Pacific Wrecks
Pacific Wrecks    
  Missing In Action (MIA) Prisoners Of War (POW) Unexploded Ordnance (UXO)  
Chronology Locations Aircraft Ships Submit Info How You Can Help Donate
 
    Plaine Des Gaiacs Airfield (De Gaiacs)  New Caledonia
Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
Click For Enlargement
Nicholas Duprey 1993

Click For Enlargement
Nicolas Duprey 2000

LocLocation
Plaine Des Gaiacs Airfield was located at Plaine Des Gaiacs near Pouembout on New Caledonia. Located roughly 300km to the southeast is Nouméa. Also known as simply "De Gaiacs". Named for the Gaiac tree that grow in the area. Also spelled "Plaine de Gaiac" in some wartime references.

Construction
Early in the war, Free French we in control of the field.  The airstrip was expanded into two massive sealed runways. Exapanded by by the US Army, it was mainly used as staging and training base for aircraft bound for Australia or north to the New Hebridies (Vanuatu) combat zones.

Colonel Saunders 11th BG, 98th BS set their B-17E's down on Plaines des Gaiacs on 21 July, they found a red dust strip hacked out of a swamp. High in iron oxide, this dust, sifting through the filters, honed out the cylinders, so that shortly the B-17's were fortunate to fly 6 hours with a full load of oil. Additional complications were lack of service and maintenance personnel.

Allied units based at Plaines Des Gaiacs
USAAF
11th BG, 98th BS (B-17s) Hickam July 21 - Aug 11, 1942 to Espiritu Santo
42nd BG, 69th BS (B-26, B-25s) Hickam June 23, 1942 - ? Guadalcanal returns Oct 20 - Nov 10, 1943 Renard
RNZAF
9 Squadron (Hudsons) 1942-1943

Today
Disused since the war. Overgrown, the runways are still visible and many small traces of the American occupation remain, such as fuel drums, metal, etc.

Contribute Information
Do you have photos or additional information to add?

Last Updated
May 11, 2018

 

Map
Map 1949
  Discussion Forum Daily Updates Reviews Museums Interviews & Oral Histories  
 
Pacific Wrecks Inc. All rights reserved.
Donate Now Facebook Twitter YouTube Google Plus Instagram