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Doan May 1942
David Carne c1958
Chris Bowers 2006
Lat 6° 20.51S Long 145° 54.26E Located at Aiyura at an elevation of 5,100' . This small runway runs down a hill at a 2° slope towards a creek. There is hill on the other side of the strip. Also known as "Aijura Airfield".
Built prewar by Australians. By early 1942, the airfield was a single runway 800' x 100' x 5,400' with poor approaches (hills and trees at both ends with a hard dry surface, can be lengthened to 1800 yards. Facilities include radio, food and water. W.O. Brechin, automobile gas 300 gallons.
World War II Pacific Theatre History
On May 16, 1942 B-25C Mitchell 41-12478 piloted by Lt. Feltham crash landed at the airfield. While waiting for rescue, the crew pent the next couple of weeks resting and exploring the valley while waiting on a rescue. While waiting, the crew repaired an abandoned 1925 Spartan biplane and made a successful test flight at the airfield.
On May 20, 1942 an A-24 Dive bomber piloted by Captain Rogers, C.O., 8th Bomb Squadron spotted the crashed B-25 from the air while flying over Aiyura. He landed and spoke with Feltham then continued to Wau. When he returned to Port Moresby, he ordered three crews to rescue the B-25 crew.
On May 24, 1942, three A-24 Dive Bombers attempted to rescue the crew, but two crashed on landing. On May 25, 1942 the surviving A-24 Dive Bomber 41-15822 crashed on take off, killing pilot Holcombe and injuring passenger Rogers.
On June 18, 1942 Jerry Pendleton landed at Aiyura Airfield in a DH Dragon and flew Rogers out on June 18. That same day Feltham attempted to fly the Spartan to Bena Bena Airfield but crashed towards dusk, suffering two broken legs. He was found trapped in the wreckage by members of his crew and several Australians. They splinted Feltham's legs and made a litter to carry him to Bena Bena. From there Pendleton flew Feltham out and, over the next few weeks, Feltham's crew and Lt. Doan. Doan returned to Charters Towers on July 15th.
A-24 Dive Bomber Serial Number 41-15822
Peter Schindler adds:
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