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    Pitu Airfield (Pitoe, Moratai) North Maluku Province Indonesia
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US Army September 1944

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Robert Laessig 1944
Location
Pitu Airfield is located parallel to the southern coast of Morotai Island (Moratai) located in North Maluku Province (Provinsi Maluku Utara) in Indonesia. Also known as Pitoe Airfield, Moratai Airfield or Morotai Airfield.

Construction
Possibly, Pitu Airfield was a prewar runway or used by the Japanese. After the September 15, 1944 U. S. Army landing on Morotai Island and the construction of Wama Airfield (Guama, Morotai), construction of a second airfield primarily for fighters was begun at this location. When completed, interconnected by taxiways to Wama Airfield allowing aircraft to taxi from either runway.

Wartime History
Pitu Airfield was primarily used by medium bombers and heavy bombers but also used by fighter aircraft when fully loaded with fuel and bombs. Designated U. S. Army Post Office 719 (APO 719). Also used by Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft.

Allied units based at Moratai (Pitu Airfield)
13th Air Force (13th AF)
347th FG, 67th FS (P-38) Middleburg Feb 12 - Mar 21, 45 Puerto Princesa
5th BG, 72nd BS (B-24) Noemfor October 24, 1944 - March 20, 1945 Guiuan (Samar)
42nd BG, 390th BS (B-25) Sansapor February 24 - March 20, 1945 Sansapor
307th BG, 371st BS (B-24) Wakde November 10, 1944–September 1, 1945
307th BG, 372nd BS (B-24) Wakde November 10, 1944–September 1, 1945
71st TRS, 82nd TRS (det) Biak October 1 - Dec 31, 1944 to Luzon
13th AF, 868th BS (B-24 snoopers) Noemfoor March 22, 1945–July 3, 1944 Leyte
U. S. Navy (USN)
VPB-146 (PV-1) October 1944–November 1944 Mokerang
Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)
1st Tactical Air Force December 11, 1944–September 1945
No. 79 Squadron (Spitfire) 1945
No. 452 Squadron (Spitfire) December 11, 1944–June 29, 1945 Tarakan

Japanese air raids against Morotai
The Japanese made a total of 82 air raids against the strips at Morotai, from September 15, 1944 to February 1, 1945. reaching a peak in November 1944 with a raid every day. Tokyo radio dubbed Morotai "graveyard of the 13th Air Force". In reality, most were nuance raids, but some had disastrous effects. On November 22, 1944 before midnight ten Ki-21-II Sallys from 12 Sentai and 14 Sentai bombed Morotai and destroyed fifteen parked planes and damage eight. This was the most damaging air raid of the war.

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Last Updated
August 16, 2019

 

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