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

Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
USN February 17, 1944

Location
Eten Airfield spans the length of 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". Known to the Japanese as "Takeshima Air Base".

Construction
During 1941, the construction of Eten Airfield was initiated but was not completed until late 1943. Eten Airfield had a single runway measuring 3,440' x 270' surfaced with 1.5" concrete for all weather use. The runway spanned the length of the island with lights for night operations. The northeast edge of the runway had a rubble masonry seawall with a pier measuring 95' x 30' with a boom rigged crane. To the southeast of the runway are buildings including repair facilities, headquarters building, power plant, radio and control tower surrounded the runway. At its height 1,200 personnel lived and worked at the air base. 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During late February 1944 the remaining Japanese aircraft that were flyable were withdrawn from Rabaul to Truk.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 13, 19, 20 (map), 21 (photo/map caption), 22, 98, 100, 108, 113-115, 117-118, 121, 127-128, 137-138, 141-145, 150-155, 157, 159, 162-163, 168, 172-175, 189, 191-192, 195-196, 198, 201-205, 208, 211-213, 215, 221, 223, 226, 228, 236, 241, 245-247, 248-250, 300, 371, 395, 408, 441, 471, 484, 488, 492, 504 (index)

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Last Updated
August 18, 2018

 

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