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    Tebrau Airfield Johor (Johore) Malaysia

RAF 1945

Lat 1° 32' 0" N Long 103° 48' 0" E  Tebrau Airfield was located near Tebrau at the southern tip of the Malayan Peninsula in Johor (Johore) in Malaysia. To the south is Singapore.

This area was planted with rubber trees as part of rubber plantations.

During late August 1941, the Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) Air Ministry Department of Works under the command of Squadron Leader Smart built a camp at this location.

Late in 1941, Tebrau Airfield was built at this location with two runways surveyed to be built. The construction began by leveling the ground and distributing gravel using bulldozers and tractors followed by graders. Local coolies were employed to aid in the construction. During the July monsoon season, construction vehicles became bogged down due to heavy rains with work continuing into the night to make up lost time.

By the end of November 1941, a a single runway measuring 1,200 yards was built but not fully completed. By the middle of December 1941, construction was suspended as airfield construction unit was split up into two parties for other urgent jobs including construction of Bekok Airfield and the other to Singapore.

Wartime History
By January 15, 1942 after the Japanese invaded Malaysia and Japanese forces were at the northern end of Johore, the Tebrau area. On January 16, 1942 the runway at Tebrau Airfield was blown up and demolished to prevent it from being used by the Japanese. By the end of January, all usable equipment was removed from the camp and all personnel were removed.

During the Japanese occupation of Malaysia, used by the Japanese as an emergency airfield.

At the end of the Pacific War, a number of surrendered Japanese aircraft including Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) and Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) were flown to Tebrau piloted by Japanese pilots. At Tebrau, Royal Air Force (RAF) markings and with the acronym ATAIU-SEA were applied to them. Sixty-four aircraft were selected for shipment to the United Kingdom but due to limited shipping space only four were actually shipped: A6M5 Zero, Ki-46-III 5439, Ki-100 8476M and a K9W1 Cypress.

Index to Air Bases - Research Report No. 85, I.G. No 9185 - July 30, 1944
New Zealands with the Royal Air Force (Volume III) Chapter 11 — Malaya, Sumatra, and Java pages 244-245, 264-265, 266,
"Its first base was at Tebrau in southern Johore. Here a camp had been built by the Air Ministry Department of Works and the rows of long, green-roofed huts set in the shade of rubber trees came as a pleasant surprise to men who had expected rigorous living conditions in the jungle. The living quarters were, in fact, very comfortable and recreation facilities adequate; Singapore with its multiple attractions was less than twenty miles away. The only complaint was about the army field service rations, which compared rather unfavourably with those enjoyed by RAF stations on Singapore Island."

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Last Updated
February 24, 2018


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