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    Awar Airfield (Hansa North, Condor Point) Madang Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)
Aerial view of Awar Airfield
Aerial view of Awar Airfield with interpretation
5th AF c1943

Click For Enlargement
Australian Army
July 10, 1944

Location
Lat 4° 7' 26S Long 144° 51' 11E  Awar Airfield was located inland of Awar Plantation, between Condor Point and Awar near Hansa Bay. Also known as "Hansa North" or "North Hansa" or "Condor Point". To the south was was Old Nubia Airfield on Potsdam Plantation and Nubia Airfield (Hansa South).

Prewar
This location was developed into Awar Plantation planted with coconut palms harvesting copra.

Construction
During 1943 built by the Japanese Army as a single runway measuring 4,000' x 180'. A single taxiway was built parallel to the length of the runway. Known to the Japanese as Hansa North Airfield. Also known as Condor Point Airfield.

World War II Pacific Theatre History
Awar Airfield was used by Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) fighters and bombers from Wewak area airfield as a forward operating base for refueling and staging missions. The area was defended by heavy anti-aircraft batteries emplaced to the north an on Condor Point.

Japanese Army Air Force (JAAF) units based at Awar
208th Sentai (Ki-48) November 1943
248th Sentai (Ki-43) November 1943

Starting in the middle of 1943, Awar Airfield was bombed and strafed by Allied aircraft until the middle of 1944. During November 1943, one Ki-48 Lily from the 248th Sentai landed at Awar Airfield and was hospitalized at Wewak four days later. His bomber was left at the airfield. During late December 1943, Allied photographic reconnaissance spotted only three fighter aircraft at Awar Airfield.

Allied missions against Awar
August 25, 1943 - May 4, 1944

On June 14, 1944 Awar Airfield area was occupied by Australian Army. Afterwards, there were at least two instances when Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft landing at Awar Airfield.

On June 27, 1944, a Boomerang A46-138 piloted by F/O N. L. Oliver, 436020 attempted to make an emergency landing at Awar, but collided with a derelict Japanese aircraft on the overgrown runway and crashed and burned.

On February 9, 1945 Boomerang A46-??? code QE-A flown by F/L C.A. Phillips was flying a tactical reconnaissance mission over the Sepik. Returning its engine began to overheat. He successfully landed at Awar, and his plane was guarded by members of the 5th Australian Division, 30th Battalion (Sepik Force). After two days, an engine fitter from 4 Squadron was flown to the airfield to repair it oil cooler, and its fuel tank was topped off with abandoned Japanese aviation gas!

Postwar
After the Pacific war, Awar Airfield was disused. Sometime during the postwar era, repaired and used as a civilian strip known as Awar Airport until closed in 1982. Airport code: IATA: AWR.

Today
Since 1982, abandoned and disused. Today, the former runway is overgrown and with kunai grass but still roughly visible.

Justin Taylan adds:
"There is little evidence of any bombing, probably because it was cleaned up and used until 1982. Locals talked about another engine in the kunai grass but we were unable to locate it."

John Douglas adds:
"We found two revetments on the other side of the Awar strip, built for bombers."

Ki-49-II Helen Manufacture Number 3342
Damaged on the ground at Awar

References
Hansa Bay Japanese Army Air Force Activity by Richard Dunn
Thanks to Richard Dunn for additional information

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Last Updated
May 21, 2018

 

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