Emirau Airfield is located near the northern coast of Emirau Island.
On March 20, 1944 after USMC occupation of Emirau Island, US Navy Seabees began construction of an airfield immediately. USN
Seabees built this airfield, with the assistance of the 147th
Infantry Regiment (only infantry regiment who ever built
an airstrip) by simply clearing away the topsoil to expose
the coral base below. The constructed two parallel runways.
Northern Cape Airfield (Bomber Strip)
Northern Cape Airfield (Bomber Strip) spanned the entire length of Emirau Island terminating at the edge of a high cliff. Located on the upper part of a peninsula jutting out from the island. Also known as Northern Cape Aerodrome.
Inshore Airfield (Fighter Strip)
Inshore Airfield (Fighter Strip) is parallel to Northern Cape Airfield (Bomber Strip) on the lower portion of a t of a peninsula
jutting out from Emirau Island. Also known as Inshore Aerodrome.
U. S. Navy (USN) units based on Emirau
U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) units based at Emirau
MAG-61 June 1944 - ? Hollandia
VMF 115 (F4U) May 2, 1944 - May 1945 to Mindanao
VMF-121 (F4U) September 4 - October 23, 1944 to Peleliu
VMD-254 (B-24) July 10,
1944 - Oct 8, 1944
VMF-122 (F4U) August 1944 - August 1945 to Peleliu
VMF-211 (F4U) Nissan April 1944 - December 1944 to Leyte
VMF-215 (F4U) Torokina / Barakoma Feb 1944 - April 1944 to Guadalcanal
VMF-222 (F4U) Barakoma circa September - May 1944 to Nissan (Green)
VMTB-232 (TBF) 1944
VMB-413 (PBJ) January 1945 - August 1945
Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) units based at Emirau
RNZAF 1 Squadron (PV-1)
Civilian Charles A. Lindbergh flew with U. S. Marine Corps (USMC) aviators based at Nissan (Green) and Emirau, flying combat missions as an "observer" with VMF-115, VMF-212, VMF-218 and VMF-222 during May to June 1944. In May 1944, Lindbergh flew at least four combat missions
with Joe Foss and VMF-115 from Emirau. On May 22, 1944 he flew on a strafing mission over Rabaul and afterwards noted in his diary , "The more I see of the Marines the more I like them." His last mission was on June 9, 1944 flying an escort mission over Rabaul. On June 10, 1944 Lindbergh departed for Espiritu Santo.
Durng May 1944, Lindbergh flew at least four combat missions
with Joe Foss and VMF-115 from Emirau.
John Maclean adds:
"I served on Emirau, as a member if the Service Squadron, MAG 61,from the summer of 1944 (may be off by a month or two) until we left Emirau, to proceed to the Phillipines, where we were ti prepare for the invasion of Japan. Along the way, I recall that we stopped at Hollandia, and debarked for a short while (a day or so). On the way to Malabang Airfield we encountered a typhoon, which nearly swamped the LST that I was on. Every one under sergeant slept on deck, and as the waves would reach their highest points, they would come crashing down with a great, jarring force! We heard at that point that the war was over, and all with"points" for time in combat areas were to be sent home, soon."
Emirau Airfield is still in use today. Airport code EMI.
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April 23, 2018