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    Boram Airfield (Boram Drome) East Sepik Province Papua New Guinea (PNG)

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5th AF September 9, 1943

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345th BG Oct 16, 1943

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5th AF November 18, 1943

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RAAF May 14, 1944

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RAAF Sept 12, 1945

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Albert Cross 1965

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Ray Fairfield 1966

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Air Niugini 1990

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Justin Taylan 2005

Location
Lat 3° 35' 2S Long 143° 40' 9E  Located inland from the north coast of New Guinea. To the west are Boram (Cape Boram) and Wewak. To the east is Cape Moem.

Construction
Built by the  Japanese, this airfield was developed around a single 4,600' runway (as of September 9, 1943) that ran parallel to the coastline, roughly east to west. 40 bomber and 24 fighter revetments, and 42 heavy AA, 33+ light AA, 21 searchlights in the Boram and Cape Wom vicinity. The southern side of the strip was the bomber dispersal area and (24) revetments, with a general camp area behind them. To the north-east were (6) bomber revetments. To the north side, closest to the sea were (24) fighter revetments and dispersal areas.

Japanese units based at Boram
68th Sentai (Ki-61) detachment to Alexishafen (Danip) October 15, 1943
78th Sentai (Ki-61)
13th Sentai, 2 Chutai, 3 Chutai (Ki-45, C. O. Lt. Ashi) Rabaul July 8, 1943

Neutralized from the Air
Boram Airfield was the target of hundereds of bombing and strafing mission by Allied aircraft during 1943-1944.

American missions against Boram
April 10, 1943 - August 28, 1944

Battlefield
During late May 1945, the Australian Army 2/8 Infantry Battalion supported by tanks advanced from the west abd reached Boram Airfield area by May 20. They encountered heavy opposition in the hills behind the runway, before finally securing the area on May 22.

Australian Usage
During June 1945, the runway was repaired and was used by the Australians to a limited capacity for the rest of 1945.

Keith W. Bryant, VX 85794 AIF 7th Mechanical Equipment Co. A.I.F:
"We landed in Wewak, in June 1945, after waiting at Langemak Bay, (Finchhaven) for 3 Days until the ground forces cleaned out the Japanese from the beach and Coconut plantations around Boram, so that we could land with our personnel and heavy gear to start the Refurbishing of the area. Surprisingly the first person we saw on landing was a Salvation Army person with an ice cold drink and biscuit, what a welcome to a war! We were fully equipped with brand New "International" earthmoving machinery, plus others of such. We improved the roads in the area, and building Cape Wom camp and the refurbished the Boram Airstrip. We levelled a Hill of coral called Boram Point for the material for resurfacing the runway, and that is why in the 1945 photos it stands out so much. There are a number of Japanese planes buried under the the edges of the runway, some still had bombs, defused of course, attached. It was a puzzle of how to push the planes over the edge into the swamps, (with their bombs), our operators were a little shy, and decided to use reins from behind the Bulldozers to engaged the clutch, this was successful but very slow, and as there were some natives around watching the "action" they said they would love to "Have a Go", and so, with a dual operation the job was completed without any major accidents."

Postwar
On October 26, 1945, Australian General Blamey landed at Boram aboard B-24 A72-189 to inspect troops of the 6th Division. This was the first landing by a B-24 at the airfield.

Today
Boram Airfield is still in use today. Known as a "Borsm Airport", "Wewak Airport" or "Wewak International Airport". Airport codes: ICAO: AYWK and IATA: WWK. The runway measures 1,569m x 30m at an elevation of 9', Used by Air Niugini for air service to the Wewak area. Also, smaller secondary airlines and helicopters. Bomb craters still pockmark the surrounding area, and are clearly visible on take off and landing.

References
NAC - Wewak Airport (Boram Wewak)

Anti-Aircraft Ridge
To the south of the airfield is a low ridge that offers a commanding view of the airfield. During the war, this ridge was heavily fortified with batteries of Type 88 75mm anti-aircraft guns emplaced in gun pits. On October 16, 1943 a dramatic series of low level photographs was taken over this ridge by 345th Bomb Group B-25 Mitchells. After the war, at least six guns remained at this location. During 1969, two 75mm guns were removed from this ridge for the Cape Wom Memorial Park at Cape Wom. In 1971 another Type 88 75mm anti-aircraft gun recovered and is displayed at Yasukuni Museum. Today, only three 75mm Type 88 anti-aircraft guns are still located on the ridge in their positions.

Ki-43 Oscar
Midway down the strip, on the south side is the wreckage of an upside down Oscar in a bomb crater. It is partially submerged in water during most of the year. At one point, the airfield maintenance staff attempted to remove the plane, but it would not budge.

A-20G Havoc 43-21428
Pilot Peterson crashed November 10, 1944

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Last Updated
May 22, 2017

 

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