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    Fighter 2 (Kukum Field) Guadalcanal Solomons

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May 1942
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December 9, 1942
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October 18, 1943
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c1943
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1975
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Peter Flahavin 2004
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John Innes 2005

Location
Located at Kukum near the north coast of Guadalcanal, 1.5 miles west of Henderson Field, and two miles south-west of Lunga Point. Also known as "Figher 2 Airfield" or "Fighter 2 Field".

Construction
Initially, a single marston matting covered runway (inland). Preferred by pilots, as the landing approach and take off were over water, exposing them to the least chance of fire from the Japanese.

A second runway was built close to the sea of crushed coral. The base was surrounded by coconut palms, with servicing and living areas to the south of the strip.

Units based at Fighter 2 (partial list - know other units? )
USAAF 13th AF
347th FG, 68th FS
18th FG, 12th FS (P-39, P-38) Efaté February 7, 43 - Feb 19, 44 Stirling, returns Aug 1, 44
347th FG, 339th FS (P-38) October 2, 1942 (det) - December 1, 1943 New Caledonia returns Decemember 29 - January 15, 1944 Stirling Airfield
Nov 12, 1942 - [April 12, 1943 to Fiji Feb 4, 1944 to Bougainville]
USN
VMF-124 (F4F) February 12, 1943 - ?
RNZAF
15 Squadron (P-40) April 26, 1943 - ?
14 Squadron (P-40) June 10 from Espiritu Santo - July 24, 1943
16 Squadron (P-40) July 25, 1943 - September 1943
17 Squadron (P-40)

Stan Jersey adds:
"A sailor who was part of ACORN ( Red) One and was with the 14th NCB reaching Guadalcanal on November 12 1942. In his email to me the VFM-124 (F4Fs) landed at Fighter 2 on February 12, 1943 and was the first squadron to arrive"

Post War
After the war, the strip was still used as the Solomon Islands main airport, until 1969, when the strip was closed, and Henderson Field reopened as the national airport.

Today
The airfield now the Honiara Golf Course, and an industrial area of warehouses.
The palm trees that used to be behind the beach are now gone and replaced by the Honiara Brewery. In 1995 they were re-grading the road between Matanikau and Kukum and constantly finding bits of bone.

John Innes adds, February 5, 2005:
"They are constructing a soccer academy about 500 yards inland from Kukum strip. As they are digging, the foundations they are uncovering what would have been part of that Kukum (Fighter Two) complex.
In these pictures you can see the metal base that the crushed coral was put on, with metal base underneath. Also the amount of coral which quite clearly contrasts to the natural soil."

 

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Last Updated
November 6, 2012

 

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