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Search Chronology Locations Aircraft Vessels Missing In Action (MIA)
    Plaine Des Gaiacs Airfield (De Gaiacs)  New Caledonia

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1993

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Nicolas Duprey 2000

LocLocation
Located at Plaine Des Gaiacs 300 km northwest of Nouméa, just before the village of Pouembout. Also known as De Gaiacs. Named for the Gaiac tree that grow in the area.

Construction
Early in the war, Free French we in control of the field.  The airstrip was expanded into two massive sealed runways. Exapanded by by the US Army, it was mainly used as staging and training base for aircraft bound for Australia or north to the New Hebridies (Vanuatu) combat zones.

Colonel Saunders 11th BG, 98th BS set their B-17E's down on Plaines des Gaiacs on 21 July, they found a red dust strip hacked out of a swamp. High in iron oxide, this dust, sifting through the filters, honed out the cylinders, so that shortly the B-17's were fortunate to fly 6 hours with a full load of oil. Additional complications were lack of service and maintenance personnel.

Allied units based at Plaines Des Gaiacs
USAAF
11th BG 98th BS (B-17s) Hickam July 21 - Aug 11, 1942 to Espiritu Santo
42nd BG 69th BS (B-25s) Guadalcanal Oct 20 - Nov 10, 1943 Renard
RNZAF
9 Squadron (Hudsons) 1942-1943

Today
Disused since the war. Overgrown, the runways are still visible and many small traces of the American occupation remain, such as fuel drums, metal, etc.

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Last Updated
March 31, 2017

 

Map
1949
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