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    Eten Airfield (Takeshima) Chuuk State (Truk) Federated States of Micronesia
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Click For Enlargement
USN February 17, 1944

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
USN February 17, 1944

Location
Eten Airfield was located on Eten Island to the southeast of Dublon (Tonoas) in Truk Lagoon in Chuuk State (Truk) in the Federated States of Micronesia. Also known as "Eten Island Airfield" or spelled "Etten" or "Etan". The Japanese called this airfield "Takeshima Air Base".

Construction
During 1941, construction of this airfield began but was not completed until late 1943. The airfield had a single runway 3,440' x 270' surfaced with 1.5" thick concrete for all weather that spanned the length of the island with lights for night operations. Support buildings for repair, headquarters, power plant, radio and control tower surrounded the runway. At its height 1,200 personnel lived and worked here. 40 fighters and 7 double bomber revetments were adjacent to the runway along the hillside. Major repairs were done at Dublon Island.

Wartime History
Eten was the primary Japanese fighter airfield used to defend the Truk area. Eten based the 21st, 22nd, 25th 26th and Koku Sentai.

On April 23, 1943 two G4M1 Betty bombers from Lakunai Airfield near Rabaul arrived at Eten Airfield at 1:45pm. Aboard was the cremated ashes of Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto who aboard G4M1 Betty 2656 Tail 323 shot down by P-38 Lightnings during the "Yamamoto Mission" on April 18, 1943. From Eten, his remains were secretly transferred to the Admiral's sea cabin aboard Battleship Musashi in Truk Lagoon then transported to Tokyo.

During late February 1944 the remaining Japanese aircraft that were flyable were withdrawn from Rabaul to Truk. By February 19, 1944 elements from the 201 Kokutai, 501 Kokutai and 204 Kokutai were identified at Eten.

Between 1944–1945, Eten was heavily bombed by American aircraft and neutralized.

American missions against Eten Airfield
March 15, 1944 - June 21, 1945

Today
Portions of the abandoned Japanese fighter airstrip still remain, where the jungle has not reclaimed them.

References
WWII Wrecks of the Truk Lagoon pages 19, 169, 515 (index)

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Last Updated
May 15, 2018

 

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