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Wakde Airfield
Part of Fifth Air Force
Located on Wakde Island, Papua Province, Indonesia
Type Military airfield
Coordinates Latitude:
Built 1943 (Japanese)
Rebuilt 1944 by the United States Army
In use 1944-1945
Controlled by United States Army Air Forces

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Wakde Airfield is a World War II airfield located on Located on Wakde Island, off the northern coast of New Guinea in West Papua Province, Indonesia. The airfield was abandoned after the war and today is almost totally returned to its natural state.

History[edit | edit source]

The airfield was constructed by the Japanese and was first noted by the Americans in February 1943. By June 1943, a single coral surfaced 5,400' x 390' runway, with dispersal areas off the northern side was identified, and barracks area on the south side was visible. By September, the Japanese had expanded the base further with a radio station and quarters for 1,000 personnel.

Wadke Airfield was seized by the United States Army on 15 May 1944. Construction work was begun to repair the airstrip once the battle was over on 18 May. The airfield was repaired and put into use by the 5th Air Force as a forward operations base. From Wakde, the first American reconnaissance mission of the Philippines since the fall of Corregidor in 1942 was undertaken, over Mindanao.

Allied units stationed at Wakde Airfield[edit | edit source]

  • 5th Bombardment Group (17 August-22 September 1944)
Headquarters, 394th Bomb Squadron, B-24 Liberator
  • 307th Bombardment Group (24 August-18 October 1944)
Headquarters, 370th, 371st, 372d, 424th Bomb Group, B-24 Liberator
Headquarters, 340th, 341st Fighter Squadrons, P-47 Thunderbolt
  • 13th Troop Carrier Squadron (403d Troop Carrier Group), (4–19 October 1944), C-47 Skytrain
  • 63d Troop Carrier Squadron (403d Troop Carrier Group), (4–29 October 1944), C-47 Skytrain
  • 64th Troop Carrier Squadron (403d Troop Carrier Group), (2–29 October 1944), C-47 Skytrain

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

 This article incorporates public domain material from the Air Force Historical Research Agency website http://www.afhra.af.mil/.

  • Maurer, Maurer (1983). Air Force Combat Units Of World War II. Maxwell AFB, Alabama: Office of Air Force History. ISBN 0-89201-092-4.
  • www.pacificwrecks.com

External links[edit | edit source]

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