Lat 3° 5' 9N Long 172° 48' 40E Makin Airfield is located on Makin Island (Butaritari) in Makin Atoll in the Republic of Kiribati (Gilbert Islands). Also known as "Makin Island Airfield", "Antakana Airfield" or "Starmann Field". Today known as "Butaritari Airport" or "Butaritari Atoll Airport".
On the day the Americans landed on Makin Island, construction began of an airfield that was completed in roughly a month by the middle of December 1943.
Used by the Americans fighters and medium bombers flying missions in the Central Pacific.
Japan missions against Makin
February 1, 1942 - December 24, 1943
American units based at Makin
15th FG, 46th FS (P-39) Canton December 18, 1943 Haleiwa
15th FG, 72nd FS (P-39) Wheeler December 18, 1943 - April 23, 1944
7th AF, 531st Fighter-Bomber Squadron (A-24) Canton Dec 18, 1943 - Mar 1, 1944
15th FG, 72nd FS (P-39) Wheeler Dec 18, 1943 - April 23, 1944 Haleiwa
531st FBS, (A-24) Canton December 18, 1943 - ?
41st BG, 396th BS (B-25) Tarawa April 20, 1944 - Oct 14, 1944 Wheeler
41st BG, HQ (B-25) ? - Oct 14, 1944 Wheeler
41st BG, 48th BS (B-25) Tarawa ? - Oct 14, 1944 Wheeler
41st BG, 820th BS (B-25) Tarawa April 20 - Oct 14, 1944 Wheeler
41st BG, 396th BS (B-25) Tarawa April 20 - Oct 14, 1944 Wheeler
Still in use today as "Butaritari International
Airport" or "Butaritari Atoll Airport". Airport codes: ICAO: NGTU, IATA: BBG. Serviced by Air Kiribati. There
are some aircraft bits in the vicinity but no substantial wreckage remains
at the airfield.
B-24D "The Gremlin/Sexy Sue II Mother of Ten" Serial Number 41-23952
Pilot Cartwright force landed December 18, 1943 stripped for usable parts then scrapped
Located near the airfield, wings are used by locals as a pig pen
Do you have photos or additional information to add?
September 24, 2018