Kila Kila & 7-mile airfields in May 1942

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Richard Wright
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Kila Kila & 7-mile airfields in May 1942

Post by Richard Wright » Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:37 pm

Fellas, trying to simulate the situation at Port Moresby at the time of the Coral Sea campaign. Want to know what length each of these single strip "dirt" airfields were and what facilities each had.
I have read in Gamble's book that the Japanese had destroyed all permanent structures at 7-mile just prior to May 1st. There were 2 batteries of AA at 7-mile and repeated anecdotal comments of Japanese strafing a/c being hit by machine gun fire....so I presume there were some type of bofors or machine gun installations. Can that be verified?

I have read that during the campaign that Kila Kila was only used as an emergency fighter airfield...so I presume that it was short.

Please assist me in determeining this info.
Richard Wright

Edward
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Re: Kila Kila & 7-mile airfields in May 1942

Post by Edward » Sun Oct 07, 2012 3:59 pm

HI Richard,

The men of the U.S. 101st Coast Artillery with their .50 cailber machine guns arrived at Port Moresby on 3 May 1942 to bolster the AA defenses. Prior to that airfield defense was limited to the .30 caliber Lewis guns of the Australian Army (which did manage to shoot down two Japanese Zeros).

Kila drome was being used by the men of the USAAF 8th Squadron / 3rd Bomb Group in April and May 1942. Their A-24 dive bombers (Army version of the Navy's venerable SBD) were based there.

There are almost no known photos of 3 Mile and 7 Mile dromes during the Battle of the Coral Sea.

I suggest that you check out the Pacific wrecks pages on Kila and 7 Mile dromes.

http://www.pacificwrecks.com/airfields/ ... index.html

http://www.pacificwrecks.com/airfields/ ... index.html

Also the page at the Pacific War Airfield Project will be of interest.
http://www.pacificairfields.com/af_show ... hp?id=5174

Good luck,

Edward

Richard Wright
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Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2012 11:06 pm

Re: Kila Kila & 7-mile airfields in May 1942

Post by Richard Wright » Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:10 pm

Ed, Much appreciate your reply! Was unaware of the 10st arriving on May 3rd. Gamble's book indicated that no troops arrived during the campaign...so that is NEW info, THANKS!
Will check out of other references...again, much appreciated.
Rich

Edward
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Posts: 67
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Re: Kila Kila & 7-mile airfields in May 1942

Post by Edward » Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:21 pm

Hi Rich,

There is no single good source on Port Moresby during the February - July 1942 period (or the Battle of the Coral sea) though at least two authors are preparing some excellent research on this period.

David Vincent's recent book, The RAAF Hudson Story Book Two is a great reference on Port Moresby during 1942.
http://www.vincentaviationpublications.com.au/home.html

Douglas Gillian's history of the RAAF part I remains an essential reference. You can view a PDF version of the book online.
http://www.awm.gov.au/histories/second_ ... elID=67912

There is a great amount of untapped information on the Battle of the Coral Sea at the Australian War Memorial and National Archives, Australia websites.

Good luck,

Edward

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