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    Bonriki Airfield (Mullinix Field, Bonriki Airport) Tarawa Atoll Republic of Kiribati

Location
Lat 1° 22' 54N Long 173° 8' 49E  Bonriki Airfield is located on Bonriki Island in Tarawa Atoll (Betio) in the Republic of Kiribati (Gilbert Islands). Also known as Mullinnix Field. Today, known as Bonriki International Airport or Bonriki Airport.

Construction
After Betio (Tarawa) was occupied by the Marines, and Tarawa Airfield (Hawkins) operational, Bonriki airfield was put in at Bonriki running east-west. A second runway was oriented northeast to southwest. This airfield was longer than Tarawa Airfield (Hawkins) it was better suited for bomber operations.

Wartime History
Bonriki Airfield was used by 7th Air Force B-25 Mitchells and B-24 Liberators before moving to Makin Airfield (Butaritari).

Naming Honors
Bonriki Airfield was renamed "Mullinnix Field" after Rear Admiral Henry M. Mullinnix KIA November 24, 1943 on the escort carrier CVE-56 USS Liscome Bay sunk off (Makin) Butaritari during the US Army invasion taking place at the same time as the Tarawa battle.

Today
Still in use today as "Bonriki International Airport" or "Bonriki Airport". This airport is a port of entry and is classified as a small airport, the only international airport in the Republic of Kiribati.

The single runway oriented 27/09 measures 6,598' x 135' surfaced with asphalt. Airport codes: ICAO: NGTA / IATA: TRW. There are two passenger and one cargo terminal. Serviced by Air Kiribati, Air Marshall Isles, Air Nauru, Air Pacific and Fiji Airways.

Stan Gajda reports:
"At Bonriki, many large revetments for B-24's were built. Even to this day there is still a lot of debris of operations there, like bomb transport rings, bomb tail fin cases etc. In the revetments it is easy to find fired .50 and .30 cal mg cases thrown out of planes when they were cleaned during operations."

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Last Updated
February 4, 2018

 

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