30th Bombardment Group, Heavy, 12 November 1943 – 3 January 1944
27th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, 10 November 1943 – 14 March 1944 (operated from Abemama, Gilbert Islands 26 February-14 March 1944)
38th Bombardment Squadron, Heavy, 12 November 1943 – 12 March 1944 (operated from Makin Atoll, Gilbert Islands 26 February-22 March 1944)
08°04′04″S 178°22′35″E / 8.06778°S 178.37639°E / -8.06778; 178.37639 (Ellice Islands - Nukefetau Atoll - Nukefetau Airfield)
Seventh Air FOrce
26th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 11 November 1943 – 24 January 1944 (air echelon operated from Canton Island 12 November-31 December 1943)
98th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 11 November 1943 – 19 January 1944

FIJI ISLANDS

17°45′19″S 177°26′36″E / 17.75528°S 177.44333°E / -17.75528; 177.44333 (Fiji Islands - Viti Levu Island - Nandi Airfield)
Seventh Air Force
42d Bombardment Group, 22 April – 6 June 1943
394th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 25 December 1942 – 3 January 1943
Thirteenth Air Force
394th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 4 January 1943 – 27 June 1943 (operated from Espiritu Santo and Guadalcanal 3–19 January 1943 and 25 April-5 June 1943)
431st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 24 July-31 October 1942 (air echelon operated from New Hebrides, August 1942)
18°02′36″S 178°33′33″E / 18.04333°S 178.55917°E / -18.04333; 178.55917 (Fiji Islands - Nausori Airfield)

NEW CALEDONIA

22°16′S 166°28′E / 22.267°S 166.467°E / -22.267; 166.467 (New Caledonia - Magenta Airfield)
21°12′50.47″S 164°52′21.11″E / 21.2140194°S 164.8725306°E / -21.2140194; 164.8725306 (New Caledonia - Plaine Des Gaiacs Airfield) (Approximate)
Thirteenth Air Force
Headquarters, Thirteenth Air Force, 13–21 January 1943
Headquarters, XIII Fighter Command, 13–22 January 1943
4th Photographic Group, 22 November 1942-May 1943
4th Photographic Reconnaissance and Mapping Group, May–November 1943
4th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance), November 1943-5 May 1944
42d Bombardment Group, 20 October 1943 – 20 January 1944
347th Fighter Group, 3 October – 29 December 1943
42d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 22 July-22 November 1942
22°01′S 166°12′E / 22.017°S 166.2°E / -22.017; 166.2 (New Caledonia - Tontouta Airfield)

NEW HEBRIDES ISLANDS

15°30′18.12″S 167°13′11.07″E / 15.5050333°S 167.2197417°E / -15.5050333; 167.2197417 (New Hebrides Islands - Espiritu Santo Island - Pekoa Airield)
Seventh Air Force
5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 1 December 1942 – 3 January 1943
23d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 1 December 1942 – 3 January 1943
31st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 30 November 1942 – 3 January 1943
72d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 24 September 1942 – 3 January 1943 (operated from Guadalcanal 4 October 1942 – 3 January 1943)
394th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) (operated from Espiritu Santo and Guadalcanal 3–19 January 1943 and 25 April-5 June 1943)
11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 22 July 1942 – 4 January 1943
26th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 22 December 1942 – 4 January 1943
42d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 23 November 1942 – 4 January 1943 (forward echelon operated from Guadalcanal)
98th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11 August 1942 – 4 January 1943 (operated from New Caledonia 21 July-11 August 1942)
431st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 1 November 1942 – 4 January 1943 (forward echelon operated from Guadalcanal, December 1942)
Thirteenth Air Force
Headquarters, XIII Bomber Command, 13 January – 20 August 1943
Headquarters, XIII Fighter Command, 22 January–December 1943
5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 4 January–18 August 1943
23d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 4 January 1943 – 3 January 1944 (operated from Guadalcanal 31 March-24 August 1943 and 21 October-7 December 1943)
31st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 4–17 January 1943
72d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 4 January 1943 – 8 January 1944 (operated from Guadalcanal 4 January-8 August 1943, 7 October-15 November 1943 and 13 December 1943 – 27 January 1944)
11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 5 January-7 April 1943
26th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5 January-28 March 1943 (forward echelon operated from New Guinea January 1943)
42d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5 January-7 April 1943
98th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 5 January-7 April 1943
431st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 15 January-7 April 1943
18th Fighter Group, 11 March – 17 April 1943
4th Reconnaissance Group, 23 January 1943 – 6 May 1944
403d Troop Carrier Group, 13 September 1943 – 30 August 1944
15°30′06″S 167°14′45″E / 15.50167°S 167.24583°E / -15.50167; 167.24583 (New Hebrides Islands - Espiritu Santo Island - Palikulo Bay Airield)
15°30′17″S 167°07′12″E / 15.50472°S 167.12°E / -15.50472; 167.12 (New Hebrides Islands - Espiritu Santo Island - Luganville Airfield)
15°22′41″S 167°10′45″E / 15.37806°S 167.17917°E / -15.37806; 167.17917 (New Hebrides Islands - Espiritu Santo Island - Turtle Bay Airfield)
17°41′58″S 168°19′12″E / 17.69944°S 168.32°E / -17.69944; 168.32 (New Hebrides Islands - Efate Island - Bauerfield International Airport)
Seventh Air Force
26th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 11th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 25 July-21 December 1942 (forward echelon operated from Espiritu Santo, August 1942, and Guadalcanal, September 1942)

NEW ZEALAND

36°47′16″S 174°37′49″E / 36.78778°S 174.63028°E / -36.78778; 174.63028 (New Zealand - Wellington - Whenuapai Airport)

NORFOLK ISLAND

29°02′30″S 167°56′19″E / 29.04167°S 167.93861°E / -29.04167; 167.93861 (Australia - Norfolk Island - Norfolk Airport)

SOCIETY ISLANDS

16°26′46″S 151°45′16″W / 16.44611°S 151.75444°W / -16.44611; -151.75444 (Society Islands - Motu Mute Island - Bora Bora Airfield)

SOLOMON ISLANDS

Bougainville Island

06°13′S 155°04′E / 6.217°S 155.067°E / -6.217; 155.067 (Solomon Islands - Bougainville - Piva Uncle)
06°13′S 155°04′E / 6.217°S 155.067°E / -6.217; 155.067 (Solomon Islands - Bougainville - Piva Yoke)

Buka Island

05°25′20.34″S 154°40′21.60″E / 5.4223167°S 154.672667°E / -5.4223167; 154.672667 (Solomon Islands)
419th Night Fighter Squadron (DET), 25 January – 27 May 1944

Guadalcanal Island

09°26′07.20″S 160°09′30.40″E / 9.435333°S 160.158444°E / -9.435333; 160.158444 (Solomon Islands - Guadalcanal - Carney Airfield)
Headquarters, Thirteenth Air Force, 21 January – 15 June 1944
Headquarters, XIII Bomber Command, 20 August 1943 – June 1944
Headquarters, XIII Fighter Command, December 1943-15 August 1944
18th Fighter Group, 17 April 1943 – 23 August 1944
347th Fighter Group, 29 December 1943 – 15 January 1944
4th Reconnaissance Group, 6 May – 12 December 1944
419th Night Fighter Squadron, 15 November 1943 – 21 August 1944
09°25′40.8″S 160°03′17.24″E / 9.428°S 160.0547889°E / -9.428; 160.0547889 (Solomon Islands - Guadalcanal - Henderson Field)
Thirteenth Air Force
5th Bombardment Group (Heavy), 19 August 1943 – 4 February 1944
31st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 17 January 1943 – 19 April 1944 (operated from Munda, 2 February-13 March 1944)
72d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) (operated from Guadalcanal 4 January-8 August 1943, 7 October-15 November 1943 and 13 December 1943 – 27 January 1944)
394th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 28 June 1943 – 12 April 1944 (operated from Espiritu Santo and Guadalcanal 3–19 January 1943 and 25 April-5 June 1943 and from Munda 28 February-9 April 1944)
09°27′28.94″S 160°10′41.50″E / 9.4580389°S 160.178194°E / -9.4580389; 160.178194 (Solomon Islands - Guadalcanal - Koli Airfield)
Thirteenth Air Force
42d Bombardment Group, 6 June – 20 October 1943
307th Bombardment Group, February 1943-28 January 1944
09°37′S 160°03′E / 9.617°S 160.05°E / -9.617; 160.05 (Solomon Islands - Guadalcanal - Kokum Airfield)

New Georgia Islands

08°19′40.69″S 157°15′47.13″E / 8.3279694°S 157.2630917°E / -8.3279694; 157.2630917 (Solomon Islands - New Georgia - Munda Airfield)
Thirteenth Air Force
5th Bombardment Group, Heavy, 4 February–6 April 1944
31st Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), (operated from here 2 February-13 March 1944)
72d Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), 9 January-14 April 1944 (operated from Guadalcanal (13 December 1943 – 27 January 1944)
394th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) (operated from Guadalcanal 28 February-9 April 1944)
307th Bombardment Group, 28 January – 29 April 1944

Russell Islands

09°05′34″S 159°13′08″E / 9.09278°S 159.21889°E / -9.09278; 159.21889 (Solomon Islands - Russel Islande - Renard Field)
09°03′53″S 159°12′51″E / 9.06472°S 159.21417°E / -9.06472; 159.21417 (Solomon Islands - Russel Islands - Renard Field)

TONGA ISLANDS

21°10′01″S 175°14′54″E / 21.16694°S 175.24833°E / -21.16694; 175.24833 (Tonga Islands - Tongatubu Island - Tongatubu Airfield)
Seventh Air Force
68th Fighter Squadron, 58th Fighter Group, 16 May - 28 October 1942

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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