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    Nauru Airfield Nauru Island Republic of Nauru

c1970

Location
Lat 0° 32' 51S Long 166° 55' 9E  Nauru Airfield is located in the Meneng District in the southeastern corner of Nauru Island in the Republic of Nauru.

Construction
During November 1942, the Japanese built this airfield using local laborers. The runway was completed by January 14, 1943 and the first aircraft arrived the next day.

Wartime History
Used by the Imperial Japanese Navy (IJN) as a base for bombers and fighters. As soon as the runway was completed, the first aircraft including G4M1 Betty bombers and A6M Zero fighters arrived on January 15, 1943. During February 1943 A6M Zeros from the 204 Kokutai operated from Nauru Airfield.

Japanese units based at Nauru
204th Kokutai (A6M Zeros) February 1943

By late January 1943, Nauru Airfield was detected by the Americans and targeted by dozens of bombing missions duering 1943–1944 by 13th Air Force and 7th Air Force bombers. On December 8, 1943 targeted by U. S. Navy (USN) carrier aircraft. By January 1944, Nauru was within range of 7th Air Force B-25 Mitchells and targeted until the end of October 1944 and neutralized by air attacks and bombing.

American missions against Nauru
January 28, 1943 - October 30, 1944

Postwar
Until the early 1970s, several Japanese aircraft remained largely intact at Nauru Airfield. During the early 1970s, the Japanese Government funded the constructing a fringing ring road around perimeter of Nauru Island. To tidy up, local people bulldozed the remaining Japanese wreckage into the sea or otherwise removed them.

Today
Still in use today as Nauru Airport or Nauru International Airport. The single runway is oriented 30/12 measures 7,054' x 148' surfaced with asphalt. Airport codes: ANYN and INU.

Peter Flahavin visited in 1994:
"A piece of Betty flap was found near the wing behind the airfield. After looking around one of the 127mm AA gun batteries he poked around in the trenches and supporting positions and found this 25mm AA gun ammo magazine. We looked in the same area in 1995, but could not find any more."

A6M Zeke
Recovered by Stan Gajda to the Nauru Military Museum

G4M Betty
Wreckage at the airfield

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Last Updated
August 18, 2018

 

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